Monday, July 11, 2011

A Taste Of Blood Wine by Freda Warrington

book jacketThis is the second Freda Warrington book I have read.  Even as one of her back list titles, I found it just as compelling as Elfland.  First published in 2002, I would describe A Taste Of Blood Wine as a cross between Anne Rice and some of the more edgy modern paranormal romances, only with Freda Warrington’s incredible voice.   However, I only refer to this book as a romance because the main element of the story is driven by the two lead characters, Karl and Charlotte, and the extreme measures they are willing to take in order to be together; the horror reference falls within those extreme measures.  Warrington is not opposed to killing off her likable characters, but this story, at its core, is a romance with a happy ending, only the journey is a bit more brutal than most.

There are quite a few unique aspects about this book I find intriguing.  The story takes place in England during the 1920’s, post World War I.  Also, the heroine, Charlotte, has social difficulties that cause discord with her siblings and aunt.  Her anxiety toward crowds, strangers, and change within her personal environment, creates a unique main character not often seen in genre fiction.  Once again, Warrington’s character development is marvelous; her characters are not perfect and their flaws generate some interesting motivations.   The antagonist, Kristian, is brilliantly demented.  Kristian is a master vampire who views himself as the dark hand of God, the enforcer of His will---I LOVED this twist on Vampire fiction.   Kristian is annoyed that Karl, his favored creation, has opted for independence and refuses to subjugate to his demands.  Worse (in this master vampire's mind) Karl is an atheist.  Therefore, Kristian goes after the woman Karl loves to force him back home.  Lastly, and I will not give this final story element away, but I will say that I like Warrington’s theory on why vampires exist.

This author truly has a gift for story telling.  A Taste Of Blood Wine is well worth the read!  It is the first book in a trilogy, but since it was only published in the UK I had to buy it used, though it arrived in excellent condition.  However, the others may be difficult to find.  :o(

Hope to see you in our library someday soon,
Jan

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review! This sounds really good, and I've been wondering about which other books by Freda Warrington I should try to track down.

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  2. Hi Kristen!! I have to thank you for getting me hooked on this author!! Like Elfland, I have to say I'm still thinking about this book, even while I'm reading another author. I loved the post war, 20's setting. Unlike Elfland, the two main characters get together almost immediately. The story is all about what they are willing to do, and who they are willing to hurt, to stay together. The horror/fantasy elements were very well done, but again it was the characters, and their flaws, that drew me in.
    Jan

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  3. thanks for the Freda reviews. Not sure about Elfland, it sounds a little tame for me, but I’m really interested in this one. Anne Rice is still my favorite vamp author and I'm very willing to try anyone with even the slightest comparison. FYI… A Taste Of Blood Wine is not even available in a Kindle Edition.

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  4. I wouldn't call Elfland tame, just different. However, A Taste Of Blood Wine was a darker story.
    Jan

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  5. On a totally different note, for anyone reading our comments click on Kristen's name... it links to her blog that I have been visiting, though I'm still learning how to comment, and sometimes unsuccessfully! :o(

    Anyway, Kristen's blog is an absolutely amazing reader's advisory on sci-fi and fantasy books. Check it out if you get a chance. She's running a free giveaway on a signed copy of George R.R. Martin's lastest release... how cool is that?!?!
    Jan

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  6. Hi there, not a book group member, I just happened upon your blog and your review caught my attention. The online catalog lists another book by Freda Warrington. A Blackbird In Silver? It looks older. Ever try it?

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  7. I just did my own little library catalog search, and you're right, A Blackbird In Silver is on MaineCat, and available for request. (The MaineCat button needs to be clicked after an initial search on URSUS)

    I believe it is one of her earliest books. I haven't read it and I have a few book group reads I need to catch up on before I do. If you read it please let us know how it was.
    Jan

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  8. That sounds wonderful, Jan! I loved how she wrote the characters with all their flaws in Elfland so I'm glad to hear she did that as well with this book. I'm not a huge vampire book fan, but this one does sound really good. Of course it doesn't hurt that I really want to read pretty much anything Freda Warrington now!

    Thanks for mentioning my site too! It's been a lot of fun to maintain. Oh, and there is an interview with Freda Warrington under the interview section if you're interested in finding out more about her and some of her books. :)

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  9. You're welcome, Kristen! Your blog really is well done! I'll have to check out that interview. I know a few of our book group members mentioned it in one of our meetings.

    As for vampires, I may be a little prejudiced there---I love a good vampire book, so keep that in mind. It may have swayed me toward this story, but the voice was still Warrington's.
    Jan

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