This is a review of the novel “Midnight’s Daughter” by Karen Chance. It is book 1 in the Dorina Basarab Series.
As this series ties in with the Cassandra Palmer Series it may be wise to avoid reading these reviews on the Dorina Basarab Series if you are wanting to read that series completely spoiler free. I may unintentionally give out spoilers for part of that series.
Dorina (she prefers to be called Dory) is a dhampir. That is, she is half-human, half-vampire. Dhampirs are wildly unpredictable creatures, and few are ever born, let alone allowed to survive, and especially not as long as Dorina has. She’s a few centuries old, and she’s lived that long by being smart. She’s very strong, she’s a skilled fighter, and most of all, she’s a survivor. Dhampirs suffer from uncontrollable violent rages. Once Dory reaches a certain threshold, everything goes black, and she usually awakes surrounded by chaos, muck and signs of severe violence (and usually a body or ten). She stays alive and fairly sane by unleashing her rages on those supernatural beings (usually Vampires and Demons) who deserve killing.
Dory has a few problems at the moment. For one, her housemate and best friend Claire has gone missing without a trace. This is a pretty big deal, not only does Dory want her friend back, but Claire is a magical null, one side effect of this being that she calms Dory’s rages. Nulls are in demand from the magical community, not only as their presence nullifies any magic in a certain radius, but also because their power can be drained and transferred into an object, thereby creating a kind of weapon, but killing the null. So problem #1 for Dory is tracking down and rescuing Claire. She’s been looking for weeks already, and nothing except for some stupid (and slightly chilling) rumours.
Problem #2 for Dory comes in the form of her vampire father Mircea. Mircea has asked for her assistance in tracking down her uncle who has escaped from his prison. But Dory’s uncle is no common criminal. He’s Dracula. The Dracula. He is cruel, psychopathic and bent on revenge. Dory wants nothing to do with him. She has absolutely no love for her uncle, and wanted him dead the first time around. But Mircea needs her help in trapping him once more. He’s even provided her with a partner to work with, he’s very good looking. Too bad he’s also a vamp. Louis-Cesare is a master vampire, and a duelling champion to boot.
It’s no secret that Dory prefers to work alone and be in charge, or that she despises vampires, but her Uncle Drac terrifies her and this time, she’ll take any help offered (even if she’s reluctant).
I read this book years ago (before I began this blog) and I loved it then, and after reading it again, I love it still. One of the many things I love about Karen Chance’s work, is that a lot of her characters have basis in real world history. She is a storyteller of the nth degree, and I love reading the flashbacks and back-stories of her characters. I love Dory’s fiery nature, her stubbornness, and the way that she takes hit after hit and just keeps on getting back up. She’s strong, that’s for sure! I also love the other side of her, the playful side, the nurturing side. She’s so fierce, and I admire her a lot. I alsoenjoy reading about her relationship with her father Mircea and the rest of her family, it provides a sort of vulnerability to her character and softens some of her bullheadedness.
The Dorina Basarab Series is a sort of spin off series from Karen Chance’s other novels, the Cassandra Palmer Series. Mircea is a main character in that series, and it’s good to see another side to him in this series. I intend to read those novels again and review them for the blog after I finish the Dorina Basarab Series again (it will be my first time reading Dory novel #3). This may seem a little backwards to Karen Chance fans, as I believe the first three Cassandra Palmer novels were written before “Midnight’s Daughter”, but as I said, I am yet to read “Fury’s Kiss” (Dory #3) and really wanted to refresh my memory, and review the other two Dorina novels before I read it. Plus it will be in keeping with the way I originally read them. I picked up this novel before I had ever heard of Karen Chance or the Cassandra Palmer Series, so originally I read “Midnight’s Daughter” and “Death’s Mistress” before I read any of the Cassie novels. I was thrilled to find out about Cassie! I do hope that this last paragraph was not too confusing to read.
For more information on the timeline of the Dorina Basarab Series and the Cassandra Palmer Series (and associated short stories) please follow this link. (Found on Karen Chance’s official website).