Picking up exactly where Ocean of Blood left off, Palace of the Damned is the penultimate book in this prequel (to Circus of the Damned) quartet. After killing the ship's entire crew - as revenge for their killing Malora after his 'vampiracy' was revealed to the crew, is on the run. With a baby in his care - keeping it safe from the cannibal on the ship - Larten now has more to worry about than his own needs. Tired of the vampiric life, Larten no longer has the thirst for he hunt and hides out in Paris as a human. It is there where he finds love - and maybe even some happiness. But how long can Larten really hide out as a human before his inner darkness and he's forced to return to the dark, to his clan. And will he be safe anywhere or will his enemies find him? One thing's for sure, one way or another, Larten's path is sure to be perilous and lead to deaths.
Palace of the Damned is great, it brings out more of Larten's humanity while also contrasting that with just how not human he is. After the first book introduced us to Larten's true human life and his beginnings as a assistant and the second brought in more of the vampire politics, it's great to see a different side to Larten.
As someone who's reading this prequel series before reading Circque du Freak, I know that I am missing some of what readers of that series will get out of this series. The characters that are in this series, I'm sure will pop up in the latter series (at least some of them) and whether you read that first or this first, it'll be great to know their back stories as well. It didn't feel like there was as much action in this installment as in the others, but it definitely brought a necessary bit of Larten's life to light. This series definitely stops in the middle of scenes and on cliffhangers and Palace of the Damned's ending is no different - it will have you almost counting the days until May when the final Saga of Larten Crepsley book releases.