The final chapter in the four-book prequel of the Cirque Du Freak series finds master vampire Larten Crepsley on a revenge quest. Burdened with the task of leading the Nazis astray after the vampire clan declines allegiance to them and their war of hate, Larten is absent when his beloved is murdered at the hands of an enemy. Larten swears vengeance, promising her daughter the execution of the murderer. Torn between his duty to the clan and his personal quest for justice, Larten finds himself in the aftermath of war in Germany and Japan and nearly begins his own war among the immortals. While deeply affected by the death and destruction he witnesses in these historic acts of violence, nothing cuts him quite as deeply as the truth of Alicia’s murder. Immersed in betrayal, bloodshed, violence, and hate, Larten must decide his fate: will he continue on the path of violence, or will he find solace in and seek a new life with the Cirque Du Freak?
The novel is fast paced and packed with thought-provoking discussions of war and peace, hate and tolerance, and resentment and forgiveness. Larten’s path to relative enlightenment is well developed and intriguing, creating an interesting evolution for his character. While rife with philosophical ideas, the book does not disappoint with vampire mythology, action and adventure, and plot twists. Fans of the series will appreciate the conclusion of the master’s story, while new fans will be able to jump into the book without any trouble. This is a good read for fantasy and adventure fans alike. 4/4 stars.