by Amy Kuivalainen5 out of 5
'The Wylts have always served the Vanes. It is our honor. It is our duty.'
Rosa Wylt's life plans are disrupted when she is summoned back to Gwaed Lyn, an ancient estate in the Lake District.
Struggling with childhood memories overshadowed by the wealthy Vane Family, Rosa is determined to learn of the ties that have kept the Wylt's bound to their benefactors for centuries.
Rosa finds more than her own family's history when she uncovers the passionate, doomed love affair of a Vane ancestor... an ancestor that bears an uncanny resemblance to Balthasar, the only Vane that she cannot help being drawn to.
Nothing in the estate is as it seems and as Gwaed Lyn and the immortal Vane Family start revealing their mysteries, Rosa realizes it is called The Blood Lake for a reason...
A modern gothic romance inspired by a new vampire origin story and tangled with the myth and magic of the Fae.
Rosa is summoned to her childhood home when her mother takes ill, but going back means facing the fact that her family are mere servants, and that Gwaed Lyn is hiding secrets.
I won a copy in a Goodreads giveaway.
This is the first book I've read by Kuivalainen, and I loved it! I've been running late to work and social engagements all this week, because I have to read just one more chapter!
Rosa is a really strong character and I immediately liked her. She's very outspoken, without being rude. She hates the feeling that she's expected to follow in her family's footsteps, and serve the Vane family in their grand estate. She is very vocal about how antiquated she thinks it all is, but gradually comes to see that it's not all bad.
Rosa is funny and argumentative. I love her friendship with Saul, and the steadily growing attraction to Balthasar.
This is probably one of the most interesting and imaginative takes on the "vampire" legend that I've ever come across (the word vampire is never used in the book, which I thought was very clever). Of course, it helps that I love any mythology connected to the British Isles, and it was really interesting how Kuivalainen explored the Welsh mythology of faeries.
This steers the story away from the usual cliches of the genre, and gives a much bigger world and potential dangers to expand into.
On top of everything, it is just to easy and fun to read, it pulls you along for the adventure.
There's romance, too, which is slow-building and rather sweet. Even cold-hearted me had to pause at some of the letters Balthasar sent. The romance doesn't overwhelm the plot, either; it helps drive it instead.
The only not-so-good points were really minor things.
I thought the introduction of a certain family member at the end, felt a bit wedged in as an afterthought, perhaps as a hook for book 2.
There were a couple of very minor instances were Rosa didn't feel British. What the hell is Gatorade? (Or is that just me?)
I would highly recommend checking this out, and I am definitely looking forward to reading some more of Kuivalainen's work.