Paris, 21. century
Louis XXIV. is the young king of France, the French Revolution never happened, monarchy rules to this day and age. Gossip spreads.... apparently you can find vampires in Versailles and some even go as far as to say that everyone in Versailles is a vampire. But we begin this story with a young beautiful teenager called Angélique, the daughter of a duchess who is struggling to keep her head and her station while just being introduced to court. She inadvertently reveals the struggle for power between two of the most known and prominent families in France, family Condé and family Orléans. One is said to be the legacy of angels and the other of demons.
(*note: This book is originally written and published in French - Sang Maudit, Des Vampires a Versailles - tome 1 -, this Croatian edition is only a translation of the original book)
I picked this book up in my local library simply because I had room for one more book and this one's cover called to me, yes, yes I admit it. The cover is beautiful, the title most appealing and short summary on the covers called out to me like nothing else... history and alternate future, France, politics, intrigue and... vampires. Imagine the combination. I almost melted while I carried this book home happy as a little child whose mommy just bought him/her some ice cream or in my case, chocolate.
And I will admit that this book has everything I hoped for. It is very engrossing, characters have depth and layers and we see their progress, story has so many elements that some people might find it confusing and get lost in it because there are so many references to French history and notable people as well as known events that you can fully enjoy it only if you understand it. And I loved this aspect. There is also a couple of action scenes and holding your breath ones. There is also a wonderful imagination of the two authors who write under the pseudonym Ange (Anne and Gérard Guéro respectively) about the future, or the alternate future, we would have if the French Revolution never took place. Modern and old combined.
This book was definitely amusing. It kept me glued to my seat and it told a wonderful story. But. But. If only this wasn't a young adult book I would be ecstatic right now. Generally, I have no problem with the young adult genre, everything has its merits. But politics, intrigue, court and conspiracies and all of it told from a perspective of a 17 year old girl who does things in this book that are quite unbelievable for someone that age and especially someone who was pushed into that world a couple of days before... that aspect I had difficulties reconciling with. Because I am able to think and I know how the world works and how teenagers work, been there, done that, seen that.
One more thing was the fact that three teenagers who are friends are also people who carry this story and all the events happening in this book. And each one is very different and we learn about all of them because it is all a part of a bigger picture which comes together in the end. Sometimes it is difficult to remember all the details about the bunch of information thrown at us in a very short time frame and that is if I am including the fact that all the historical references about everything, from places, people, events, books, ideas etc are already well known to the reader.
If this was meant for the younger readers, teenagers I suppose, I do not see how they can fully appreciate this story not making all the connections properly and if it was meant for the more adult readers, why oh why make it a teenage heroine one???
I will not put any spoilers here and most of the things I would like to say would be considered a spoiler because every detail will be in the end relevant and I don't want to give any of the pieces away before time to those of you who plan on reading it. And I do encourage everyone who loves history, especially French history, old court intrigues and plots in the modern age, teenage heroins and vampires to read this, I believe it will surprise you as it did me.