One of the lovely things about moving in with a gentleman, is to discover his books (and also for him to discover your own books).
Dave recommended me these two books: :The stress of her regard" and "Hide me among the graves". I just wonder how I could not notice them (huh, a bit like I did with Game of thrones...).
The first book follows the story of Michael Crawford, who is about to marry. On a stormy night, before his marriage with Julia, he puts the ring on a statue, to avoid losing it. When he goes to retrive it, the statue and the ring have disappeared.
The day after his wedding, he wakes up next to the mutilated remains of his wife.
Little did he know he has married a Nephilim, and Nephilims are deadly jealous. As he flees from London to Swizerland, he will meet Lord Byron and Percy Blysse Shelley, who are also linked to the creatures. All the way he is pursued by Julia's insane sister, Josephine, who wants to avenge her sister's death.
Hide me among the graves is a follow up of the first book. You then follow John Crawford, who years ago, lost his son and wife. We discover the Nephilims are back, even more powerful. One day, a woman whom he had met on a a bridge, visits him again, and reveals they had a daughter, and she is now prisoner of one powerful Nephilim: Polidori.
Their destinies will be intertwined with Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriele Rossetti, and John Edward Trelawny the adventurer. Lurking are, Polidori, a Giant Woman, and a dead child with long arms and a wicked smile.
I cannot really dissociate the two books from one another. I devored "The Stress of her regard", spending some sleepless nights, as I was so taken by this book.
In the first book, every page was a surprise, alternated with historical facts concerning real characters like Byron and Shelley. The tragedies in their lives are caused by the vampires/ muses. I really felt I was following the characters in the locations, and it made me want to read about these pillars of litterature.
One of the most powerful characters in this book is without a doubt Josephine. She let a very strong impression in my mind. She is deranged, somehow crazy, and its quite incredible to see how her character evolves in the book. I think it is one of the strongest female characters I've read about in years!
Hide me Among the graves, was much more horrific, there was a much stronger sense of dread.
I liked seeing Boddiccea as a Nephilim, she is truly terrifying in all appearances. The ghost boy is also gritty and spooky. I loved finding Michael Crawford's son years after the events of the first book, and discovering a new strengh. Mc Kee is again a strong female character, who is leading the hero through their adventures, and he does not hesitate to follow her one second. I love the link with the Rossettis, this incredibly talented and cultivated family. The character of Christina wakes up Polidori, through some of her father's schemes. Her secluded religious life is explained by the fact she gave herself to a Nephilim when she was 14.
The scenes in the sewers are deranging and breath taking, but there is a certain beauty in wandering through these places. the action is epic and there are real moments of bravery!
There is that sense of attraction/repulsion which is dealt with in both books. Is inspiration worth all the suffering? is creativity the most important thing?
I highly recommend these two books, if you like fantasy, horror, and history.
Have a good read!