Toma Nicolescu and his friend Alek have been charged with protecting the beautiful Cantemir sisters Natasha and Lucine. Though Empress Catherine the Great has commanded Toma not to fall in love with either sister, he falls for Lucine. A Russian nobleman, Vlad van Valerik, and several others who live with him soon become involved with the Cantemirs; while Toma can't put his finger on what exactly is different about them, he is wary of their sensuality and the strange pull they have on everyone they meet. As Vlad's influence on Lucine intensifies, Toma finds himself in a heartbreaking battle of good vs. evil.
You've probably guessed by now that Vlad is a vampire. As someone who is completely fed up with the Twilight craze, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying a vampire novel. The difference here is that Dekker is very clear as to which side of the good vs. evil battle the vampires fall on ... and it's not the side the "Twihards" would hope! This is a fantastic book that I highly recommend. And if you're a fan of the "Books of History Chronicles" (Black, Red, White, Green, Showdown, etc.), you'll be happy to see the connections between Immanuel's Veins and those books. (I squealed like a child when I read the words "Blood Book" and "Shataiki"!)
One note: I've read some reviews that criticize this book for being too sensual (in fact, the book has apparently been "banned" in Holland for that very reason). It's violent; it's dark; it's sensual ... but I feel it's all appropriate for the story. Should an 11-year-old read it? Probably not. But for adults, this is a wonderful story that will grip you from the beginning and take you on an amazing journey.
Thomas Nelson, the book's publisher, is giving away t-shirts connected to Immanuel's Veins. I got one (and love it!), and now I get to give one away! If you want the chance to win a shirt, simply leave a comment on this post by Friday, Sept. 17.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."