When Pope Leo III sends men to investigate stories of a missing cavalry patrol, and devils possessing men from Emperor Charles’ realm it is clear the holy Roman Empire is under attack. Blood-drinker arch enemies the Lamia and the Deargh Du must come together to form an uneasy alliance to battle this common foe. A solution that could make or break the Empire itself.
Dark Alliance, Morrigan’s Brood, Book 3, is an epic fantasy adventure blended with historical fiction. As usual with epic fantasies there are several characters to meet and at the beginning I was unsure what their significance was to the story, who the main characters were, and which ones I was meant to follow. This book also spans a huge area, covering the Holy Roman Empire and British Isles, Circa 801 CE, and (for a reader just joining the story in book 3) is rather a lot to take in, and does make for a solid read.
Husband and wife team Heather Poinsett Dunbar and Christopher Dunbar, however, have provided a good mix of historical, paranormal (immortal blood-drinkers) and mythological details. There’s plenty of scope to continue the series, which is fun because it gives deep study to the characters and lets the reader know them intimately.
Also included is a map of story locations, a map guide, a list of gods and goddesses of the series and some really cool details about each of the eight lines of blood-drinkers in this book. I found the character guide very helpful.
Overall Dark Alliance, Morrigan’s Brood Book 3, is not the easiest of reads, Heather and Christopher write with a cluttered storytelling feel, and flit from one country to another with different characters making it a tad on the confusing side. What the authors do offer, however, is a character-rich story about several lines of blood drinkers: each with their own background, lineage, strengths and weaknesses. I especially liked the mind-bending skills of the line of blood-drinkers called the Lamia and the magical skills of the beautiful fae-like Deargh Du race. Their differences in culture, language and other “cross-border” conflicts made for some great clashes.