Saturday, September 14, 2013

Children of the night by Mercedes Lackey

Diana Tregarde looks like she couldn't hurt a fly, built like a dancer (and a petite dancer at that) she manages to hide what she is very well - Diana is a Guardian, a person with the power and responsibility to protect the innocents and help when people need Help.  She is minding her own business when a tangled mess drops into her lap in a series of coincidences in quick succession, starting with a hunter who wanders into the shop she is minding.  Diana is good at picking up the hunters who hunt the innocents and people with Potential, but this hunter is something different, something she has not come across before and while he backs off he seems to have attracted attention to Diana and the store.

When a person she has offered protection to dies just short of her apartment and sanctuary, Diana is drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with hunters that has drawn together to gain mutual protection while they gain benefit from each others hunting.  Diana is facing a powerful enemy and while she has power, she also suffers from paralysing panic attacks that leave her frozen, rung out, and feeling useless - not the best strategy for dealing with multiple bad guys.  Her only allies are full of fight and ready to rumble, but it may not be enough to take on the bad guys and have them all live to fight another day.  When an unexpected ally appears it looks as though there may be hope, but it may be false hope, especially when the bad guys raise the stakes.

Children of the night is the first book in the Diana Tregarde trilogy and is followed by Burning water and Jinx High.  This series is a very different series for Mercedes Lackey, showing the depth and strength of her writing ability - she is about so much more than Companions and Bards.  I first discovered this series with Burning water, and while you can read the series out of order this first book in the series provides the best introduction to Diana and her world.  There is a certain similarity between the Diana Tregarde series and the Blood series by Tanya Huff, but in this case Diana is the romance novelist rather than the vampire, and Diana and Andre are equals in magic rather than one being magical and one being mundane.  If you like one series chances are you will like the other, but I don't recommend reading one from each series in the same week like I have just done - it lessens the impact of both series (live and learn I guess).

This was one of my favourite series for blending together urban fantasy and the occult with just a touch of horror, and I always sigh when I re-read them because unless there is a dramatic change there will be no more in the series - because there are some people out there who think Guardians are real and the only thing stopping them coming into their rightful power is Mercedes Lackey herself.  There are other series that touch on these same worlds and characters (to a certain extent), but these three novels stand very much on their own.  If you like urban fantasy then give Children of the night a try, it may be an older book now (first published in 1990) but it has aged well.

If you like this book then try:
  • Jinx high by Mercedes Lackey
  • Blood price by Tanya Huff
  • Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff
  • Burning water by Mercedes Lackey
  • Spiders bite by Jennifer Estep
  • Dead witch walking by Kim Harrison
  • Angel's blood by Nalini Singh
  • Cast in shadow by Michelle Sagara
  • Kitty and the midnight hour by Carrie Vaughn
  • Moon called by Patricia Briggs
  • Cry wolf by Patricia Briggs

Reviewed by Brilla

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