BLOOD OF THE NILE (The First Ones #1) by Shireen Nemnich-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Released November 2012
Princess Eshe lives within the ancient lands of Egypt where Ra reigns supreme and the Nile gives life to all. Eshe is young, beautiful and secretly in love with her teacher, Baruti. Her father King Oba has sent for suitors from three tribes to come petition for her hand in marriage. Yet Eshe only wants Baruti, someone she cannot have or tell anyone about, not even him.
Eshe struggles with her transformation into a vibrant woman and she’s further thrust into turmoil when she meets her suitors. One of her suitors captures her attention and her teacher warns her to stay away from him. Yet he is beautiful to gaze upon with his honey kissed skin and dark eyes. But now she isn’t sleeping well and her stomach burns with vivid dreams of tearing flesh and drinking blood. Then to top it all off the light of Ra is burning her eyes and she must stay within the shadows just as her teacher.
Baruti’s distraught with the death of his wife and disappears for many years only to be found hidden within the walls of the human king. Baruti lives in secrecy watching, guiding and teaching the king’s daughter, Eshe. He’s been in love with Eshe and knows she’s his only salvation and the salvation of their people.
A Seer has foretold that Baruti, son of Omari will be king and his wife will be queen to the First Ones – Vampires. But there is more than one vampire manipulating their lives and if Baruti loses Eshe he’s vowed that the Nile will run red with the blood of humanity
REVIEW: I was first introduced to Shireen’s writing style through her book The Royal Assassin which was one of my favorite reads from a new author in 2012. Although there were some dark moments in The Royal Assassin it doesn’t compare with BLOOD OF THE NILE.
Blood of the Nile is a storyline that develops on the theory that vampires are born into a world of hierarchy and political infighting for control of an empire run by their King and Queen but for most vampires the struggle becomes personal. Enmeshed in a world of vampires, half-vampires and humans, each must discover where they fit into a centuries old fight for power and control and the love for their Queen.
The storyline follows the life and love of Ashe-a young female vampire whose true identity was kept secret from her until the age of her transformation. Throughout the story Eshe discovers that life as a vampire comes with the bonus of power and control, the need to feed, the need to kill and the ability to sire an army of followers who will die to defend their maker. And in the premise Eshe will uncover a plot that goes back several generations to gain control of the vampire Queen when she ascends onto the throne.
Blood of the Nile was not an easy read for me. The first half of the book was comparatively slow to the second half and I think it was because there was so much character and world building with regards to our heroine (if you can call her that). Eshe’s personality changed several times on so many different levels, that at one point I thought she was the enemy. She was not an easy character to love.
The secondary characters all play a pivotal role in our heroine’s life but they are numerous and some are very controversial. There are moments of heartbreak and sorrow but there were more dark moments than happy-murders, betrayal, mistrust, kidnapping, assault, slavery, confinement, incest and adultery- the happier times were few and far between. And our heroine is not the picture of perfection. She too has the desire to kill whenever she is displeased.
Blood of the Nile is a dark vampire tale filled with passion-a passion that is mired in betrayal and hate. The love story between Eshe and her mate spanned decades and one that began centuries earlier in another lifetime, between other lovers and mates but even a love as solid as Eshe and Baruti’s left room for doubt and questionable behavior. The storyline was filled with mistrust between lovers and mates, family and friends and one with an ending that was not necessarily a happily ever after.
The first 2/3 of the book was told from Eshe’s point of view and the final 1/3 from her lover and mate Baruti. Baruti’s passion for his mate was tangible through his pathological need for his mate- in this I felt a connection. His need for his mate felt real; It just ….pulled me in: I felt the love: I felt the need; I felt the pain. But once again when the couple is reunited, jealousy and mistrust threaten to engulf their love and everyone who loves them in return.
I had a difficult time, in general, liking Eshe and Baruti. Their inability to trust one another, their thoughts of betrayal, revenge and murder overshadowed their love and thusly fueled my inability to like them together. As a reader, I would suggest patience in the first half of the book, because the second half is well worth the struggle.
Overall, Blood of the Nile is an interesting read. This is not your average vampire romance storyline but a story of love born and bred at the deepest level of one’s DNA. Shireen writes a passionate storyline of love and hate, trust and betrayal and one that you will not forget.
ORDER LINK: Amazon
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Sandy