Saturday, June 11, 2016

Review: Triad Blood by 'Nathan Burgoine

'Nathan Burgoine is a favorite writer. I read Triad Blood as soon as it released, and was not disappointed, but then, that was never an expectation.
The law of three is unbroken: three vampires form a coterie, three demons make a pack, and three wizards are a coven. That is how it has always been, and how it was always to be.

But Luc, Anders, and Curtis—vampire, demon, and wizard—have cheated tradition. Their bond is not coterie, pack, or coven, but something else. Thrust into the supernatural politics ruling Ottawa from behind the shadows, they face Renard, a powerful vampire who harbors deadly secrets of his own and wishes to end their threat. The enemy they know conjures fire and death at every turn. The enemies they don’t know are worse.

Blood, soul, and magic gave them freedom. Now they need to survive it.
Characterization and world-building make this urban fantasy a success. The characters, however, are the first to ensnare the reader, as Burgoine first establishes the all-important emotional connection and continually deepens characterization throughout the story. Additionally, the personalities are different and provide a balance between the characters.

Luc is an old-world, suave, sensual vampire with a cynicism and ruthless toughness built through centuries of living as a lone vampire not allowed to feed except during the full moon. He brings power and the experience of dealing with vampire coteries and their politics to the triad. Rejected and continually beaten by the demon packs because he is gay, Anders is a brash, crass, in-your-face sexual, incubus demon. He is a complex, contradictory character whose tattooed muscled-bound body hides a sensitive side, and whose sarcastic humor overshadows a wicked intelligence and caring personality. Curtis is a young, cute, lovable, powerful wizard, and the center of the triad. He is beloved by Luc and Anders for his pure soul, kindness and naiveté, but rejected by wizard covens for having been born to 'non-magical' parents. For that reason, Curtis is considered an 'Orphan' and banned from using magic. He is the catalyst to this story, and the character whose good decisions and/or mistakes drive the plot forward.

Burgoine's sets his urban fantasy world in Ottawa, Canada where he resides. I love the setting and that he utilizes the fact that Ottawa is a 'government town' in the world-building and plot. First, we have the ancient, powerful, cold-hearted vampires and their coteries. They are expert manipulators and merciless killers when seeking power among themselves or fighting against others. Then, we have the wizard covens living by strict guidelines set by mob-like "Families" who don't hesitate to murder in cold blood when their rules are broken. And last, there are the obviously homophobic demon packs whose main purpose is to procreate by stealing souls to gain power. Note: although demons (incubus and other) as individuals are drawn in an excellent fashion, in this world, the demons as packs were not as clearly defined.

I finished Triad Blood in two sittings only because I couldn't stay up all night reading, the plot was that good. Burgoine did an excellent job of pulling everything together: the characters, world-building, and plot. Luc, Anders, and Curtis just want to live in peace but someone or a few someones cannot let such a powerful triad stick around, particularly such an unorthodox one. The attacks and murder attempts begin small, but soon they gain momentum and get more violent in nature. All three investigate, and with help from a few friends and frenemies, they slowly begin to make sense of what is happening. There are unforgettable secondary characters, including a couple of villains, but mostly characters that I would love to see again. The book ends with an action-packed climactic scene, a few unanswered questions, and what I think of as a great beginning.

Do you know what I loved about this book, besides the characters, world-building and plot? The theme(s): Outsiders: three people who don't belong where they should. Diversity: three people who are so different it should be impossible for them to be anything more than careful enemies. Family: Having been rejected by their own, they forge a strong friendship and become a loyal family. Additionally, despite the use of the word "triad" on the title, this urban fantasy does not focus on erotica or traditional romance. This is UF and although there is loving, sexual scenes appear only when necessary -- no gratuitous sex.

'Nathan Burgoine is a talented writer. He has the right touch whether he chooses to write his exquisite short works or full-length novels, speculative fiction, romance, fiction, erotica or urban fantasy. Burgoine's first novel, Light, and most of his short works appear all over my favorite books lists. I can safely say that Triad Blood is highly recommended. And, hopefully, this is the first of an urban fantasy series.

Category: Urban Fantasy - LGBT
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Grade: B+
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Upcoming short, informative post: 'Nathan Burgoine⎪Bonus: Triad Blood Connected Shorts

3 comments:

  1. This sounds great! I'll have to check it out - I know you've mentioned Burgoine before, but I don't think I've read any of his books yet.

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    Replies
    1. Li, I recommend his works, both short stories and his two full-length novels. Try this one first since it caught your attention, afterwards, you may want to look for the rest. :)

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