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With a multi-layered and suspenseful plot and dark atmosphere, “The Serpent and the Wings of Night” is a gripping page-turner.

The Serpent and the Wings of Night

Hardcover edition, Barnes and Noble

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Would you have the courage to face vampires in a fight to the death? Oraya, a human raised in vampire society, finds herself in this dilemma and more in Carissa Broadbent’s The Serpent and the Wings of Night.

In Obitraes, humans and vampires coexist. Three vampire houses live in Obitraes: The House of Night, The House of Shadow, and The House of Blood. Nyaxia, the goddess of death, created vampires 2,000 years ago. Two races of vampires, the Hiaj and Rishan, have been rivals since their creation. Once every century, drawn by the promise of power, vampires from every house travel to compete in the Kejari, a four-month-long tournament to the death held in Nyaxia’s honor.

The winner receives a gift from the goddess herself. The House of Night hosts the Kejari every century. However, this century’s tournament has an interesting twist — a human will compete.

Nightborn Hiaj King Vincent adopted and raised Oraya in his castle in the House of Night. In Obitraes, humans live in a dangerous slum. Although she grew up in a palace as a king’s adopted daughter, Oraya’s life hasn’t been simple. For her safety, Oraya is isolated. Vincent taught her to be on guard. Oraya trusts no other vampires.

For most of her life, Vincent trains Oraya to fight. Although the odds are against her, Oraya is determined to compete in the Kejari; her survival depends on it. She’s determined to win the ultimate prize from Nyaxia.

To survive the tournament, Oraya makes a difficult decision to trust another vampire, Raihn, who is Rishan.

The Serpent and the Wings of Night is the first book in a new series, which invites the reader into a world in which vampires and humans coexist and magic is an everyday reality.

A captivating story from start to finish, Broadbent injects realism into the fantastical.

Oraya is a strong main character, a survivor in a world where she is prey. Oraya is tough and courageous while also cautious and intelligent. She’s watchful and always ready to defend herself. Broadbent vividly portrays Oraya’s conflict, determination, and complex relationship with her vampire father, Vincent. She also creates suspense with Oraya’s mysterious childhood.

Vivid characters populate this world, and the drama never ends from start to finish. The prose is insightful and reflective, and the fight scenes are action-packed.

Broadbent creates a believable kingdom of ruthless vampires. Her winged vampires are far removed from humanity and mercilessly prey on humans. However, there is a vampire-human romantic subplot that lends realism to the story by creating a diverse cast.

Ruthless and bloodthirsty describe many of the vampires populating Obitraes, but there are exceptions.

At 452 pages, this is not a quick read, but the rich, dark, and poetic prose makes every sentence and scene enjoyable.

Author Carissa Broadbent

The story is complex, but Broadbent doesn’t info dump. She takes her time developing every layer, which creates suspense.

The plot is multi-faceted, with something for everyone: political intrigue, action-packed fight scenes, family drama, and a slow-brewing romance. Broadbent isn’t afraid to delve into the darker aspects of the story with bloodthirsty vampires willing to maim or kill their own families in a relentless quest for power. She doesn’t shy away from violence and bloodshed.

I couldn’t help but think of the Underworld movie series as I read this.

While a vampire-dominated society and vampire-human romance are not original concepts, Broadbent crafts her story with an original twist.

What she offers is a fresh tale, a truly dark vampire story with elements of horror and vividly drawn characters, complete with a strong female lead.

The Serpent and the Wings of Night is currently available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Carissa Broadbent is the author of The Crowns of Nyaxia and The War of Lost Hearts series.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 5

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