Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes by M.R. Noble – Book Review
by Anca Antoci
Author: M.R. Noble
Amazon: 4.10 (buy)
Our review: 5.00 (read)
The first thing that got my attention was the dedication:
This book is dedicated to every down-on-her-luck-woman out there who needs a reminder that her inner strength is the sharpest tool she has.
We see the story unfold from Karo’s perspective and get to experience a rollercoaster of emotions along with her. Karolina Dalca was born in Romania (which was exciting for me to hear considering I am Romanian), but then her mother moved to Canada. Now she dreams of being an investigator and works hard to achieve that. But her plans go awry when her mother is killed in the crossfire of a dryad hunt and the police blame her, forcing her to flee to Romania, looking for her father’s side of the family which is a mystery soon to be solved.
Karo is half vampire and half gypsy, so she combines the magic abilities of both – the vampire’s strength (and in her case, fire magic) and the gypsy’s earth magic. M.R. Noble’s vampires are born, not made and they can father children. I enjoyed this twist of the vampire lore.
She’s assisted by two men in her journey: Roman – a werewolf she’s known all her life and Andre – a vampire sent by her uncle who gains her trust by helping her out of a difficult situation. A well-balanced love triangle starts forming as the trio is on the run and fighting to evade the assassins sent by Karo’s other uncle.
The story reads like a thriller in a fantasy setting. Karo is a very likable character although at times she makes some questionable decisions that put her in danger.
In her quest, Karo gets dragged through the underbelly of the Eastern European vampire society which is run pretty much like the mob. It’s an unpleasant world hidden from unsuspecting humans, with gory details typical of vampire horrors.
There’s not a single dull moment and we get a few plot twists and humorous moments, like a temporary body swap. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil the story for you.
I recommend this novel to all urban fantasy lovers. It ends in a very satisfying way which also sets the way for the sequel.