Shadows of Desire—A review of Masters of Blood

Published 13 May 2024
by Anca Antoci

Title: Masters of Blood
Author: Karolina Wilde
Released: 07.05.2024
Buy from Amazon
3.46 (read)
Our review:
4.00 (read)

I’ll start by saying that I haven’t read many retellings of the Hades and Persephone myth, so I can’t compare it to other popular retelling. However, ever since I read the book description and requested an ARC from NetGalley, this was one of my most anticipated reads. So, many thanks to Netgalley and the author for allowing me to read "Masters of Blood" before it came out. Without further ado, let’s dive into this spicy fantasy romance.

“Masters of Blood” by Karolina Wilde is a thrilling novel that reimagines the timeless tale of Hades and Persephone through the lens of vampires. The story was fast-paced and easy to read.

Masters of Blood is a retelling of Hades and Persephone, but with vampires and humans. The narrative revolves around Orion, a vampire ruler hailing from the realm of Obridora, and Levana, a princess who is human. During a gathering of leaders, Levana is publicly introduced for the first time in her entire existence, catching Orion’s attention. Orion is instantly attracted to her, but she doesn’t even acknowledge him because vampires have a bad reputation among humans. When Orion discovers that he is promised to the solitary human ruler in their realm, he realizes he must step in, even if it means kidnapping her and potentially initiating a war, to obtain what he desires the most.

What I loved

Karolina Wilde masterfully weaves together elements of passion and plot, creating a story that keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end. The blend of spice and storyline is expertly executed, and I enjoyed the incorporation of the shadows into those scenes as well.

Throughout the narrative, Levana, the FMC, underwent substantial character development. Levana started off as a timid and sheltered girl, lacking emotional maturity and being taken advantage of by her family. With the progression of the story, her self-assurance increased. While I absolutely loved Orion’s character, his quick wit, and his explicit language, I couldn’t help but feel that his character lacked the depth that Levana had. Although we did receive some additional details about him towards the end, I still yearned for more.

What didn’t resonate with me

I enjoyed this story, but I think the pacing occasionally falters, veering between moments of languid exploration and hurried escalation. The climax, in particular, felt somewhat rushed, detracting from the otherwise immersive experience, but the epilogue was quite satisfying. Also, it got a bit repetitive at times.

Tropes and themes

With great finesse, Wilde examines enduring literary tropes and themes, presenting a fresh perspective on the classic story of Hades and Persephone by intertwining it with vampire lore.

- Hades x Persephone retelling

- Enemies to lovers

- Touch her and die

- Shadow magic

- He falls first

One of my favorite quotes:

“Go to hell.”King Orion smirked. “Only if you go with me.”


“Masters of Blood” is an amazing read that vampire romance fans will love. It’s a bit uneven in its pacing and character development, but the premise is captivating and the passion is intense, so it’s definitely a memorable journey. Karolina Wilde’s retelling of a timeless myth will leave readers craving more, eager to lose themselves once again in the shadows of Obridora.

Our final verdict: