Reparation in blood by Ariel Tachna

The war is at a fever pitch with both sides stretched to the limit, when the dark wizards score a shocking victory and capture Orlando St. Clair. Haggard with worry and grief at the separation from his lover, Alain fears that even if they find Orlando, the vampire’s heart and mind may be far too broken to save.
Knowing the Alliance teeters on the brink, Christophe Lombard, the oldest, most powerful vampire in Paris leaves his self-imposed seclusion to join the fight. Alain’s lost friend Eric Simonet, who betrayed him to join the dark wizards, is faced with a choice between revenge and redemption. And Jean, enraged by Orlando’s capture, faces the most agonizing decision in his unlife as the final battle looms: Will their actions lead to the shattering of the Alliance or the salvation of the world?

Finally I read the long awaited last instalment of the Partnership in Blood series by Ariel Tachna, “Reparation in blood”.

It is quite some time ago that I read “Conflict in blood” and even longer that I read the two previous books (I reviewed Conflict in blood in May 09). I know now that I should have re-read it before reading this. Some situations that were mentioned I had totally forgotten and they left me wondering what people were talking about. I strongly recommend that you re-read at least the third book in the series before you start with this one. Not because you won’t be able to enjoy Reparation in blood but simply in order to get the most out of it.

I’m not going to go into how much I like the series or Ariel’s writing. I already said enough about that in my previous reviews. I’d rather comment on some things that happened in the book instead.

Right on the first page it is clear that Alain is beside himself. Like in the last book I found the difference in how Alain and Orlando kept themselves up astonishing. I would have thought it would be just the other way around. As it happened Alain was a complete wreck, snarking at people, using language I’d never have expected from him and generally acting irrationally and unreasonably (even if all this was understandable). Orlando, however, was strong, withstood Serrier and kept cool and calm.

The main pairings again play important roles and develop their relationships into something more or, like in the case of the love/hate couple Jude and Adele, into a strictly business partnership. Those two might have found their match, but how that match will ever turn out positively I don’t know.

David and Angelique finally overcome their misgivings and find each other. This was done in such a sweet way that those two quickly became one of my favourites of this book.

Monique and Antonio didn’t play a big part in this book at all. Monique was mentioned a few times, but only by people on the other side as the prime example of a successful defector, and a bit later on when we hear about her sentence after she was tried.

What I liked was the fact that the war was not dragged out ad infinitum, but ended somewhere in the second half of the book. A lot of time was spent on describing how things were wrapped up and how people dealt with loose ends. In fact I found that the war ended rather abruptly. I didn’t mind that, but I would have expected a longer battle. Once the milice finally found Serrier’s hiding hole, however, they made short work of him (with some help admittedly).

After the war we hear more about the aveu de sang together with Thierry who learns something about it he doesn’t like too much. All the time I was hoping along with him, only to see my hopes crushed in one sentence.

Lots of things get wrapped up nicely. Eric’s friendship with Alain and Thierry gets, well, re-established might be too strong a word, but at least they get over the animosities and maybe will find back to how it used to be.

The extorris Couthon is dealt with swiftly, something, I’m sure, every reader wanted to see. One of the most interesting points was a short flashback into Orlando’s past that told us more about his first days as a free vampire after Thurloe was executed.

Vincent’s trial takes place as well, so we see a glimpse of what the future will bring to him and Eric.

There is an epilogue which I liked a lot. It finishes Alain’s and Orlando’s story off, so we won’t have to deal with them again. I loved the couple from page one, but in the second half of “Reparation in blood” they became too sweet for me. I didn’t think that was possible, but, yes, it was.

Ariel is writing a sequel about one of the couples, set about a year after the war, she said. So what couple could that possibly be? As far as I am concerned I’d like to know more about either David and Angelique, but even those two seem to be in sync now and don’t need any further exploration. So I’d settle for the couple I love to hate, Jude and Adele. Their situation is not clear at all, we have no idea what their future as a couple (if they ARE a couple at all) will be like and there is enough tension and potential for conflict to keep the story going.

So, as the last book in a series, it brought everything to a satisfying end, but leaves enough room for more. I’m looking forward to it.

If you are interested to read my thoughts about the first three books in the series, you can find them below: 
Alliance in Blood
Covenant in Blood
Conflict in Blood

Available at Dreamspinner Press

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