Twilight Forever Rising takes vampires and the intricate group of “families” they form and breathes life into the undead. Instead of just thinking of the characters as vampires, they became unique people, each with their own motivations, wants and fears. With this novel, the reader is left to contemplate just how complicated it is to live forever.
The narrator changes several times in this novel, but the main viewpoint presented is that of Darel, a member of the Dahanavar Clan, a group ruled by female vampires renowned for their beauty, political and social adeptness, and their desire to protect humans. Darel is an empath who is able to scan the emotions and thoughts of others, which makes him a potent asset to his clan. He prefers the company of humans because their life and emotions feeds his own ability to feel, something that all vampires lose over time. He falls in love with a human girl, Loraine, and he must protect her from his dangerous world as the tension simmers between the various families, most of which want to have ultimate control over the world and humans.
Other viewpoints show that even the most predatory and unlikable of the vampires have traits and motivations that seem identifiably human, despite their supercilious disregard and disdain for humanity. Miklosh, who is the Nachtotter, the leader of the most vicious and predatory of the vampire clans, comes to life as we see his view of things. In his mind, his kind has the right to use and kill humans, for they are merely food, and vampires, or Blood Brothers, as they prefer being known, are far above them in their superiority.
My other favorite character besides Darel was his friend Chris, an ancient member of the Cadavercitan family, who are skilled in necromantic magic. Even with his extreme age and his penchant for avoiding humans, he still has a humane nature and a sense of decency and honor which I would not have expected of such a powerful sorcerer.
In addition to the detail that the author puts into establishing these characters as unique individuals who happen to be vampires, I really liked how Ms. Meydan’s vampire world is full of magic and sorcery. Instead of fighting in the down-and-dirty style expected of vampires nowadays, her characters use their magical abilities. Each house possesses its own magic, helping to make them distinct from each other. This magic element made this story that much more interesting, in addition to giving this story a dark, sinister and atmospheric vibe I found very appealing.
Twilight Forever Rising is very much a character-driven story, although machinations, plots and intrigues sometimes erupt into life threatening situations for the characters that up the ante. It was quite suspenseful trying to predict what each clan leader had up his or her sleeve in a quest for power and waiting to see the fallout of each power play. Readers who enjoy urban fantasy that has world-building very dependent on intricate characterization will enjoy this novel. I have been a vampire fiction reader for a long time but I must say that I found something unique and very intriguing in this novel, and it makes me want to read more in this world of vampire clans that Ms. Meydan has created.
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (September 28, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765326795
- ISBN-13: 978-0765326799