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Romance and other things

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Triad Blood - Nathan Burgoine

The law of three is unbroken: three vampires form a coterie, three demons make a pack, and three wizards are a coven. That is how it has always been, and how it was always to be. But Luc, Anders, and Curtis-vampire, demon, and wizard-have cheated tradition. Their bond is not coterie, pack, or coven, but something else. Thrust into the supernatural politics ruling Ottawa from behind the shadows, they face Renard, a powerful vampire who harbors deadly secrets of his own and wishes to end their threat. The enemy they know conjures fire and death at every turn. The enemies they don't know are worse. Blood, soul, and magic gave them freedom. Now they need to survive it.

Warning for those who does not like this – our heroes have an open relationship of the sorts. I say of the sorts because there is a paranormal angle to it, but two out of three heroes are not monogamous. More explanation in the review.

Review:

Dear Nathan Burgoine, I really enjoyed your novel “Light”, but have not read any of the short stories you wrote. I was hoping that one day you will decide to write another novel and when I saw that you did, I one clicked and preordered. For the most part I really liked it, although I am really curious whether you forgot to resolve what I considered to be a pretty important plot point or was it meant to remain unresolved.

“A vampire, a demon, and a wizard walk into a bar,” Anders said. “If that’s a joke,” Curtis said, “please tell me the punch line is ‘and they lived happily ever after,’ okay?”

Apparently in the world of this story in order to be allowed to live in peace in the magical scene of Ottava, magical beings have to coexist in the groups of three. As blurb tells you, three vampires form a coterie, three demons make a pack,three wizards are a coven. I was a little bit confused whether the number larger than three still should be able to be dividable by three or not, because some coteries had more members than that, but none had less. Lone vampires, wizards or demons usually have issues in their everyday lives and seek to belong to the group. It was unclear to me whether the magical beings which do not belong to these three groups also have to be in the group of three, but that was not really important to the story.

As blurb tells you our main characters formed something different than everybody seems to form – three species joined together and the result had been extremely powerful Triad, and they are still learning the effects and possibilities of their joining when the story begins. I believe it had been several weeks since they joined together (well Curtis the wizard tricked them into binding because he wanted to be safe from harassment of some of his fellow wizards and Luc and Anders were trying to pick him up.

 

Now, they are kind of dating and trying to establish or reestablish their position in the magical scene of Ottava. Only somebody clearly does not like them - in the very beginning of the story somebody sends them a letter which gets itself on fire once Anders picks it up and if Luc would have picked it up his injuries would have been much worse and he probably could have died.

The men are not sure who has a problem with them, but very soon after this Luc gets a letter which is basically an invitation to seanse – meeting of the leaders of Ottava coteries and their two closest companions. Several not very pleasant things take place at the seanse and it becomes clear that Renard has a beef with them. The guys just have no idea why he has a beef with them. I had no idea either, but I assumed that I will learn as soon as the book will end. I was wrong.

I thought that the book was a paranormal adventure with romantic elements. Our trio realizes very soon that Renard is not a good guy and he has to go and them taking a stand and making sure that their goals are met is the main storyline of the book.

I really enjoyed how this book was written. I thought it achieved a good balance of adventure and the guys continuing to figure out what they want from their relationship, what they are for each other and how it will work. And they figure out relationship stuff amongst almost constant danger their lives are in, so they do not have time to sit around and do angsty stuff. This is the type of story which if well done, resonates with me the most. Guys have stuff to do besides them being in love and we can see that their relationship is moving forward too, while they are doing other important stuff. I also liked the humor in the dialogue and humorous moments really worked for me.

“You have a job?” Curtis said. He paused, holding the next piece of mail. Anders shrugged. “Really?” Curtis pressed. “Like a real job? For grownups? What is it?” Luc waited for the demon to answer, but Anders just shrugged again. Curtis shook his head. “Huh.” He looked at Luc. “He has a job. Did you know that?” “I didn’t,” Luc said. “I assumed he pilfered the wallets of his street trash.” Anders rolled his eyes. “You’re both fucking hilarious.” He reached out and grabbed the envelope Curtis was holding. “Occupant. I’m an occupant.”"

I want to expand a little bit on my warning in the beginning. Basically Luc needs to feed and Anders needs to feed. Luc feeds on his sex partners and Anders does the same because he is an incubus, although he feeds from their souls. I did not think either of them wanted to feed on Curtis, so they periodically went out to find somebody else. Curtis knew and did not seem to mind. It did not bother me at all, but beware if you like your romance heroes to be only with each other. I was actually curious how their relationship would evolve because while Curtis says flat out that Anders just cannot do monogamy no such comment was made about Luc. Not that I had an issue with how things were between them, I was just wondering about it. These three had such interesting personalities that I definitely wanted to know more about them.

Since these are magical beings and Curtis is a wizard, magic is a huge part of the set up and I was curious to learn how it works in this world. I cannot say that I learned everything I wanted to know, but I learned enough. It seemed that the author really thought through the magical rules for this story and I enjoyed it. Here is a little glimpse for you of someone who does magic differently from Curtis.

"…you impose. I ask.” “If I ask,” Curtis said, trying not to rise to the bait, “things can blow up. If don’t impose, I won’t be in control of what happens. For me, it’s inside.” He touched the center of his chest. “It’s like a living thing, and it wants out. It wants to be used. If I give it an inch, it will take every mile it can manage.” Curtis sighed. “I have to be careful every time I speak a word I don’t use very often. I know you find the way magic works distasteful, I guess, but that’s how it is.” Eli didn’t speak for a few moments. “Lend strength for meditation, to calm the mind, or to ease pain, I think.” Curtis blinked. “Pardon?” “The spirits here. That’s what I could ask of them.” He looked at Curtis. “But they could refuse. If I wasn’t truly looking for something they wanted to associate with, they could just refuse to answer.”"

I would recommend this book without hesitation if you enjoy paranormal magical adventure with gay romantic storyline and some low key social commentary, but I have to note one annoyance that I mentioned in the beginning,

 I still have no idea why the bad guy whom they decided  to fight  was targeting them in the first place. In the foreword the author mentions that he wrote short stories with these guys in various anthologies, so maybe the answer was there, but I do not think that I should have to read short stories elsewhere in order to understand what is happening in the novel. I also realize that  the answer could be just because they were powerful they were a threat to him, but I definitely thought that this was too simple.

Grade: B/B+