The Vampire Queen's Servant
The Vampire Queen’s Servant by Joey W. Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s probably fair to assume that anyone with a passing interest in vampire mythology will have come across stories in which a vampire had a servant. Someone who protected them during the day, looked after the vampire’s interests and / or a general dogsbody. Indeed, in some books, they’ve even been termed ‘Renfields’ after the mad man who fell under Dracula’s influence in Bram Stoker’s novel.

On top of that, vampires are one of the staples of paranormal romances (PNRs).

And yet The Vampire Queen’s Servant is still like no other book I’ve read. For a start, as can be ascertained by the title, the vampire in question is a woman and being the queen, Lady Lyssa is also the oldest and most powerful still alive.

Her previous servant; Thomas apparently died some months prior to start of the book, but not before he found and began to train a replacement; Jacob. I initially typed ‘suitable replacement’ but Jacob, at the start, even as observed by Lyssa is probably the most unsuitable person to be a servant. This is because in the normal, mortal world, he would be an alpha male and as such has understandable difficulty in giving his mistress the total submission that she demands.

And therein lies why this is a different book to most I’ve read; the BDSM element is the heaviest that I’ve encountered. Saying that though, for the most part it’s not extreme. I say the most part but there are some scenes involving what I think is called ‘sounding’, whipping and rape. But whilst the scenes between Lyssa and Jacob start out as something purely sexual with Lyssa quickly establishing her dominance, they quickly begin to morph into something more when the pair also begin to bond to each other on an emotional level.

It’s a credit to the writing that whilst I understood Jacob’s feelings on the subject of the level of submission required, I could also understand where Lyssa was coming from in that vampire politics is vicious and any weakness can be deadly. Given that Lyssa appears to have the same affliction that claimed her servant, appearing to be in complete control of herself and Jacob is a priority.

Aside from the most erotic dinner party, vampire politics are only sometimes mentioned and there is sense of a wider world out there because it is mentioned that whilst vampires are rare, not only is Lyssa the queen, she was also a major factor in the creation of a vampire council. The most powerful vampires such as Lyssa also have their own territories or regions and woe betide any vampire that enters without an invitation.

That said though, with little world building and a small cast, this leaves the focus of the book on Lyssa, Jacob and although Thomas died, he is still a major influential character.

Finally, whilst The Vampire Queen’s Servant doesn’t end on a cliff hanger, things aren’t wholly resolved such as Lyssa’s illness which is a threat to her’s and Jacob’s burgeoning relationship. As such, this is book one of Lyssa’s and Jacob’s story and is continued in The Mark of the Vampire Queen.

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