Where it all began… Magiere has earned a reputation as the most formidable vampire slayer in the land. Villagers far and wide welcome her with both awe and disdain, grateful to her for ridding their towns of the undead menace, but finding themselves made poorer for their salvation. Now, tired of the game, Magiere and her partner, the half-elf Leesil, are ready to hang up their weapons and settle down in a place they can finally call home. But their new found peace will not last. For Magiere has come to the attention of a trio of powerful and dangerous vampires who recognize her true identity — even if she does not — and who fear the birthright that flows through her veins. And they will stop at nothing to keep Magiere from fulfilling her destiny.
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Shelves: fantasy This was a regular fantasy story that read a lot like an UF in terms of feel and style. I liked the weird mixing of genres and felt it really worked for this story. Magiere is a travelling vampire hunter. She is in high demand with the local villages as she has a fearsome reputation of always getting the job done. A job that is made a lot easier by the fact that she is actually a con artist and the "vampire" she rids the villages of is her business partner and travelling companion Leesil!
Things This was a regular fantasy story that read a lot like an UF in terms of feel and style. Things go awry for the duo when their last job, before retiring to run a tavern, sees them run into an actual vampire. It was a fun story. Neither Magiere or her half-elf companion Leesil believed in vampires so they took a bit of time to realize they had run up against a nest of true vampires and before they knew it they were being dragged into a war with a group of them despite the fact that they were trying to retire to the quiet life.
The fantasy world was a fun one. It was a fairly average medieval European setting but mixed in a bunch of fantasy creatures like elves, vampires, ghosts, and even a magic dog! Magiere and Leesil were not your average fantasy heroes as they started out as con artists and then after that mostly just wanted to live in peace but I did eventually warm to the duo and found them easy to root for. We got hints in this opening book that both characters had interesting and mysterious backgrounds that they had not even gotten around to sharing with each other.
I felt that added real depth to the story as the group of vampires all had their own distinct personalities and had dreams, motivations, and backstories of their own. It was so successful a ploy that I actually found myself sympathizing with the vampires at times in the various battles!
It really makes a big difference to any story when the reader is invested in the characters from both sides of a conflict. That is so much more satisfying that just a simple monster squashing tale! The writing felt weirdly stilted but that did not seem to hurt the tale any as I got sucked into the story and found this a pretty compelling read.
This was actually a reread for me as I read this way back in the day but the truth is it was a lot like a first read as it had been so long that I did not remember a thing about the story outside of the fact that Magiere was a dhampir.
I had some vague memories of what this series was in general and what its strengths and weaknesses are and it seems my memories were spot on in that regard. All in all I was quite happy with this. Rating: 4 stars.
In Series 1, Book 1, S1B2: Dhampir, Magiere is unaware of her inner nature, the discovery of which leads the trio into a tangled path that uncovers hints of the Forgotten History and of what may be coming by the end of Series 1. Eventually the inevitable happens; they cross paths with genuine vampires, one form of the Noble Dead or highest form[s] of the undead. These charlatans are plunged unwillingly into a dark reality of true undead and into their own dark fates as well as other personal secrets they kept hidden even from each other. The answers are bigger than any of them wish to acknowledge, aside from a wandering nobleman named Welstiel Massing who shadows their movements and is always too eager to goad Magiere out of hiding and force her onward. This series also introduces readers to the second spiritual form of the three major forms of Noble Dead, the first being the vampire physical form as encountered previously.
Dhampir (Noble Dead Series #1)
Shelves: fantasy This was a regular fantasy story that read a lot like an UF in terms of feel and style. I liked the weird mixing of genres and felt it really worked for this story. Magiere is a travelling vampire hunter. She is in high demand with the local villages as she has a fearsome reputation of always getting the job done. A job that is made a lot easier by the fact that she is actually a con artist and the "vampire" she rids the villages of is her business partner and travelling companion Leesil! Things This was a regular fantasy story that read a lot like an UF in terms of feel and style. Things go awry for the duo when their last job, before retiring to run a tavern, sees them run into an actual vampire.
Noble Dead Saga: Series 1 by Barb Hendee
Magiere acts as the hunter and Leesil appears as the vampire and fakes being killed. After one such "game", Magiere and their canine companion Chap , encounter a real vampire named Parko. After defeating Parko, Magiere reveals that she is done with the game and they will be settling down in the city of Miiska at the tavern she has bought with her savings. Magiere and Leesil head over to their new tavern and meet with the caretakers Caleb and Beth-rae. Their first night in town, they are greeted by a mysterious stranger. A body is found in town and rumors begin to spread around that a hunter of the undead is now in Miiska.