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REVIEW: The Vampire Queen’s Servant by Joey Hill

Dear Ms. Hill:

The Vampire Queen\'s ServantWhen I was perusing the Penguin catalog, the striking cover grabbed my eye. I then saw that you were the author of said book and thought to myself that I had to have this book. Unfortunately, this was back in December and the book wasn’t due out until July. I knew that sometimes authors had copies of books before professional arcs were made and with a little brazenness, okay alot of brazenness, I emailed you and asked if you might not share a copy with me. Perhaps some of my desperateness showed through because you complied.

It’s a dangerous thing to ask for a book because what if I don’t like it? What then? But, you are the story witch and you wove a spell from which I could not extricate myself. This vampire story was powerful, dark, and feral. These are vampires at their most primal, given over to their lust for power and for blood and some, like Lyssa, the Queen, are holding onto their position by a tenuous thread. Lady Elyssa was the Vampire Queen, the last living descendant of the original royal clan of the Far East. She helped shape the vampire council and the laws the governed vampires so that their predatory nature did not lead to their own destruction. There is an increasing struggle for dominance between the “born” vampires and the “made” vampires. Many of the made vampires, in their immaturity, fail to realize that the rules and structure are in place for the preservation of their kind. Elyssa is not only old and powerful, but she is a symbol, one that her enemies would give anything to destroy.

It’s possible, though, that they will not have to for Elyssa is suffering from some kind of illness and she fears that she will lose control, give in to bloodlust and go mad. Her last human servant, Thomas, has left her and passed away. He has sent Jacob to Lyssa, believing that Jacob will be a suitable replacement. Jacob is not sure what drew him to Lyssa but since the first, when he learned of her, of what he could be to her, he determined that no one else would serve her while he drew breath.

Jacob is not a man used to serving even though that is the role he has set before him. Lyssa reluctantly takes him in but what proceeds is a fierce power struggle because Jacob’s view of a human servant is different than Lyssa. Lyssa believes she must have complete submission from Jacob for any misstep from Jacob would be viewed as a sign of Lyssa’s weakness. Given that she is weak, she must, at all costs, not appear weak. Jacob believes that he can supplant Lyssa’s decision making at times. Both learn that they are wrong.

Truly, I think this is the story that Laurell K Hamilton is trying to write but fails. It has the complicated vampire politics and each character is just waiting for another to falter. The erotic nature of the vampires, their love for blood and sex, is both base and beautiful. The story succeeds at bringing out the sexuality without it devolving into a pornscapade.

The worst part of this book is that it is only part 1 of a two part series. While Jacob and Lyssa find love with one another, there is danger looming on the horizon both with Lyssa’s illness and the forthcoming clash of vampire cultures. At times I felt anxious turning the page because the torments that Lyssa and Jacob suffered seemed so real to me. I was truly lost in the world.

If I were to describe the work, it would dark, evocative and feral. I don’t know where the story is going, but I’m in it for the long haul, no matter what future holds for Lyssa and Jacob. It was clear to me at the end of this part of the story that the completion that they were looking for is found in each other's arms. A

Best regards,


Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Tara Marie
    Jul 06, 2007 @ 12:37:38

    Wow, this is going on my TBB list. If this review is anything to go by, I do believe it’s exactly what I’m looking for in a horror/romance hybrid.

  2. BevL(QB)
    Jul 06, 2007 @ 12:38:14

    PHEW! I just picked this one up with very little advanced information other than it SOUNDS intriguing. So it’s good to know my Reader Instincts have steered me in the right direction again.

  3. Meljean
    Jul 06, 2007 @ 13:19:56

    I’m dying for this book to come in. I pre-ordered it along with Wild, Wild West, though, so it’ll be August before I see it (and HelenKay’s). *cries*

  4. Chantal
    Jul 06, 2007 @ 14:17:14

    I am SO excited for this book. So far I have loved everything of Joey W Hill’s that I have read, and I know that I wont be disappointed with this one.
    You have an arc, you lucky duck.

  5. Charlene Teglia
    Jul 06, 2007 @ 14:52:24

    I’ve been drooling over this for months. Nobody writes like Joey Hill.

    Meljean, thank you and sorry you have to wait!

  6. kardis
    Jul 06, 2007 @ 15:59:36

    I have been dying to get my hands on this book! However, in the interest of not failing my final exam tomorrow I may have to wait another day, although this review is making that a difficult task. Thanks a lot, Jane!

  7. EC Sheedy
    Jul 06, 2007 @ 17:19:32

    Oh, great! Thanks, Jane. After this review, I have to rush out and buy another vampire book. Everybody knows I don’t read vampires . . . Yeah, right! This book sounds luscious! Goddess, but I love reader blogs. You meet the best people!

  8. Devon
    Jul 06, 2007 @ 17:48:35

    Can’t wait for this one. I love Joey Hill. She writes incredibly hot (and sometimes extreme) sex, without sacrificing character development or romance.

  9. Sarah Frantz
    Jul 06, 2007 @ 18:51:55

    I own it! I bought it at B&N today, and now I have to see if I have the willpower to wait another ten days to read it when I’m on a plane to South Africa. I’m not sure I’ll be able to manage it. Even the cover is beautiful and all excerpts I’ve read so far have been stunning.

  10. Robin
    Jul 06, 2007 @ 22:28:31

    Mine just arrived from Amazon today. I need to wait until after the Bar exam is over to read it, though.

    Meljean, did you order through Amazon? If so, why not join Amazon Prime? Free two day shipping on everything sold by Amazon (including the fab Hoover steam cleaner I bought from them) and overnight for like 3.99. And you can order one item at a time. At $80 bucks a year, it’s one of the few conveniences I have that’s actually a bargain!

  11. jaq
    Jul 07, 2007 @ 13:04:43

    This sounds right up my alley…. except for the submissive hero (which is one of my few reading turn offs.) From experience I know I’d be grinding my teeth every time it was ‘shown’ in the book. Does Ms. Hill write books without a sub male as hero?

  12. Patrice Michelle
    Jul 07, 2007 @ 18:42:22

    Joey is a fantastic author all around.

  13. Gwen
    Jul 07, 2007 @ 22:44:54

    Jaq – He’s not submissive in the way you might be thinking. I believe you would be really surprised by this book. It’s really fantastic.

  14. Josie
    Jul 08, 2007 @ 18:12:18

    I really have to get a copy of this, it sounds fabulous. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a submissive hero so I’m quite curious!

  15. Tracy Cubberly
    Oct 15, 2007 @ 01:31:50

    I loved this story. I read it about 2 mos ago and I for one can’t wait till book 2 comes out. I have never read this author and she is on my top favorite authors and one to watch. This really is a love story about a servant and the queen, if Alyssa loves Jacob, no one can ever know it, but those two and it breaks your heart. In the scene when Jacob has to do some things to another servant (actually two) he looks at Alyssa the whole time with love and hate in his eyes. I was hooked! I am hoping book 2 captivates me as well.

  16. Chelsey-Trotty
    Apr 27, 2011 @ 13:38:50

    i have never read it but i want to but they dont have it down here in slaton or lubbock so sad :( sad face

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