Some things are not meant to die…
When David stumbles upon a tragic young woman in a sordid Limehouse pub, he has no idea she'd recognize him as the last vampyre alive, nor that she'd be the one to pull out his story. Yet as he recalls his life from the sweltering vineyards of Ancient Rome to the cold horrors of Medieval Romania – as well as his tumultuous past with the mad and mysterious Lucius – he realizes she is much more than what she seems.
Gothic horror and mythological fantasy blend seamlessly together in this thrilling adventure, breathing new life into vampire lore as it reveals its true origins. The Ancient Ones is a tale of myth, mayhem, and magic … with a dash of romance that bites.
(Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from Storytellers On Tour. All opinions in this review are my own and are honest and unbiased.)
From epic battle scenes to heart-wrenching romance, The Ancient Ones by Cassandra L. Thompson was a harrowing gothic tale. There were many nods to traditional vampires, but Thompson made the trope her own. I absolutely loved how she wove various mythologies together. The unique way the deities came to be was fascinating, though convoluted. This was a strong, five-star read right up until the later chapters when the deities' most ancient history was revealed. Their history was so complex that it was hard to follow, and not all of the revelations made sense to me. It was a lot to wrap my head around in such a short time. Furthermore, given the turn of events at the very end, the conclusion felt rushed—even more so because of the cliffhanger.
That said, I very much enjoyed The Ancient Ones. The narrative was dark, compelling, and addictive. The deep, poignant characters swept me off my feet while the realistic, varied settings held me rapt. Thompson's writing style was so smooth that I hated having to put this book down even for a second. I found the historical scope of the novel impressive, and the way the characters' lives were woven into the timeline of our world was interesting. Though I didn't enjoy the last few chapters as much as the previous ones, I easily lost myself in this novel. I highly recommend The Ancient Ones to those looking for an original, touching vampire story that expertly blends gothic horror, dark fantasy, mythology, and historical fiction.
Content Warning: This work contains some violence, murder, and sexual situations.
Gothic horror writer Cassandra L. Thompson has been creating stories since she got her grubby little hands around a pen. An Ohio native, she earned her BA in History from Cleveland State and her MLIS from Kent State. When she is not busy managing a house full of feral children (human and canine), you can find her wandering around cemeteries, taking pictures of abandoned things, exploring lonely patches of woods, or in the library doing research. She is the founder of the gothic fiction press, Quill & Crow Publishing House and she writes short horror stories for her blog, Tales From the Shadows.