For the last 300 years, Zoltan Czakvar has been the Coven Master of Eastern Europe for the Vamps and since the year 1241, he has been searching for answers of who destroyed his village when he was a teenager and killed his father. His only clue is an arrow with strange markings on it. He knows very little about where his mother had come from, maybe the East, but he knew that she could communicate with animals and birds. He inherited the ability but can only speak with mammals not birds.
When Russell, a Vamp who has been searching for Master Han, shows up to be restocked on synthetic blood, Zoltan notices he has an arrow just like the one that killed his father. Russell refuses to tell him where he got it so when Russell teleports away, Zoltan grabs onto him and hitches a ride. They end up near the Himalayan Mountains where he locates a village and starts asking questions about the arrow. The villagers are too afraid of the people who made the arrows to answer any questions so he starts searching the surrounding areas for answers.
Neona is a warrior woman from the secret valley of Beyul-La. No men are allowed to see Beyul-La and nobody besides the warrior woman can know about their sacred duty. Two weeks ago, they lost five women including Neona’s twin sister in a battle against Master Han and his soldiers. Now there are only six remaining women. When an owl warns the queen that there is an intruder in the nearby valley, she orders the women to find him. If he is a good specimen for fatherhood, sleep with him and then kill him. Neona and her pet leopard find the intruder before the other women find him. She thinks he would be a fine specimen to father a daughter so she tries to seduce him. Zoltan sees that she has the same kind of arrows that killed his fathers and wants more answers. Though he is extremely attracted to Neona, he does not sleep with her and agrees to meet her again in secret without the other women knowing.
There are so many questions that Zoltan needs answered like what are the women guarding? The water in the cave in Beyul-La keeps the women young but is that what they are guarding? Why are only women allowed there? After he has discovered the warrior women, Russell tells him that he fought with the women against Master Han’s soldiers and saved the queen. He was seriously injured so the women nursed him back to health and let him live as long as he kept their existence secret. Now Master Han wants whatever the women are guarding so Zoltan and the Vamps need to help them.
Zoltan and Neona fall in love but Neona has made a sacred vow to stay and guard Beyul-La. How can she be with Zoltan when she has to stay in Beyul-La where men are not allowed?
There is a lot going on in this book. I liked this story and it had the usual humor that I love about Kerrelyn Sparks’ writing but once again the word ‘winced’ was overused. It was used 72 times in this book. I just can’t get over it. It bugs me something fierce.
While I was reading this book, I saw that Mikhail had hooked up with Lady Pamela. It must have been in the anthology novella that I missed. Damn, I have been waiting for Mikhail’s story for a long time and now I know he hooked up with Pamela. I guess I better read that story so that is what I’m off to do now.
Book Cover Design – It’s one of the better designs of the series. The model is super hot and matches what I would think Zoltan looks like. The background looks like it could be the valley of Beyul-La. I thought the dragon was a butterfly until I looked at it more closely. I don’t know why the designers of Kerrelyn’s books always use that homely color of school buses for the typography. There are so many nice colors out there but school bus yellow or orange is not one of them. Yuck! I think if they went with a dark orange or a brighter yellow, it would look better.