Review: Twilight Forever Rising, by Lena Meydan (& Givewaway)

A quick bit of housekeeping: to SHANNON, the reader who won the book The Native Star by MK Hobson. I do not have your email address. Please contact me at by Friday. Otherwise, I’ll have to draw another winner.

Now, here’s the scoop on Twilight Forever Rising (Tor Books), which I’m now mourning because I didn’t want it to end…and at the close of the blog post, a GIVEAWAY.

THE PLOT: Darel Ericson of the Dahanavar clan is a rarity among his vampire brethren: he’s an empath, strong enough to occasionally read thought as well as emotion.  For centuries, his power has given the Dahanavar a significant advantage against the machinations of the other vampire families, an advantage which makes Darel both a powerful tool and a highly visible target.

Fortunately for Darel, it is more useful for the heads of the other clans to maintain the centuries-long peace between the houses than to remove him.  But, the cunning and violent head of the House of Nachterret is tired of the truce, and of hiding his presence in the world.  The Nachterret would like nothing more than have free reign over the helpless human cattle upon which they feed. 

Darel, and the human woman he loves, become central to the Nachterret’s scheme to plunge the Houses into all out war.  Darel is ultimately forced to face the question: is one young woman’s life too high a price to pay for peace?

THE AUTHOR:  Twilight Forever Rising, which has been described as “Anne Rice meets The Sopranos,” is the first in a series of Vampire Clan novels by Russian author Lena Meydan. It was a major Russian bestseller in hardcover (under its original title, Blood Brothers), and was named Best Urban Fantasy for 2000-2005 by the 13th International Congress of fantasy writers in St. Petersburg.
MY THOUGHTS: This is hands-down the most interesting twist on the vampire mythos I’ve read in a long time. Each vampire clan has its own form of magic: as sorcerers or artists or business geniuses or shapeshifters–and the balance of power between the clans is precarious. The translation from the original Russian is seamless. If I hadn’t known it was a translation I’d never have guessed; it’s that well done. The vampire clans are dangerous and “other.” This might have a romance of sort at its core, but these are not romantic vampire heroes and the romance is so understated as to be almost invisible.

I can nitpick, as with anything: I wish Lenore, the young human girl who finds herself unwittingly at the center of a massive vampire power struggle, had been better developed. Her character is a bit wooden. I wish the ending hadn’t been so abrupt. I wish the relationship between the empath Darel and Lenore had been explored more thoroughly. Does he really love her (as much as he is able), or does he love the way she makes him feel?

But those are quibbles. This is a fascinating vampire world filled with memorable characters I want to see more of. Twilight Forever Rising is the first of a series–the fourth in the series is about to be released in Russia–and I hope the rest get translated for the English-language market as well.

THE GIVEAWAY: I’m running out of book space, so I’d like to pass my copy of Twilight Forever Rising along to someone else! Just tell me your favorite vampire twist–or your least favorite. Do you like it when they can read minds? Enthrall? I can tell you my least favorite–when they can walk around in sunlight and glitter–LOL! I’ll pick a winner on Monday, 10/18, and will open this one internationally and see if the postage bankrupts me 🙂 As always, extra entry for followers on Twitter @Suzanne_Johnson and an extra for blog followers.
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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate’s Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man’s Curse; Black Diamond).

13 thoughts on “Review: Twilight Forever Rising, by Lena Meydan (& Givewaway)

  1. I’m not a fan of sparkly vampires either. You can’t have dark and brooding and sunshine.

    I’m a blog follower and I’d love to win this book. 🙂

  2. Wow, sounds interesting. I follow you and the blog, too. So enter me 🙂

    Woo-hoo. Maybe I’ll luck out.

    lynnrush (at) cox (dot) net.

  3. This book sounds great. I like vampires to be less human, and more ‘other’. The vampires in Justin Cronin’s The Passage were brilliant, scary and powerful and no sparkles in sight. I would love to win this book :o) (I follow you on Twitter)

  4. I have to agree the worst take on vampires are the ones who sparkle in the sun. But one of my favorite take is the vampires from 30 Days of Night nightmares walking on two legs. Beasts looking to feed but with the cunning of humans. The other would be the Wamphyri found in the worlds created by Brian Lumley because they are something truly different from the humans they feed on.
    In conclusion I would love to win and read this book.

  5. This books sounds interesting. I’m a sucker for just about anything urban fantasy and the way you’ve described it makes me want to add it to my TBR.

    I love vampires. One of the more interesting twists I’ve seen was Lyndsay Sands Argeneau (sp?) series. I think it’s neat how she explained that vampirism in her world were the cause of little nanos.

    Not a read if you like dark stories, but an enjoyable series.

  6. I prefer my vampires dark and evil !

    I am a Follower via GFC.

    I am also an International entry and if I win I hope I don’t send you begging on street corners !

    From South Africa.


    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  7. This story sounds so interesting and I look forward to adding it to the TBR pile.

    While I’m not fond of the “sparkling” take on vampires, it sure was original. I’ll give S.M. that! There was a take that I saw recently in “Daybreakers” that I found interesting.

    Vampirism plagued the world as we know it, and the vamps were running low on blood because there were few humans left. A scientist found the cure for vampirism and he restored his humanity. Then, when a vampire fed from any restored human, they were “infected” and turned human.

    Unfortunately, the movie wasn’t great, but the story had so much potential.

  8. “I can nitpick, as with anything: I wish Lenore, the young human girl who finds herself unwittingly at the center of a massive vampire power struggle, had been better developed. Her character is a bit wooden. I wish the ending hadn’t been so abrupt.I wish the relationship between the empath Darel and Lenore had been explored more thoroughly.”

    In the original book there was no girl, but was the friend – boy-teenager. The love story has been added by request of the American publisher by one of three Russian authors.

  9. Interesting! I’m glad to know that, because those elements didn’t seem to work with the rest of the book, and it was such a wonderful story. I hope the rest of the series makes it into the U.S. market!