Way back in 1999 (can that really be 12 years ago? Really?), an unknown author named Christine Feehan wrote a book about a dying race of East Europeans of ancient, magical lineage known as Carpathians, led by their prince, Mikhail. With difficulty in reproducing, especially females, their race was failing, with more males falling to the rogue status of unrestrained savagery known as vampire. A female Carpathian had not been born in 500 years. Not a good thing.
Then Mikhail met a human woman with telepathic abilities, and everything changed. Raven was spunky, sexy, and Mikhail’s lifemate, despite her human status. They went through hell to be together.
Sounds like, well, a modern-day paranormal romance doesn’t it? But remember–this was 1999, and Dark Prince, the first in the Dark series of Carpathian novels, was a bit different back then.
While the 22nd in the series, Dark Predator, doesn’t come out until September, readers can revisit the beginning of the Carpathian story with yesterday’s release of Dark Prince: The Author’s Cut Special Edition. This is Dark Prince as Feehan intended it, with a hundred pages of text that was left on the proverbial cutting-room floor by the editorial powers-that-be its first time around–and released in hardback for the first time.
Dark Prince has aged very, very well. Oh sure, Mikhail’s computer is big and clunky and the Carpathians aren’t surfing the Internet, but since it’s set in a small, isolated village in the Carpathian mountains, it all feels very gothic and commercially viable for a 2011 paranormal romance world.
I will growl over the book’s shifting point-of-view, which is one of my own axes to grind, but this is a lovely example of worldbuilding and character development, with a man walking the thin line between monster and hero, and between arrogant alpha male and the tender, compassionate lover he has the potential to be. It was great fun to step back and revisit this book after so many years.
Want a new hardback copy of Dark Prince: Author’s Cut Special Edition (complete with yummy new cover art)? I have one copy to give away to a commenter. If you’ve read the series, tell me your favorite Carpathian. If not, but you’d like to start, just leave any comment–and please include your email. As always +1 entry for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Go to it!