Cycle of the Hunter
by Patrick Rahall
"Guardians have been on the side of your ancestors for hundreds of years. We saw the atrocities committed by the first evil ones and we were disgusted. We decided to instead use our powers to aid the humans." - Cycle of the Hunter, Patrick Rahall
I read this novel for a book group to which I belong. We chose it knowing that for most of us, and certainly me, it was a bit different than our typical reads. I would classify it as a vampire novel, although I have little experience in the genre beyond the classic Dracula by Bram Stoker. At any rate this certainly includes vampires and a great deal of violence.
The main plot is about several varieties of vampires, Hunters, Destroyers, Defenders, and the Guardians. The Guardians decided many years ago to "help humans" and they oppose the Destroyers (aka "evil ones"). The plot begins with chapters introducing several orphans and leads by the middle of the book to a gathering of seven of the remaining vampires. They were brought together and are directed by a plan led by a Guardian known as Romulus. Once this is accomplished in the first half of the book the remainder is devoted to battles between the group of good vampires and the evil ones.
The novel is both well-plotted and suspenseful. Filled with action it often portrays the raw intensity of battling for one's life against characters that are more capable than average humans. I would have liked a little more character development, but the novel hinges more on action than character. Ultimately it provides a window into a different cultural milieu than I have encountered before. It is a milieu filled with violence and raw language that, while providing verisimilitude, did not appeal to me. I am not likely to read many more vampire novels but the Cycle of The Hunter provided excitement and entertainment which were enough to make it an enjoyable book to read.
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