Lucifer’s Warrior (f/k/a The Vampire Narcise) is the third and final book of the Draculia series by Colleen Gleason. Full of dark subject matter and strong emotions, the story of Narcise is not to be missed. Deep, moving, and spanning quite a large time frame, Lucifer’s Warrior is one of those beautiful, heart-wrenching tales of redemption that will stay with the reader long after the last word has been read.
The Dracule woman Narcise has been trained as a warrior, enslaved by her brother Cezar—the most dangerous and evil of all Dracule vampires—to provide entertainment for himself and his cronies. When she loses one of her gladiator-type battles, her opponent’s prize is the use of her body for the night.
It is no wonder Narcise cannot trust a man…even Giordan Cale, the handsome vampire who vows to free her from her brother’s captivity. But his promise is followed by a deep, shocking betrayal—destroying her heart and trust forever.
Yet, Narcise finds a new savior in vampire hunter Chas Woodmore. He wants her, he worships her…he will kill for her.
But when a soul is in danger, and the only hope is to risk one’s heart or lose freedom forever, can someone like Narcise learn to trust again?
And when Cezar is determined to move heaven and earth to destroy the men who love her, who will walk away…and who will be forever damned?
Lucifer’s Warrior is segmented into three parts: Narcise’s life in captivity, her subsequent escape, and, finally, everything after the escape. Holy wow, does that woman (vampire) endure a lot! So many times, I found myself cringing in sympathy. Narcise’s strength of will through, and in spite of, brutal captivity by her own brother was incredibly moving. While she suffers, the men who love her suffer as well. I gasped out loud and my heart broke for Giordan when he faced Narcise’s ire following his monumental sacrifice to break her free from the grip of her brother, the most evil Cezar Moldavi. Giordan’s love for her was evident to all but Narcise. After the episode with Giordan, we fast forward several years and watch Chas, a vampire hunter, fall in love with Narcise after rescuing her. Once free, what’s a vampire woman to do when faced with the love of two men, one a vampire she loved long ago and the other a vampire hunter? It’s even more complicated when that woman doesn’t believe herself capable of loving or being loved. The romance is messy, imperfect, and incredibly powerful.
Just as in book two, Lucifer’s Saint, Ms. Gleason writes much of the “present day” activity concurrently with activities that occurred during the previous two books. The change in perspective provides another level of understanding and depth to events I’ve already read about. Much of Lucifer’s Warrior is dark and emotionally heavy, so be prepared to be pulled in several directions and to experience a gamut of emotions. The ending doesn’t resolve every plot point, but I enjoyed the semi-abrupt conclusion. It left me feeling as if I witnessed a portion of a movie that continued to play on long after the words on the page had ended.
I’ve read and enjoyed other books by Ms. Gleason. Still, my level of emotional investment in this particular story was surprisingly high. Each time I begin a book, it takes me a few pages to acclimate to the writer’s voice. Once that occurred, the stories unfolded in quick succession with me happily picking up the next book as soon as I finished the previous one. While my favorite book in this series was the second book, Lucifer’s Saint (*sigh* Dimitri), this third book, Lucifer’s Warrior, was the most emotionally impactful. So, for your Regency-era vampire fix (with healthy doses of intrigue and romance) look no further than Colleen Gleason’s Draculia series.