Reviewing The Kindred of Darkness: A Vampire Kidnapping by Barbara Hambly

GameStop, Inc.

The Kindred of DarknessThe Kindred of Darkness: A Vampire Kidnapping, is the fifth book in the James Asher series , also known as the Ysidro series, or the Lydia Asher series. One of the strengths of the books is their ensemble nature, and that remains true in this novel, a tense mystery which begins when Grippen, the master vampire of London, kidnaps the Ashers’ daughter and demands that Lydia help him find a vampire interloper he cannot find himself. He further specifies that she is not to communicate about this with any of the other London vampires about the situation. What follows is an intense, complex mystery as the Ashers try to find the new vampire, locate their daughter, and figure out what this has to do with the newly-engaged American heiress now visiting London.

It is always good to see a new book in this series, and The Kindred of Darkness is highly readable installment that reveals more about the family life of the vampires as well as expanding the Ashers’ circle. It was good to see Lydia get some more time in the spotlight. Lydia has been an important character since the series began with Those Who Hunt the Night, but she ended up somewhat sidelined in Magistrates of Hell, so it seemed she was due for some time in the center. I enjoyed seeing her active in the woman’s portion of London life, arranging for her niece’s coming out, meeting and talking with friends, and juggling the social side of her existence. One of her strengths as a character has always been the way she combines atypical interests for the time (being a medical researcher) without rejecting all of London’s life (Women who are modern feminists despite it being historically unlikely are a pet peeve of mine). If anything, I wish we had seen more of this life; Asher and Ysidro enter the scene a little too early in this case.

The emphasis on family here makes for a more complicated novel: Lydia is more involved with her extended family now that she herself is a mother, forming new friendships and alliances as well as chafing at old troubles and ties, though a couple of these do appear out of nowhere. I don’t mind meeting aunts I can’t remember hearing of before, but surely Lydia’s stepmother should have gotten some attention before this? In any case, the addition of Lydia’s family plus Cece Armistead and her family and hints about Grippen’s past, plus the complicated fledgling-and-master relationships among vampires make this a novel where familial love is added to the questions of romantic love and friendship that continue from previous books.

It’s also good to see that, this time, Lydia acknowledges the attraction of the whole “farrago of nonsense” that the vampires often send to lure their victims in. Where she entirely dismissed Margaret’s dreams in Traveling with the Dead, here she sees their temptation and knows why their recipients are drawn. It’s a welcome increase in empathy, even while Lydia remains an eminently sensible heroine.

Ysidro’s continued involvement in the affairs of the living is somewhat problematic. Despite the frequent disavowing of Byronic heroes throughout the series, the fact remains that Ysidro continues to dramatically come to Lydia’s rescue. The enigmatic Spaniard is always a welcome presence in any book, but his penchant for risking his life for the Ashers, particularly for Lydia, can hardly be described as sensible. I keep waiting, with some dread, for the logical outcome of his attraction to the mortal life. His presence does allow for more insight into vampire culture, a complex and alien construct that Hambly has been building for five books now and which gains new branches as the international angle develops throughout the series.

Fans of the series will enjoy The Kindred of Darkness, particularly as it deepens. Those who haven’t read any of the books yet should start with Those Who Hunt the Night, the first book and work forward. I am rereading the series now myself, simply because The Kindred of Darkness has reminded me how much I enjoy it.

The series so far:
Those Who Hunt the Night
Traveling with the Dead
Blood Maidens
Magistrates of Hell
The Kindred of Darkness

Edit–and Darkness on His Bones Coming in October 2015

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Paul Crowder and ‘Boss’ Wooldridge Talk ‘The Blue Angels’ Doc – Interview

Director, Paul Crowder and Flying Ace, Greg “Boss” Woolridge talk about...

Eric Bana Talks ‘Force of Nature: The Dry 2’ – Interview

Eric Bana Returns for the sequel to ‘The Dry‘ in ‘Force...

Letitia Wright’s Talks about her Latest Film ‘Aisha’ – Interview

Letitia Wright’s latest film, ‘Aisha‘, a story about immigration, resilience, friendship...

Event News Event Reviews
Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Takes You to A Whole New World at Segerstrom – Review

Disney’s Aladdin takes the audience on a thrilling chase and a wonderous place...

Dark Harbor Returns to Long Beach on The Queen Mary this Halloween

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Returns to Long Beach for the...

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice’ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the Arts – Review

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice‘ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse part something: Hermione and the Mini-gun pt 2

Have a lead salad instead!

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse part ?: Hermione and the mini-gun pt 1

It can't fire more than 6,000 per minute!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse: Kurt v Sid – HASTA!

Hasta La Vista Baby!

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...