Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway: Absolution by Susannah Sandlin
It is with great pleasure that I welcome back Susannah Sandlin with her second installment of The Penton Legacy: Absolution. Be sure to check below for my review as well as an awesome giveaway! Susannah, take it away!
After the Fang: Vampires, Choose Your Weapons
Susannah Sandlin here. I was fortunate enough to sit down just before dawn with Penton’s vampire leader Aidan Murphy and his two senior lieutenants, Mirren Kincaid and Will Ludlam, to talk about weapons.
A quick intro to the guys: AIDAN was an Irish farmer in his human life, which ended when he was turned vampire in 1601, in his late twenties, during the Battle of Kinsale. He’s serious and steady. MIRREN was a Scottish-born Gallowglass warrior until he was turned vampire in 1605 Ireland in his early thirties. He’s big, grouchy, and likes to behead wayward vampires with his sword, Faolain. WILL was a 22-year-old college student when he was turned vampire (by his father, no less) in 1969. He’s a total smartass.
Susannah: Okay, guys! Let’s talk about weapons. I mean, are your fangs your favorite…
Will: Oh, seriously? Our fangs are instruments of looooooove. C’mere. I’ll show you. I can’t believe one of us hasn’t introduced you to the pleasures of—
Mirren: If you don’t shut the (bleep) up, I will behead you. I swear it.
Aidan: Some vampires use their fangs as weapons. We don’t. We don’t believe in hurting those we feed from or feeding from anyone against his or her will. I catch any vampire in Penton doing that, well, Mirren can do his thing.
Will: Seriously, Susannah, don’t you want to try it? You didn’t have the pandemic vaccine, did you? I mean, you could write about us better if you know how it felt. And, baby, it feels good.
Susannah: *Moves a little closer to Mirren* Um. Well, once you get past the fangs, what’s your favorite weapon? Aidan, how about you?
Aidan: I like the kukri for hand-to-hand fighting. It’s a curved-bladed knife that’s good for killing vampires because you have to pierce the heart and it’s easy to go in beneath the ribcage and then up in one movement. *illustrates the motion*
Susannah: I’ve watched you fight a lot, Aidan, and I’ve never seen you use a kukri.
Will: *snickers* He’s always in too big a hurry.
Aidan: Yeah, well, sometimes a Smith & Wesson is more effective. Gotta aim for the head, though. And it’s gotta be a .44.
Mirren: Don’t forget who introduced you to that gun. It’s a fine gun.
Will: It’s too heavy, and if you aren’t prepared, the recoil will throw you into the next county.
Mirren: Only if you’re a spriosain.
Will: *narrows eyes* What’s that? *turns to Susannah* What did he call me?
Susannah: *typing into Google translator* Um, basically…he called you a wuss.*Looks up* Mirren—you smiled! You never smile.
Mirren: Did not.
Susannah: Okay, tell us about faolain, your sword. I saw what you did outside the theater, although people will have to read Absolution to find out what it was.
Will: That was some serious (bleep). And right in front of the sign announcing the Twilight movie marathon. Seriously surreal.
Mirren: *Pulls faolain out of its leather scabbard.* These were issued to us when we reached adulthood as gallóglaigh warriors and proved ourselves in battle.
Susannah: So what was your Galloglass clan name? What part of Scotland did you come from?
Mirren: *pauses* Clan Mac Cayd, from Arran.
Aidan: I never knew that.
Will: Tell her about your big ax. *turns to Susannah* He has a big ax. A realllly big ax, if you’re into size, you know.
Susannah: *blushes* I, um….Will, if you don’t like the Smith & Wesson, what’s your favorite, and if you say anything else to embarrass me, I swear to God I will have you killed off in the next book.
Will: *huffs* You have no sense of humor. I like a good folding combat knife. It’s more portable, lightweight, and you can stick five or six of them around your clothing and be prepared for everything. I’m like a Boy Scout in that way.
Susannah, who doubts will has been within a mile of a Boy Scout, ever: Uh-huh.
Mirren: Aidan, you seen that new shotgun I bought?
Aidan: No, let’s go and check it out—we’ve done this long enough. Coming, Will?
Will: *Smiles at Susannah, flashing dimples and looking gorgeous—and knows it perfectly well* Change your mind about that fang tryout?
Susannah: Um…See you guys later. I need to talk to Will a few minutes.
About the Books
Following a worldwide pandemic whose vaccine left human blood deadly to vampires, the vampire community is on the verge of starvation and panic. Some have fanned into rural areas, where the vaccine was less prevalent, and are taking unsuspecting humans as blood slaves. Others are simply starving, which for a vampire is worse than death—a raging hunger in a creature too weak to feed.
Immune to these struggles—at first—is Penton, a tiny community in rural Chambers County, Alabama, an abandoned cotton mill town that has been repopulated by charismatic vampire Aidan Murphy, his scathe of 50 vampires, and their willingly bonded humans. Aidan has recruited his people carefully, believing in a peaceful community where the humans are respected and the vampires retain a bit of their humanity.
But an unresolved family feud and the paranoia of the Vampire Tribunal descend on Penton in the form of Aidan’s brother, Owen Murphy. Owen has been issued a death warrant that can only be commuted if he destroys Penton—and Aidan, against whom he’s held a grudge since both were turned vampire in 17th-century Ireland. Owen begins a systematic attack on the town, first killing its doctor, then attacking one of Aidan’s own human familiars
To protect his people, Aidan is forced to go against his principles and kidnap an unvaccinated human doctor—and finds himself falling in love for the first time since the death of his wife in Ireland centuries ago.
Dr. Krystal Harris, forced into a world she never knew existed, must face up to her own abusive past to learn if the feelings she’s developing for her kidnapper are real—or just a warped, supernatural kind of Stockholm Syndrome in which she’s allowing herself to become a victim yet again.
With the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal.
A Scottish gallowglass warrior turned vampire in the early 17th century, Mirren Kincaid once served the Tribunal as its most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the Tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries
later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the Tribunal wants him back on their side—or dead.
To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves?
It’s a town under siege, a powerful warrior in a battle with his past, and one woman who can make the earth move—literally—as the Penton Legacy continues
My Review: Absolution
I previously got the chance to review Redemption, which you can check out here. I very much enjoyed the book so I jumped at the opportunity to review the second one. I have to say i was NOT disappointed.
In fact, if I hadn’t already been a fan of Susannah’s writing, this one sealed the deal. Absolution picks up a short while after Redemption leaves off, mainly following Mirren Kincaid. Personally, I was always fond of the big lug in Redemption, so seeing the description mostly talking about him was a big selling point for me. We are also introduced to Glory Cummings, a young woman with telekinetic abilities that she has yet learned to harness. After refusing to help Matthias, a very sinister member of The Vampire Tribunal that generally uses his political powers for his own bidding, she is tossed to a captive Mirren in hopes of reawakening the savage killer he once was.
Unfortunately for Matthias, she seems to have the opposite effect, and after they manage to escape with the help of Matthias’s own son, Will, Mirren finds himself in turmoil with wanting to care about this woman and holding onto the controlled, combat-minded, right-hand man in Penton that he once was. Glory is trying to harness her powers, with the help of the child-vampire Hannah who also possesses special gifts. But she is also trying to get the real Mirren to come out. She knows he is in there…after all, he did save her life when he could have drained her for food or left her for dead.
Amidst the internal struggles these two both go through, there are much bigger fish to fry. Matthias is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Penton is destroyed along with Aidan Murphy. In his eyes, and some of the Tribunal, Aidan Murphy’s scathe has become too large, he has become too powerful, and they fear an uprising.
Susannah managed to not only suck me right back into Penton, but I was gripped, and anxious to turn the page during this second installment of The Penton Legacy. This book is not only full of action, but the growing relationship between Mirren and Glory felt real, and legit. At times it was comedic and heartwarming (these two couldn’t be a bigger contrast to each other), and at other times, it was downright sizzling ( I warned about the heat index on the last book, this one also delivers several HOT scenes *fans self*). I do have to note that, one thing I really liked about this book, was that even the sex scenes felt more naturally sprinkled into the story, than in Redemption. I think maybe this is just something Susannah is just better honing in on as she continues to write. Either way, it was great. One scene in particular was… just wow. (insert applause here).
The story itself delivers a serious kick as the stakes (no pun intended) are raised and Penton fines itself in the crosshairs. Those you thought were allies might turn out to be enemies, and new found allies might suddenly arise as everything is on the brink of destruction. The ending itself was very satisfactory and did a nice job setting up for the third and final installment of this trilogy. I look forward eagerly to reading it.
Thanks again Susannah for another great read!
About The Author
A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?)
The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.
- Website: http://www.susannahsandlin.com
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/susannahsandlin
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/susannahsandlin
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5828129.Susannah_Sandlin
- Indie Bound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781612183541