My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
Sylvain Reynard’s The Prince was a short paranormal novella that basically gave us an intro to the new series, The Florentine. The whole story revolves around, yes, the life and the nocturnal activities of the Prince of the underworld of Florence. I can’t give you his name since he has only been noted as the “Prince”.
If you haven’t read Gabriel’s Inferno series here is what you missed. In the last installment, Gabriel’s Redemption, we were given hints that there’d be a spinoff taking a new direction. Gabriel’s Inferno series is contemporary romance without any hint of paranormal in it. So it was a very surprising turn of events for me. When Gabriel and his wife, Julia, visits Italy, they attend an exhibition of valuable paintings where Gabriel’s own collections were on display. There, they find a mysterious man seem to be following them throughout the gallery. He had pale skin, blonde hair and startling gray eyes. But that was all... At the time, I didn’t think much about that guy, until I read SR’s blog posts.
The Prince takes place simultaneously, at that same time of the Emersons’ visit to Italy. If you haven’t read Gabriel’s Inferno, I’d recommend that you do. Even though the Prince and his world are vastly different than the one created in the other series, it’s still somehow a part of it. Personally, I thought the best scenes in this novella were the ones where Gabriel and Julia were featured. I was glad to have revisited those times, even though their ‘sickening display’ of love and adoration made the Prince angry… and a wee bit jealous. Yup, he was!
So, the Prince of the underworld of Florence (a favorite city of the author I believe) is unhappy anyway. For one, Gabriel Emerson has his valuable paintings in his possession. The Prince, who has lived hundreds of years by now, has known the artist himself, was proud of his own collection. Unfortunately, they slipped out of his hand as time passed. Now he wants the paintings back with a vengeance. And for his part in it Emerson will pay with his life (as if it was his fault somehow. *SMH*).
While the Prince keeps following the Emersons with the intention of harming them, new complications arise from the neighboring Venice, aka, the enemies. There’s no love lost between the Prince of Florence and the Prince of Venice, who sends assassins to kill him. Though the thugs are unable to carry out their orders, the Prince is rudely alerted about this new situation; a major security breach in his city. Needless to say, the Prince is a little bit more than unhappy at that thought, that his men are incapable of carrying out such an important task in the proper way. Someone will definitely pay for this with his life! Later that night, the poor Head of the Security was thrown out of The Consilium without his own head. Such is the path for anyone who neglects their duties even if a fraction.
Well, the Prince certainly was fond of blood, pun aside. He’s a vampire after all. He also assuages his thirst for revenge by killing the victim. But for now, the Emersons are safe because the Prince must see to the new trouble and take care of it. He goes into hiding to trap his enemies, all the while commanding strategies for the next move. The Venetians will also pay for their assassination attempts, the Prince will make sure that they do!
Personally, I must admit that I’m not very fond of vampires. Before I read this novella, I only half-guessed what the new series might consist of, since all I knew that it’s going to have paranormal elements. After reading it, must also admit that I’m intrigued. I’m totally willing to give SR the upper hand here. I love his writing, so I’m definitely going to check out The Raven. As the central character, the Prince and his autocratic rule was grating at times. And man he’s so arrogant! Then again, he’s an ancient being set in his ways, just needs the right woman to bring him down to his knees. :p I’m pretty sure I’m going to greatly enjoy it when that happens. 4 stars.
This ARC was provided to me by Penguin, Barkley/NAL via netgalley as a part of The Prince Review Tour 2015, which didn’t influence my review and rating in any way.