For those of you are new, Anita is one badass woman. I would not start with Rafael. While it is a great book, there is so much history that you are missing that you won’t understand references. To get to know Anita, check out this article. To those of us who know her, the upcoming wedding for Anita and Jean-Claude leads to problems as do old enemies.

This book centers around Rafael and his fight. As the book opens, we learn that Rafael must fight to retain his kingship. He wants Anita to feed the ardeur on him for what might be the last time. Rafael is no longer king to just the St. Louis rats, he is king to all the wererats in the United States. The fact that Rafael sleeps with Anita and lets her feed the ardeur on him, other wererats are scared. Anita is publicly Jean-Claude’s wife to be and Rafael wants to be one of Anita’s rat to call. Some of the other rats are scared Rafael will give the rats to Jean-Claude.

Hector, someone Rafael had seen as leader material, has challenged Rafael for his kingship. He plays on the fear of Rafael giving the rats to Jean-Clade. Rafael wants to be Anita’s rat to call because of the power boost. Narcissus has blocked that from happening by saying that if Rafael is made Anita’s rat to call before he is made her hyena to call he will kill Kane which would kill Asher. If that happened, Anita and Jean-Claude would kill Narcissus. The other would be to challenge Rafael directly. Asher is confident that Narcissus would win which would cause a whole other set of problems.

Once it comes out that there is a master vampire hiding in the city with Jean-Claude and Anita unaware, agreements are reached. Rafael wants Anita at the fight tonight. This was a negotiation too. Rules are similar but very different between lycan groups and vampires. The rats have retained their own culture. Something many of the animal groups has lost. Anita will not be protected in this. She must fight her way to Rafael and earn her seat. It won’t just be women that can challenge her. Men can come at her too. They aren’t supposed to kill her though because she is not rodere.

For all his posturing about Rafael “giving Jean-Claude the rats”, Hector is going to do the same. He is the rat to call for the mystery master vampire. This vampire is going to enslave the rats of the US. Anita and her clan make war plans. Richard and Nicky are noticeably absent. Richard is with his family and Nicky is checking out a retreat with Mephistopheles. All I can think is, of course, Richard isn’t there. Freaking prick. I have a feeling Nicky is going to be pissed.

Anita can take knives but most of them have to be non-silver. She is allowed silver for if it becomes clear the fight is to the death. The first fight out of the car is to the death and Anita is still unused to her new strength and ends up ripping the dude’s arm off with bare hands. Next in line are the brujas of the rodere, and their leader Neva. Anita scares the pants off them but gains their respect. Once to Rafael, they must find out who the master vampire is.

Hector is young and dumb. After Anita makes it to Dr. Lillian, Hector comes into the medical area and threatens Anita, Claudia, and Pierette with rape, and starts a skirmish with Anita. In front of witnesses no less. He is an arrogant scumbag. He also gives too much away. They find out that the master vampire is Padama. He killed his own son to save his life. At the fight, Hector can’t help but run his mouth. Padama is excited and way to eager and confident in his power. Their combined arrogance is their downfall.

I love Laurell’s writing. This is a great book. It had a little sex and a lot of tension, as well as a couple of great fights. It was nice to get a glimpse into Rafael who has been a friend and ally for years before he was a lover. I also got a clearer understanding of the rodere. I must say though I wanted more time with Micha, Nathaniel, and of course Jean-Claude. I want the wedding already! Knowing Jean-Claude, it will be stupid epic. This is a must-read. What are your thoughts on the wedding? Let me know in the comments below. Until next week…