Saint Sanguinus: A Dark Ages vampire novel - Julia Phillips Smith
“Surrender your expectations. Surrender your doubts. Surrender your fears. Surrender your strengths. Surrender your anger. Surrender your control.” - Yasmine Galenorn, Darkling

as Peredur lies bleeding to death, he curses God for his fate and for denying him of having a future with the woman he loves.
a stranger appears by his side and offers him a second chance. Peredur accepts and becomes the newest member of the strange and elite Brotherhood.
author Julia Phillips Smith spins a unique tale of vampires, sacrifice and love. her story takes place in Wales during the late 600th century A.D. and she vividly captures the atmosphere of this period. the reader travels back in time to a society where warriors march off to battle against invading tribes and bring home the spoils of war; where women await with anticipation and dread the return of their loved ones; where the border between superstition and the supernatural was a thin line.
this worldbuilding was one of the best elements of the book. i also loved the romantic aspect and love triangle which played out among Peredur, Tanwen and Cavan.
although the story is given in different points of view, there is no confusion as to who is speaking or what is taking place. some readers may not be comfortable with this set-up but i think it was effective in clarifying events and connecting them together.
i had difficulty, though, in dealing with Peredur's turning after cursing God. it seems that this same God allowed him to become a vampire so that he can become one of the Brotherhood - a group of vampires really - whose objective is to stop their other "cousin" vampires from turning humans.
i was confused and tried to see the justice in all this. i also did not find out how the "cousin" vampires became vampires. obviously they did not curse God so how did they end up as the undead? what really sets them apart from the Brotherhood aside from their shared bloodlust? Peredur himself had this dilemma. when he asked questions, all he got were cryptic answers from one of the Brotherhood. i admit, these dialogs were well written but i wanted answers as well.
for the most part, this first book in the Dark Ages Vampire Trilogy had its shining moments especially the last remaining chapters. i would not have finished the novel if i did not find merit with it. perhaps, the second and last books would explain and provide more details and closure.
overall, this was still a good read and something i would recommend to readers who want a different vampire story.

Disclosure of Material Connection: i received a copy of Saint Sanguinus from the author. i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.