Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Titus McGuire
Available: Paperback, Hardcover
In his first year of life and after the untimely death of his father, Titus McGuire along with his sister and mother move to England with his new stepfather in the year 1582. Unfortunately his stepfather is a retched man. His marriage to Titus’ mother had been arranged and after bearing her new husband a son – he tires of her. Years later Titus witnesses the death of his mother and sister at his stepfather’s hands – burned at the stake for conspiring against the church.
Titus desires a life of his own as well as a bride. Unfortunately, he is denied at every turn until Titus’ suddenly finds himself smitten with his stepbrother’s fiancé. Deciding to risk everything, Titus escapes his life of bondage for true love but is haunted by dreams and visions of another woman pulling him back home. Soon he is torn between his love for his wife and his enchanting dream girl – he must choose and his choice lays the foundation for a series of events that Titus may regret for centuries to come.
Written under the pen name of Titus McGuire, the first half of Sanctuary of Darkness is a strong story of forbidden love and betrayal. I was reminded of the way Ken Follett sets up his novels with characters which desire to be together yet are denied at every turn. The tension between Titus, the stepfather, stepbrother, and two love interests is a compelling read. However, the second half of the story, once Titus becomes a vampire, takes a different turn. The story remains a compelling read, but the relationship tension that drove the first half of the novel gives way to the challenges of living life as a vampire.
I found myself frequently frustrated with Titus who becomes a creature of emotion frequently questioning his love and life long dreams with a variety of women. His desire for revenge at all costs and abandonment of his children (not sure what happened with his first child) had me shaking the book at times. None-the-less, I was completely drawn into this world and could not stop turning the pages. Though the end reaches a climatic conclusion, the author leaves open a number of story arcs setting of the fruits of a sequel. All and all, an entertaining, though at times, frustrating read.