Hearts At Stake by Alyxandra Harvey is the first book in her Drake Chronicles series. It deals with the upcoming reluctant vampire queen Solagne Drake. Now that she is almost sixteen and ready to transform into a vampire, her life is at risk because of a bounty on her head. Lady Natasha, self-proclaimed queen of the vampire, doesn’t want Solagne to be a threat to her throne. On Solagne’s heels as well are the Helios-Ra, the vampire hunters. Not to mention all the suitors that want to marry Solagne for her future power. With all this going on, will Solagne even be around to turn sixteen?
I thought this book was quite interesting. It alternates between Solagne and her best friend, Lucy’s perspective. Lucy is human and is falling for Nicholas, Solagne’s vampire brother and vice versa. The romance in the book was much more focused on them rather than Solagne and the vampire hunter Kieran Black. However, both get stuck in the “I like you, now what?” phase. Hopefully, it’s explore more in the second book
One of the things I really like about the book was her concept of the Drake family and vampires in general. The Drake family is a natural born vampire family yet when they are first born, they are born human and at the age of sixteen, the human undergoes a bloodchange where they turn into a vampire. I thought it was interesting since the common belief (well, what I believe) is that if you are a born vampire, you are a vampire with the strengths and weaknesses of a vampire. There is no pre-stage to being a natural born vampire. I would have like to seen the bloodchange from Solagne’s perspective because Harvey builds this moment to be extremely important and throughout the book, Solagne becomes weaker and weaker as her birthday arrives, and it doesn’t feel all that important. It’s more like she is really tired instead of undergoing a bloodchange. Plus, the entire chaotic battle at the Lady Natasha’s place overshadow her transformation.
Speaking of that, I love how Kieran offered Lady Natasha a deer heart instead of Solagne’s heart. Good head nod towards Snow White. Considering Solagne does remind of Snow White because she has so many brothers and it’s a hunter that pities her that allows her to live. On another note, I hope Harvey goes into details about the clans in her second book because it sure confuse me and left me with a vague understanding of which clan is fighting who and who are they exactly. Overall, it was a great start to her series.