Full disclosure, I was provided a copy of this book by the author or their representative, however, have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.
Secrets revealed, a destiny fulfilled
Nicoleta has spent her entire life in Arizona. Born to Romanian parents, she has never been to her homeland but has longed to go. When her classmates start to discuss a group trip as part of their graduation celebration she is intrigued to discover that instead of Hawaii, the chosen destination is Romania. What better way to experience heritage firsthand than with her friends? With the hotel reserved and the tours lined up, Nicoleta is ready to go, but when she overhears a mysterious conversation between her father and an unknown person she becomes apprehensive. Her parents are hiding something from her, and she wants answers, but none are forthcoming. After arguing with her family, she is relieved to get away and explore with her friends. But she is not the only one who is glad that she is in Romania, and she finds out soon enough that the legends are real, and they have her on their radar. As long-held secrets and destinies are revealed, will Nicoleta embrace her destiny or return to relative safety in the United States.
The Voinico’s Daughter is a joint effort by sisters Sallie Cochren and Elsie Cochren and is the first in the Vânător Vampire Hunters series. Having read more than my share of vampire novels, I am very aware of the customary lore and legends, yet this is a genre for me that never gets old. With a subject as familiar and defined as it has been by various sources over the years the potential for this to quickly resemble another book or movie was high, but that never happened. With what appears to have been a copious amount of research, both on Romanian culture and language, the Cochren sisters have taken a genre with high levels of cliché and have crafted a fresh and interesting tale. This imagining includes a glossary of Romanian terms to describe certain stages of becoming a vampire as well as those destined to hunt and kill them. While awkward at first, the addition of these terms to the narrative helps to immerse the reader fully in the world that has been created. Nicoleta, as the main character is a smart girl, and even though she is ignorant of her destiny at first, her heightened senses are not, and we can see this while watching her early interactions with Garridan. I really love the way that the story is framed from a perspective that sees more notorious names in the lore either omitted completely or is only mentioned in passing as part of a tour guide’s narrative of local legends. The characters created by Sallie and Elise Cochren are uniquely their own, the history/legend has been long established but it is just that… a legend. Forget almost everything you have read or seen as you read through The Voinico’s Daughter and you will be just as immersed in this novel as I was. As the first book in what will be a series the scene, story, and major cast of characters have been expertly set with a story that is fresh and imaginative. As Nicoleta’s story continues in future installments in the series, I am really looking forward to experiencing all that awaits in The Vânător Vampire Hunters series.