By: Jasper Kent
Published: May 23, 2013
Publisher: Bantam Press
Series: The Danilov Quintet
Genre: Horror, Paranormal, Historical Fiction
Part historical adventure, part vampire thriller, The People’s Will is the fourth installment of the Danilov Quintet. The year is 1881 and the Tsar Aleksandr II’s steps towards liberty have made the people more hungry for more, and that includes the death of the dictator. And as his life is threatened by the group that calls itself The People’s Will. But they are not the only ones who want to get rid of the Tsar, Zmyeevich, the one and only Count Vlad Dracul, or more commonly known as Dracula wants the blood of the royal family, but one child of the Romanov and Danilov bloodlines wants revenge against Iuda and will kill all those who stand in his way.
Jasper Kent has a marvelous way of intertwining history with fiction. He introduces real historical events and adds to them, to string together this story of vampire’s and the Russian history. In the year 1881 The People’s Will was a faction that really did exist and really did succeed in killing the tsar. But the circumstances presented in this novel around that event were amazing. Also, he finally reveals Zmyeevich’s identity, although it was fairly obvious who he was in the first novel Twelve.
Along with the time and the situation, the story has grown and evolved from the first book and has brought forth a new set of circumstances and characters. The main character here is amazing, simply amazing. He embodies everything that makes you root for Aleksie from Twelve and Thirteen Years Later, but he is his own character in his own right versus making him a carbon copy which would have inevitably made this book a carbon copy of the first. There has been so much expansion in this series and they weave together an amazing story, and the main character here is breathtaking. From start to finish, you see his past and how it has influenced what we see as the present.
Something that can throw the reader off though is the use of aliases in the novel. A lot of the time the scenes that Kent gives us lacks specifics and attribution that would have made it easier to figure out who is who for the reader because much of the time, it’s a little confusing who is who and who someone is supposed to be. The indication needs to be clear in the beginning than near the middle. And it’s not just with aliases, sometimes the dialogue is missing attribution which really throws the reader through a loop figuring out who is saying what.
Now the story as a whole, as I’ve said, is amazing. The story revolves around history perfectly, leaving no room for error. The story flows and the plots within plots is done in such a way that it makes reading easy instead of it coming off convoluted. Other than those bumps in the beginning with scene specifics and attribution, it was a flaw free novel. ★★★★☆ (A-)