Inheritance (Heir to the Blood Throne) by Tim Marquitz

Inheritance: Heir to the Blood Throne is the first book in a new YA series by Tim Marquitz. Full of supernatural creatures in a Victorian London setting, Inheritance is an attempt to bring some horror elements to a younger audience in a more accessible fashion.

“A fellow creature of the night, how fortuitous is this?” The man’s smile widened. “We have crossed paths at a most opportune time.”

The story follows Rupert, a shy 13 year old orphan who is often victimized by the older bullies at the orphanage. Having resigned himself to daily beatings for the rest of his childhood, Rupert is suddenly plucked from the orphanage by a wealthy man and sent to live in his mansion. As Rupert starts becoming familiar with his new surroundings, he realizes that things are not what they seem: his new master is a vampire, his new brother is a werewolf, his new sister is a witch, and together they must defend the mansion from an evil necromancer and his army of undead soldiers.

“They can lay claim to the rest of the refuse left here by my predecessor, but I will not surrender that which I have rightfully acquired.”

Marquitz has a knack for creating likeable characters, and the first thing I noticed about this book is that Rupert was no different. He is a young boy who tries his hardest but through a combination of bad luck and his timid nature, things never seem to go his way. I liked him because he is not malicious, he is just a curious young boy incapable of avoiding trouble. His new sister and brother, Lorelai and Alistair, make for great companions, and are even greater magnets for trouble. These three aren't incredibly complex characters, but together their strengths and flaws make for a balanced partnership. Hopefully Marquitz will dig a little deeper into these characters in future instalments.

Though the others did their best to grind him down, they could do nothing to extinguish his optimism.

The Victorian London setting is a great place to set a supernatural story, and while there were a few inaccuracies here and there, it definitely had the right tone and feel. Despite this being a YA story, I'm glad Marquitz didn't completely tone down his portrayal of the supernatural beings - the vampires, werewolves and the undead in this story are menacing and powerful creatures who all have a particular taste for blood. I don't think its particularly scary for adults or older teens, but for younger teens there are some tense scenes which should get the heart pumping. The only issue I had is that I think this book is a bit too short.

His thin lips smiled a greeting. Despite its close-mouthed broadness, it failed to convey much warmth, the look almost predatory.

In a genre that is overcrowded with sparkly vampires in love with sullen human teens, Tim Marquitz takes vampires, werewolves and the undead, and returns them to their rightful place at the top of the supernatural food chain. I enjoyed this book, and I think it would make for a great holiday read.

8/10 Tim Marquitz returns vampires, werewolves and the undead to their rightful place.

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