Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Try to remember the snakes of September and follow follow follow

And welcome to the darkness, as we explore Setite by Kathleen Ryan, book 4 in the Vampire Clan Novels. As a bit of background, Setites claim descent from Set, the ancient Egyptian god of evil. (Interestingly, Egypt figures in to a number of game lines, since Set was a busy vampire back in the day. Not long after these came out, we got Mummy, in which the souls of the Egyptian dead started coming back after events in Wraith. Also, the werewolf tribe Silent Striders [who feature into the next Werewolf Tribe Novel] hail from Egypt, although Set banished them in antiquity.) The clan has a weakness more pronounced than others to light, and an obsession with serpents.

Hesha Ruhadze is a fairly well established Setite based in Baltimore. His junior partner Vegel was in Atlanta way back at the start to get the Eye of Hazimel, which wound up with Leopold. Hesha meets Elizabeth in New York, as she's restoring antiques for an upscale shop. Hesha's interest in her leads him to try to ghoul her (feed her his blood while she's still alive), but unknown to him, she doesn't drink his hangover cure.

Hesha's also doing favors for refugees from fallen southern cities. Unlike Ramona, Hesha's a mover and shaker among the vampires.

Anyway, eventually, Hesha winds up taking his entire team, now including Elizabeth (who's having visions) to Calcutta, looking for the source of the eye's power. (It's fairly ill defined in its purpose, plot wise. On the other hand, it gives us a nice view of what happens when Ravanna wakes up.) Any way, yes, the events that end the Time of the Thin Blood supplement do indeed occur in here, as Elizabeth starts having visions of Set, as does Hesha. And Ravanna, King of the Rakashas, wakes up, dies, and pretty much eliminates the Ravnos clan in his death throes. Somewhere after this, Elizabeth and Hesha have a conversation straight out of Twilight about him being a vampire.

Anyway, eventually, they all wind up in upstate New York, where Hesha does get the Eye, although how is left kind of blank, Elizabeth betrays Hesha, Hesha turns her into a vampire and chains her up to face the sun. At the last second, the Ravnos they saved in Calcutta breaks in and the book ends.

So, this is a major improvement over Gangrel, and Hesha is an interesting snake. I could have lived without the fake romance that threads its way through the novel, but I have to assume it was to add something to a character who's essentially a plot device. I'm also curious as to whether or not Leopold's fate gets resolved later on. (I last read these as they were released, and the plot details mostly fade over time.) I will say reading them now, without the gaps in release makes the plot a heck of a lot more cohesive.