Seiran Rou is a rare male Earth witch with great power. He is the first male to be allowed to take magic classes, mostly on the strength of his powerful mother’s influence. School has not been easy for him though, as female witches are the norm and he suffers lots of abuse from his fellow students who don’t want him there.
For years, Seiran has had an on/off relationship with a powerful vampire, Gabe. Gabe is pretty clear he wants more from Seiran, but Sei doesn’t have much faith that once they are together Gabe will want him for long. With a hateful mother who he is pretty sure wants him dead and a long history of those who seem to be friends turning out to be enemies, Seiran is not one to let his heart go easily. But deep down he cares for Gabe and Gabe is always a solid foundation in Seiran’s life.
When a dead body turns up on Seiran’s door and the police focus in on Serian, things start to get even more complicated. There seems to be a serial killer on the loose targeting those connected with vampires, and someone is looking to blame Seiran. Not to mention his mother is trying to force him to produce an heir whether he wants to or not, and her methods of coercion are horrifying. On top of that, Seiran has been hiding the strength of his powers and folks are getting suspicious of his true abilities. And in the midst of all that, Seiran begins to realize how much he loves and cares for Gabe, despite his efforts to keep a distance. He and Gabe are finally on the verge of something real, but danger is all around and a killer is on the loose.
I chose Inheritance for Favorites Week in our September Reading Challenge. It fits with our Favorite Vampire/Shifter Pairings list and since the story sounded unique and Lissa Kasey is a new author to me, I decided to give it a try.
This story had somewhat of a slow build for me as we get settled into the characters and the world building, but once it got rolling, I was totally hooked. Seiran is such a fascinating character. He oozes sex appeal and loves to flirt, with his hip high boots and his long black hair. He is snarky and strong and uses sex a bit as a defense mechanism. Seiran is one of those characters who put up a tough front, but deep down needs the love and security he is sure he will never have. His mother is horrific and he has learned that those who claim to want him often are the ones who hurt him most, so he keeps up walls between himself and Gabe, despite the fact that it is clear how much he needs and cares for Gabe. Seiran could have been frustrating or irritating, but somehow he just works and I totally loved him. And of course Gabe is a total sweetheart who is patient and loving, gives Seiran his space, but still is always in his corner.
As I said, I read this story for its vampire/shifter theme and it is a really interesting take on shifter lore. As part of being a witch, Seiran is also a shifter. Even though shifting is not allowed by the Dominion, the ruling body of the witches, at the new moon Seiran can’t help but obey the call of his lynx side and often shifts to run free in his animal form. This story offers an unusual take on shifters, as when in animal form, Seiran loses most of his humanity. He often can’t recognize people he knows as a human (even Gabe), doesn’t understand English, and has the simplified mind of an animal. So he truly encompasses animal form and the scenes where he has shifter are really cleverly done. Also, unlike the lycans in this story, Seiran’s ability to shift is tied with his magical powers, rather than a factor of biology. Kasey does a great job here of building the world around magic, the Dominion, the shifting, and the society of witches. It is quite well done and really engaging.
On the vampire side, things are less developed. We really get only the bare basics about Gabe’s life as a vampire, the way vampires live, or their governing body. I did miss that a bit, partly because I choose this book due to the vampire connection, but also because I don’t feel like we get to know Gabe as well as I would have liked. We are in Seiran’s POV, but even with that I feel like more could have been developed about Gabe, especially with regards to what draws him to Seiran even as Sei pushes him away.
Other areas were also not quite as well developed as I would have liked. For example, we hear a lot about how horrible Seiran’s mother was when he was growing up, but other than one admittedly awful example, we don’t get much detail. I think given how many of his issues center around his mother’s role in his life, more information would have helped. We also learn about his horrible treatment when he was living in the dorms at school, but again not a lot of detail. I also left with some questions, like why, given his mother’s incredible power in the Dominion, did so many of the female witches attack Seiran without fear of reprisal. As much as his mother seems to dislike him, she also seems determined to protect him, at least to put up a good public front. But more significantly, I found myself confused at Seiran’s reaction to his mother’s ultimatum about having kids. Without going into spoilerish detail, he is pretty sure something terrible is going to happen if he has an heir. Now he has a very good reason for agreeing to have a child, but this concern about his safety seems to get dropped as the story goes on and I am not sure why.
This book is the first in a series so I know there is lots more to come for these guys. Just for some clarification, the first four books in the series were originally published by Dreamspinner Press, but the first three have now been revised, expanded, and rereleased by the author (and I read/reviewed the revised version of this book). There is an updated version of book four coming next year, and more new stories to come as well. The author has also incorporated some of the free shorts that accompanied the original series into the revised versions.
While this one started a little slow and choppy for me, I found it gained speed as I continued and I really fell in love with Gabe and Seiran. The world building with regard to the witches is quite interesting and unusual and definitely kept my attention. I liked the bit of suspense plot with the murderer on the loose and thought it all came together well. I am really excited to continue this series and see where things go from here. So if you are a fan of witches, shifters, vampires, or just a overall good paranormal, I’d definitely give this one a try.
This review is part of our September Reading Challenge Month for Favorites List Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win this week’s fabulous prize of books and swag from Samhain Publishing, as well as our amazing grand prize sponsored by Riptide Publishing. You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on Favorites List Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!