The Black Lily by Juliette Cross
Vampire Blood #1
Release Date: March 27, 2017
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, Fairytale
Source: Purchased on Nook
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #COYER, #TravelingtotheTerminus
Cinderella like you've never seen before...
With the threat of the vampire monarchy becoming stronger every day, the Black Lily must take drastic measures. As the leader of the underground resistance, Arabelle concocts the perfect idea to gain the attention of the Glass Tower. Her plan? Attend the vampire prince's blood ball and kill him. Fortunately for Prince Marius, her assassination goes awry, and Arabelle flees, leaving behind only her dagger.
Marius is desperate to find the woman whose kiss turned into attempted murder, hunting for the mysterious assassin he can't push out of his mind. But what he uncovers could change the course of his life forever...
After finishing The White Lily, #3 in the series, I knew I'd *need* to go back and read the first two...and the finale which releases this month. :) I'm not much of a fairytale retelling reader but JCross hooked me with her vampire/fairytale blending. The Black Lily, a Cinderella retelling, was every bit as engaging as The White Lily.
The Black Lily is where it all started. This series revolves around a revolution - the peasant class tired of making life comfortable for the ruling vampires - started by a young woman named Arabelle. Arabelle has good reason for her long-held belief that all vampires are monsters. Meeting Prince Marius makes her rethink her stance a bit. Prince Marius has always envied the lower classes believing their lives simple and happy. He has his eyes opened to their plight when he meets Arabelle.
The Black Lily did well in setting the stage for the series without overwhelming world building. (these truly can be read standalone) All the characters are introduced and we're given the vampire mythology as well as the reasons behind the revolt. And don't worry - the bones of the Cinderella story are present as well. I admire how well all the elements - world building, character development, action, romance - are balanced. And the dialog between the characters, especially Arabelle and Marius, is sharp and compelling.
JCross did an excellent job of putting her own spin on this classic story and I'm anxious to get to The Red Lily - Little Red Riding Hood - before The Emerald Lily releases!