Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle's body bears the telltale marks of a comarre - a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility and control their hungers. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the darkness of the mortal world . . . and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.
Chrysabelle's secrets, though, are about to put her life - and those around her - in even greater jeopardy. She possesses a powerful ring, the key to unlocking an ancient prophecy destined to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. A chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen threatens to reign unless she and Malkolm can stop the noble vampire behind the merciless plot.
Intrigue and politics infuse Painter's unique vampire novel. Chrysabelle is a comarr , a human slave bred for beauty and high blood production. On the run after her master's murder, she will do whatever it takes to stay free and alive. Unfortunately, she accidentally took a dangerous magical artifact along with her, and now the ruthlessly ambitious vampiress Tatiana is determined to find her and retrieve it. Navigating the confusing world of her own species for the first time, Chrysabelle falls in with Mal, an attractive but curmudgeonly vampire exile living on the fringes of human society, and his ghost and shape-shifter friends, dragging them into her fight for freedom. Though the book is set more than 50 years in the future, it lacks almost all trappings of science fiction, focusing instead on the vampire court and its Borgia-level byzantine plotting.