Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Review: Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Number of Pages: 352
Reading Level: Adult

Description from Goodreads:

In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina Kane has the only profession fit for an outcast: assassin. But, her latest mission threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races and Sabina must scramble to figure out which side she's on. She's never brought her work home with her---until now.
This time, it's personal.

My thoughts: 

The Red-Headed Stepchild is the first book in the Sabina Kane series, and I was dying to read it since I first heard about it last summer. Sabina is half vampire (her mother), and half mage (her father). This is a combo forbidden by vampire law. Her mother dies not long after giving birth, and Sabina is raised by her vampire grandmother. Her grandmother is also leader of the Dominae who are the ruling force over most of the vampire community. Sabina’s father died before she was born, and her grandmother is determined to isolate her from her mage family. Sabina continually seeks validation from her grandmother only to be repeatedly shunned. It almost seems that Sabina is forced to pay for her mother’s sins. As the story progresses Sabina discovers secrets about her past, and is not sure who she can trust.

Sabina is an interesting character. She is cynical, and bitter which isn’t surprising considering the loss of her parents, and being raised by a woman who showed her no compassion. Oh, and being a trained killer probably doesn't help. I enjoyed watching Sabina’s character evolve, and look forward to seeing more of her in future books. The plot progressed quickly, and held my attention. The action wasn’t rushed, and the author did an excellent job of giving us a play by play of what was happening without boring us with too many details. This was a solid start to a new Urban Fantasy series. I also felt the secondary characters were well written assets to the story.


  1. I liked this book and will picking up the next one. She is a bitter character but I think that will change in the coming books. Which is good because I don't know if I'd want to continue reading this series is she was angry the whole way through.

  2. @WonderBunny I totally agree. I could see her tough shell chipping away in Red-Headed Stepchild. I loved how she’d talk about the tingle of her conscience like she’d never felt it before. I hope she stays tough with a little bit of a soft side. I also hope she lets some people in and doesn’t close herself of more because of fear of being hurt. I really want to say more but don’t want to post any spoilers LOL

  3. Was a great start to what I hope will be a great series. I also didn't particularlly like Sabina but she evolved into a very likable person by the end of the book. Love her demon sidekick. Laughed out loud numerous times at the antics and descriptive nature of the poor "hairless" (after one of Sabina's spells went wrong) cat.
    Hope he features more in the upcoming books cause he was a hoot.

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