Larten and Wester are eager to sate their human urges so they travel with the cubs for about 20 years. Tanish has taught them how to live it up as young newly blooded vamps. They travel the world gambling, drinking, and wenching. They also make their way to a battle ground now and again. Larten has been saddled with the name Quicksilver, a name he will later despise. He is rumored to have the fastest hands in history. Larten has a lot to learn and finds that with wisdom comes pain and hard choices.
I was really drawn to Larten in this book. I was stuck by how lost and vulnerable he was. Larten has suffered a lot in the years that he has lived, and he experiences way more tragedy by the end of the book. He is uncertain of the path he should take. He knows that he will become a General, but he just does not feel that he is ready. I could see how the conflict was troublesome for him and it struck me deep to read about his struggles.
Larten and Wester returned to Seba after the leader of the cubs, Tanish, shamed himself before their group when he backed down from a challenge issued by a vampaneze. A fellow cub took up the challenge and lost his life. The loss of his friend sent Tanish into exile and brought dishonor to his name. I was happy when Larten and Wester made their way back to Seba. I know that their master cares about them deeply and missed them tremendously. He was worried about Larten and the choices he has to make. After being promoted to Quartermaster, Seba knows that the time has come for Larten and Wester to make their own paths. Wester decides to stay and train to become a guard, while Larten stays to please Seba and Wester. I was kind of shocked that Larten could not see Seba’s desire for him to go out and find a way for himself. He was literally wollowing around in self pity. It took the dreadful task of clearing bodies out of the Funeral Tunnel for him to make a clear decision. He knew he needed to free himself from the confines of Vampire Mountain and make a life of his own to find himself.
In this book, Larten has come across characters that we will remember in The Cirque Du Freak series. Larten meets Lady Evanna and Arra Sails during his journey with Seba Nile. Lady Evanna is a very powerful sorceress and the daughter of Mr. Tiny. She has the power to procreate with a vampire. For this reason, she has been sought after for many years by numerous suitors all in hopes of being the first to bear a child and change the world. Although we later find out that Arra Sails is the love of Larten’s life in the future, she is not so taken with his manners at during their first encounters. After leaving Vampire Mountain and traveling for a time, Larten pays Lady Evanna another visit. This time he goes to far and finds himself with a facial scar to bear his shame. Here he meets young Malora. She is a faithful young woman both strong and brave. Malora travels with Larten for years and takes care of him when he is on the verge of death and destruction. She eventually gives her life to protect him, and dies with all the love a person can bear another in her heart.
I was so sad when I read about Malora’s unfortuante death. She was one of my favorite characters in this book. She stood by Larten when he needed someone the most. The death and destruction Larten reaps after her death was the big bang for me in this book. He reacted out of love and despair which is exactly what we expect of a human, but not what you expect from a creature of the night. This part for me conformed the humanity still in Larten. He has shown it throughout the book. His love for Seba and Wester is what kept him from leaving all those years, his loyalty and honor to the clan is what has kept him from turning over to his dark side, and his heart is what made him take on Malora even when he felt lost and unsure of his own path. After everything was said and done, he even took on a baby to save him from the dangers of the world which is where this book leaves off. I am eager to find out what happens next. I am hopeful because I know that ultimately Larten finds his way, but I am wondering what else he will have to endure in order to finally be free of his doubts and insecurities.