Title: Blood Hero
Author: Madeline Drake
Author Website: http://maenad.tripod.com/mdrake/
Rating: Five Siren Stones
Keywords: Vampire, Babylon, Gods/Goddesses, M/M/GLBT elements
When Rihat, a soldier in Babylon's army, discovers that his village is being terrorized by an akhazu demon, he seeks help at Marduk's temple. He meets Iltani, a demigoddess who's been cursed by Ishtar to live as an ardat-lili, enslaved by lust, a night-maiden who feeds on sexual energy.
Iltani offers Rihat the power to slay the akhazu, if he'll agree to serve her every need without question. But will the price of that power be more than Rihat can bear to pay?
Warnings: This title contains graphic m/f sex, violence, m/m attraction.
Rihat is a soldier coming home from his summer campaign, to his village consisting of farmers, only to find it nearly empty and some even lain to waste. He knows the enemy he must fight, the beast; the akhazu who threatens the welfare of his sister, Shala.
He goes to the temple of Marduk, seeking guidance and assistance, and his prayers are answered. What he labels a demon comes to him; an ardat-lili, named, Iltani. She is hungry for her own brand of nourishment; and she feeds on sexual energy.
They both have need of something. In exchange for her services and providing the tools Rihat needs, he must extend the same to her, with no questions asked, in hopes of gaining her release from her own personal curse.
Iltani makes Rihat a damu-quradu, a blood hero to battle the akhazu. The only matter to be determined is if success is imminent.
Blood Hero, by Madeline Drake is a story set in the time of Babylon. The hero makes a deal with a half-mortal goddess to become a form of a vampire. I’m always a sucker—all puns intended—for an paranormal novella that brings originality and new spin on the genre.
And Madeline Drake definitely accomplishes that. A short, hot read, complete with superbly clean editing and a cover reminiscent of the times of the setting within these pages. I read this in one sitting, and loved it.
I will certainly be seeking out this author in the future, and hope Rihat and Iltani’s story continues!