Author Susan Squires has just taken the traditional vampire novel to a whole new level with The Companion. With her riveting and compelling writing, she has woven a tale of love amidst the most desperate of circumstances and created unforgettable characters.
Elizabeth Rochewell is a most unconventional young woman. Far too intelligent to be treated as a mere female, she has been her fatherís right hand during all of his archeological expeditions. With a strong practical nature, she has not only provided companionship, but she has served as majordomo for all of the aspects of travel in foreign lands. She also is quite adept at translating archaic languages and symbols found in temples and tombs. When her father dies unexpectedly, Beth learns that the desert is no place for an unescorted woman, and she is put on a ship bound for England and her aunt. Having spent time there in childhood, she is not eager to return. She finds the conventions stifling and the company tedious.
Ian Rufford is also bound for England, with trepidation in his heart. He has been exposed to a horrific illness and hopes that the educated doctors of his homeland may have a cure. After all he has endured these past few months, he clings to the hope that this disease can be eradicated. From the moment his earlier voyage was set upon by pirates and he was sold into bondage, he has dreamed of returning home. If there is no cure, he cannot bear the thought of living with this monstrous poison in his system.
Ms. Squires has created a most plausible explanation for the origins of vampirism and fans of the genre will be fascinated. Ianís former mistress, Ashanti, is one of the most amoral and cunning characters I have read in a long time. She radiates evil from every pore and revels in the chaos she creates. Ian is a tortured hero, to be sure, but he has such a strong inner core that he does not appear weak in any way. Beth is exotic both in appearance and in mind, and her warm positive nature brings light into Ianís dark soul.
The Companion will capture your interest from the first scene until the last. I could barely put the book down for even a moment as I was desperate to see what would happen next. Readers who like a strong historical novel as well as one with a definite bite should add The Companion to their wish list. It will be a keeper for sure!