Title: Ofelia: The Book of Davoth
Author: Martyn Stanley
Publisher: Independently published
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
First Publication: 2021
Book Summary: Ofelia by Martyn Stanley
From the author of the ground-breaking ‘Deathsworn Arc’ fantasy series, comes a new take on the vampire novel.
For centuries, a hidden clique of vampires ruled Europe from the shadows. Then they created Ofelia. Turned into a vampire against her will at the age of 11 in the 15th century, Ofelia has never aged.
After centuries of hunting vampires, she’s on her way to Stonehenge to perform a ritual, which she hopes will restore her humanity. However, an unfortunate turn of events will see her taken for an orphan, placed in a children’s home and forced to attend school.
When her copy of the ritual vanishes, she loses all hope of lifting her curse.
Worse still, it turns out she hadn’t defeated all the vampires, and the one remaining vampire needs her blood to rebuild the vampire dynasty with him at the head.
Now Ofelia faces a choice: embrace her immortality and usher in a new generation of vampires, or finish what she started.
Book Review: Ofelia by Martyn Stanley
It has been a while since I read a vampire story, but Martyn Stanley’s ‘Ofelia’ was just what I needed. This story puts a different spin on the ‘vampire’ trope. In this world of Ofelia, human and vampires have coexisted for centuries. Ofelia was created by a secret group of vampires who ruled Europe from the shadows for centuries.
Having become a vampire against her will at the age of 11 in the 15th century, Ofelia has never aged. She wants to become human and hopes to restore her humanity with a ceremony at Stonehenge. Her pursuit of performing the ritual that will rid her condition leads Ofelia to a children’s home, where she pretends to be a normal girl and attends school. A lot of mortals come into Ofelia’s life, and, despite her resolution not to form any attachments, she ends up making some good friends. Having hunted vampires for centuries, she doesn’t seem to have defeated all of them, and the remaining vampire needs her blood to rebuild the vampire family.
Ofelia is an amazing fictional heroine. She wants nothing to do with the vampire world, but is drawn into it without a choice. She is strong, opinionated and stubborn, and at over 500 years old, is ridiculously juvenile. It was endearing to see her behaving like a petulant teenager at times. She is a strong character despite many obstacles thrown at her from childhood to present. She always tries to look on the bright side, stays positive. But along with those values of hers, she is also feisty, has a lot of sass, and not a quitter, but a survivor.
One of the things I love about this book was the clarity with which it was written. There’s nothing superfluous in Ofelia, nothing that shouldn’t be there, and the flow, the pacing, is great. The author really puts you in the minds of the characters and in the settings and makes you fall in love or have a deep loathing for certain characters. The secondary cast of characters was a wonderful dichotomous mix of both the human and the supernatural. There were Ofelia’s school friends, who were generally a mix of pretty good kids.
I like a story that makes me think of endless possibilities of how the story ends or progresses. This story has done exactly that, with it’s extraordinary characters. The settings of each locale are very descriptive with rich, vivid imagery. The narration of this story was simply outstanding, it fits the story perfectly. As this story enfolds, you are dealing with twists and turns, and secrets galore that will leave you reeling.
I found ‘Ofelia’ to be a thoroughly enjoyable read. The first two-thirds of the book moves at a rather languid but steady pace owing to the extensive character and relationship development. After that, it almost instantly turns into a taut suspense-thriller when Ofelia’s life is threatened. This is one of those books that was very difficult to put down. It will be very interesting to see where this part of the story leads in future installments. Highly recommended.