Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion: Fun historical fiction + paranormal romance

Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion: A Novel Kindle Edition by Janet Mullany (Author)fantasy and science fiction book reviewsJane Austen: Blood Persuasion by Janet Mullany

Janet Mullany’s Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion is a fun combination of historical fiction and paranormal romance. It’s a well-conceived adaption of the life of the legendary author, Jane Austen, and the life she might have led if vampires were real. Blood Persuasion is a continuation of Jane’s story which began in Jane and the Damned, so Jane and other characters make many references to events that took place in Bath during the first book. The existence of “the Damned” (vampires) is not shocking to the English of Jane’s day, but because of their religious views, they consider vampires to be loathsome and literally Damned. Jane is living at home with her mother, sister and good friend Martha and has been asked to look after her 17-year-old niece Anna. Anna has behaved inappropriately recently and is being left with the Austens as a sort of punishment. Into this tranquil, somewhat boring, domestic setting come the Damned and the end to the peaceful life that Jane had hoped for.

Fans of Jane Austen’s work will like that the dialogue and activities of Mullany’s characters (e.g., attending dinners and balls, writing letters of introduction, playing the piano, worrying about gowns and bonnets) are reminiscent of what you’d expect from an Austen novel, but the common fantasy consumer may find the constant hand-wringing and anxiety over mundane matters a little difficult to tolerate. Austen fans may also be more willing to pardon Jane’s often ridiculously predictable behavior. In any situation where the truth would simplify things, Jane hides the truth and only makes the situation worse in the end.

Jane and the Damned: A Novel Paperback – September 28, 2010 by Janet Mullany (Author)

Book 1

Fantasy readers will enjoy Jane’s on-going battle to preserve her humanity throughout her experiences, relationships, and ultimate decision to renounce her status as one of the Damned. Jane has already led an adventurous life for a Georgian era English spinster (detailed in Jane and the Damned), but in Blood Persuasion she is fighting, literally, for her life and soul while trying to defend her family and neighborhood from the encompassing influence of the Damned. The conflict she feels between old loyalties to members of the Damned she knew and loved, and to her Christian desires to keep her soul and protect her family, is truly her crucible of conscience.

Mullany does not spend a great deal of time on the origin or scientific explanation of becoming one of the Damned in this book. I would have liked to know more of the why and how of their existence and the scope and scale of their powers. (Perhaps this was explained in Jane and the Damned.) Despite that, the story is interesting and I appreciate that Mullany didn’t feel the need to go into great detail on the more sordid aspects of the Damned and their sexual/bloodletting intercourse with mortals.

I credit Janet Mullany for being able to write well enough to keep my attention even though I am normally very annoyed by paranormal romance. I don’t feel compelled to read more of this sort of book since it’s not my favorite genre, but I did enjoy Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion.

Published in 2011. It is 1810, and the Damned are out of favor—banished from polite society. Jane Austen’s old undead friends have become new neighbors, raising hell in her tranquil village just in time to interrupt Jane’s work on what will be her masterpiece. Suddenly Jane’s niece is flirting dangerously with vampires, and a formerly respectable spinster friend has discovered the forbidden joys of intimate congress with the Damned (and is borrowing Jane’s precious silk stockings for her assignations). Writing is simply impossible now, with murderous creatures prowling the village’s once-peaceful lanes. And with the return of her vampire characteristics, a civil war looming between factions of the Damned, and a former lover who intends to spend eternity blaming her for his broken heart, Jane is facing a very busy year indeed.

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JOHN HULET (on FanLit's staff July 2007 -- March 2015) is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years. We still hear from him every once in a while.

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