*The Crowgrrl has long been a fan of Vampire Hunter D – the novels, anime, manga, and collectibles – ever since the franchise has hit American shores. So I couldn’t get my hands on Hideyuki Kikuchi’s latest installment, Vampire Hunter D 17: Tyrant’s Stars fast enough. As usual, I was NOT disappointed.
For newcomers to the franchise, Vampire Hunter D is set in the far distant future, in a landscape totally foreign to our present day. The post-apocalyptic world is filled with strange, mutant monsters, and humans are existing in cities or on the dangerous frontier with technology supplied by their new Overlords. The Nobility. Vampires.
The mysterious traveler D is the only hope humans have of not succumbing to the oftentimes cruel whims of the Nobility. His strength and abilities are legendary, and mere mention of him does indeed strike fear in the hearts of both the Nobility, and humans who prey on others as well. Described as having an unearthly beauty, D is always clad in black with a traveler’s hat that has a key to the Nobility’s technology. D also has two other secrets – a “carbuncle” entity dwelling in his left hand, and the fact that he is not human nor Vampire, but a Dhampir – a child of both mortal and immortal.
In this volume, D has been hired to protect the Dyalhis children, Sue and Matt, by their mother. The children are the targets of renegade and very powerful Vampire, Grand Duke Valcua, who is seeking revenge after his exile to outer space by one of the children’s ancestors.
This interstellar evil entity was brought back to Earth by the Ultimate Noble thousands of years after his exile, and given his own barren wasteland to rule. Valcua also has possession of a mystic sword that can cut through the very fabric of Time and Space making him a formidable enemy indeed. And he will rest at nothing until he’s exacted revenge on the Dyalhis children. He’s joined by two of his minions: Kima, a giant with the ability to teleport, and another Noble, Diva Callas.
The “Children” are actually teenagers, and pose their own problems in D’s quest to protect them. First, Matt has an incestuous fascination with his sister, and does indeed attack her on one occasion. Sue attempts to kill her brother in both rage and self-defense. And later, Matt is possessed by Valcua, who uses him like a marionette for his own whims – mainly with the goal of the teen coming straight to him with his sister in tow.
D is joined by an unlikely ally, though – another noble, Count Braujou who has his own score to settle with Valcua.
Without giving too much more away, I can assure you this is filled with intrigue, plenty of plot twists, and lots of action. And a shocking, adrenaline-rich climax you’ll just have to read for yourself.
The author is going to be hard-pressed to top this storyline in future installments. Excellent book – The Crowgrrl highly recommends it!