Plot Summary: His name is Jeremiah Fall. A soldier of fortune, he has been fighting his own war for 150 years—ever since the beast in him was born. Desperate to restore his lost humanity, Fall crosses the sands of Egypt, discovers a lost city off the coast of France, and finally arrives at the birthplace of all mankind. Shunning daylight and feeding only when he must, he battles the monster who transformed him forever. He can share his deepest secret with no one . . . not even the beautiful woman he starts to love, the only human who grasps the mysteries of an ebony stone as old as creation itself. Across the world, across time, Fall seeks the stone's secret. But has he found a cure for himself or unleashed a final curse on all mankind?
Review: "Blood Prophecy" is the story of Jeremiah Fall, a man who gets turned into a vampire by a guy named Skog, then subsequently goes on a quest to find a way to reverse the change, because it awakens a fierce beast in him that, naturally, commands blood.
This novel features one of the most vivid vampire transformation/transition scenes in which being a vampire and the physical, visceral pain doesn't take a backseat to a crappy romance subplot, and doesn't try to romanticize or glorify the process. For me, it's fascinating to see how Jeremiah's beast, who demands blood, is constantly at odds but forced to co-exist with his host.
As fate would have it, there's a healing stone that can "cure" him. A hundred some odd years after his transformation to a vampire, he is still on the lookout for this relic and he's in Egypt, the part of the story I was most anxious to get to when I read the synopsis.
Petrucha paints vivid descriptions of the places and peoples within the book, which is one of its chief strengths, as well as the characters. Amala, the Arabic woman who is also taken prisoner by the same people who have nabbed Jeremiah, is a good character not only because she helps Jeremiah but because she doesn't come off as the typical, forced love interest.
Jeremiah himself is a compelling character, sympathetic because he is fighting the hungry beast inside him, but at times, he could come off as a bit dull because of his refusal to harm humans. Still, the action scenes make up for his moments of wishing for his return to humanity. I can't say that I blame the guy, especially with the kind of vampire that he is (i.e. the kind that actually kills its prey and doesn't sparkle under the sun), but I preferred the parts where his beast took hold of the spotlight.
We eventually find out that a more powerful vampire/creature named Bandias inside the healing stone and if he gets out, it will take him seven days to destroy the world and bring about the Apocalypse. So, in a nutshell, Bandias is trapped within the stone, Skog (the guy who is responsible for Jeremiah's transformation) wants to break him out and become his vessel, and he needs Amala because she can do two things: one, read the stone's hieroglyphs, and two, function as the mate that will help make his return to Earth permanent.
Overall, I would have liked more emotions from Jeremiah, especially after his final confrontation with Bandias, and to have felt a stronger connection after his most poignant scene with Amala. Despite some of the familiar, well-worn fantasy elements, the novel's ending was resonant, and it's an enjoyable read especially if you like a healthy dose of historical elements in your dark fantasy.