Set in both the 17th century and the modern day, Bonds is a dark fantasy novel which tells the story of Becca Martin’s struggle to accept her birthright as a witch and Antony Cardover’s battle to break his vampire curse. The two are linked together by Isabella Cardover, Antony’s adulterous wife and Becca’s ancestor. To break his curse, Antony must destroy Becca. To save herself, Becca must use her gift of the Craft. Only one of them can survive...
Towards the end of the 17th century, Antony Cardover has slaughtered most of the village of Breccan, seeking vengeance for his wife Isabella’s betrayal. Anna Martindale, Isabella’s mother and a practising witch, is the only one who can stop him. Antony can only be stopped by breaking the curse, but the curse can only be broken by Antony destroying Isabella and all her descendants. In an attempt to break the curse, Antony realises the truth too late, just as Anna’s spells condemn him to a stone sarcophagus buried in consecrated ground for eternity.
In the present, Becca Martin starts her first day at the new Ramply Homes site of St Martin’s Church, in the grounds of which Antony resides. Soon Becca is haunted by visions and nightmares that leave her wounded and afraid. The desecration of the church has weakened the spells and people start to die as Antony breaks free.
To find answers, Becca visits her estranged mother, where she discovers the truth about her ancestry and is forced to face up to whom and what she is. Only a small wooden box and her gift of the Craft hold the key to her survival.
Inspired by Stephen King and James Herbert, Bonds is a gripping read that will appeal to fans of fantasy novels, in particular those with an interest in vampires, witches and the supernatural.
Shona's review 4 of 5 stars
Becca's world is our world. The town in which Becca lives has grown around the tale of Anna, Isabella and Antony Cardover, everyone knows the story but not many actually believe it any more. Including Becca.
I felt quite sorry for Becca actually, it would seem she didnt really have much in the way of magical instruction before her 16th birthday, and the events of that birthday had her running scared from her craft. And I cant say I blame her. And nothing that came after really prepared her for what she was about to face.
I don't think its possible to read this and not feel sorry for Antony in some way. I know many people would be filled with a similar anger if they had been betrayed in the same way. The curse that came next was hardly something he sought out, he didn't know what would happen. And yes I am aware that once the demon was a part of him he was no longer in control of his actions... but I cant quite bring myself to forgive him his actions. Had he only killed those who 'had wronged him' perhaps then... but he took great pleasure in showing off his new strength. And even with Anna, the woman who he had previously cared greatly for, he took great pleasure in killing her daughter in front of her. So no, I wont be swooning over Antony Cardover any time soon.
I loved the way this story unfolds, taking part in two different centuries and slowly revealing its secrets to us. Right from the blurb this book had my attention and I was hooked from the prologue.
I look forward to reading the next instalments of Becca's story.
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MARIE ANNE COPE
Marie Anne Cope is the author of newly released dark fantasy novel, Bonds.
Set in both the 17th century and the modern day, Bonds tells the story of Becca Martin’s struggle to accept her birthright as a witch and Antony Cardover’s battle to break his vampire curse. The two are linked together by Isabella Cardover, Antony’s adulterous wife and Becca’s ancestor. To break his curse, Antony must destroy Becca. To save herself, Becca must use her gift of the Craft. Only one of them can survive….
Booky Ramblings: So, where did the idea for Bonds come from?
Marie Anne Cope: Funnily enough, it was while I was at a wedding, which was being held at at an old village church in Shropshire. At the back of the church stood an ancient stone coffin, covered in engravings.
It was this coffin that sparked my interest and it was during the service that my imagination took flight. If it wasn’t for that wedding, Bonds would never have been born.
BR: What is it that fascinates you about vampires?
MAC: Ahh, where shall I start? Well, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is my all-time favourite novel. For me, it is THE greatest love story ever told.
Eternal love and eternal life – are they not one and the same? For me, vampires represent this undying loyalty, passion and love.
The allure of a vampire, just like love, will draw you under their spell, will cast a web around you and keep you prisoner, beholden to their every wish and whim. Is this not what love does?
For me, vampires are not monsters, they are sensual and erotic creatures that epitomise what it is to be in love and to be powerless against those feelings.
BR: What messages does Bonds convey to the reader?
MAC: There are several messages in Bonds and these are the very things I have come up against in my own life:
- Being and accepting who and what you are
- Believing in yourself and your abilities/talents
- Prejudice against you for being different
- Not allowing others to tell you that you can’t/shouldn’t do something
- Not allowing others to put/drag you down
Bonds emphasises the importance of self-acceptance. Throughout the story, Becca struggles to come to terms with her ancestry and her heritage and refuses to acknowledge that she has the gift of the Craft (Witchcraft), because these were the very things that caused her to be bullied and ostracised as a child. It is only through learning to accept whom and what she is and to believe in herself, that she is able to survive.
BR: Who would enjoy reading Bonds?
MAC: Bonds would appeal to all fans of fantasy novels, especially those with an interest in vampires, witches and the supernatural.
BR: Is there more to come from Bonds and, if so, what can we look forward to?
MAC: Oh yes, plenty more to discover about Antony and Becca. The idea is for a series of four novels, centred round the unusual relationship between the two of them. Broken Bonds, which is available through my website, picks up where Bonds left off, with Becca wrestling with the promise she made at the end of Bonds. I won’t say what it is, for fear of spoiling the story! The third in the series, Bonds: Re-Bound, is currently being created by the voices sparring in my head.
BR: Are you also writing other things?
MAC: Yes, when time allows. I have so many projects on the go:
- The fourth and final volume in the Bonds quartet is simmering away.
- I have a novel, part written, which centres around Ellie Lawrence, a character I introduced in Broken Bonds; a young woman with demons of her own.
- I have a storyline for another novel completed.
- I have an idea for a series of supernatural children’s books, which is the next project I will be focusing on.
- I have an idea for a racier novel, again with a supernatural vein.
- And many more……
BR: Can you see Bonds being made into a film?
MAC: I would love for Bonds to be transferred to the silver screen. When I am writing, it is like a film is playing in my head and I am just scribbling it all down. Many of my readers have said to me that it would make a fantastic film, largely due to the way I bring the story to life, enabling them to see it in glorious technicolour!
BR: Who would be your dream cast, if Bonds were to be made into a film?
MAC: Oh, that’s easy…..I cast this a long time ago, as my Pinterest board will attest!!
Antony Cardover – Gerard Butler
Becca Martin – Ashley Greene
Frank Jakes – Ray Winstone
Anna Martindale – Dame Judy Dench
Isabella Cardover – Daniela Ruah
Carla Adams – Isabelle Allen
Ebenezer Lightwoller – Robert Carlyle
You can follow Marie through her website: www.marieannecope.co.uk