I have had this book for ages and ages. I read “The Vampire King” soon after it came out and enjoyed it so why did I wait so long you ask? I have no idea ok! Sometimes I just make silly decisions for no discernable reason.
The premise of the series is a spinoff of “The Big Bad Wolf” series. The first book obviously follows the Vampire King as he meets his queen and deals who all the foibles that come along. The second book is about the Phantom King. He is the king of purgatory which is where all the souls of people who died wrongful deaths go to forget their wrongful death and then move on.
Thanatos (or Thane) is the Phantom King. He rules over purgatory and greets these souls as they enter. I can’t really tell much more of his importance except that they souls seem to be able to spy for him (and defy him as well so they must not have to obey him) but they can’t leave purgatory. Thane himself seems quite powerful, but I am not seeing his importance as one of the 13 kings.
Despite this, I did enjoy reading about Thane discovering his queen who is a warlock. Siobhan (I have NO idea how to pronounce that name!) has denied the darker pull of her warlock magic her whole life. Because of this (and obviously her potential to be Thane’s Queen) there is a big nasty after her. This would be the Akyri king who is the culprit behind the death of her boyfriend, Steven Lazarus (who plays a role in the whole book).
In this series and “The Big Bad Wolf” series the author interweaves the romance between the characters. By this I mean that often there are two men vying for one lovely lady’s attention and one of them is made out to be a bad guy, but in the next book we find out that he is misunderstood (or in some instances has a change of heart) and he becomes the hero of this next book with his own lovely lady that he must protect from the next bad guy.
In “The Phantom King” we start to get more of the big picture for the series. There is a bad guy who is after Siobhan, but there is also a badder bad guy pulling his strings. This series reiterates many times that the queens on a chess board are the most powerful just like the queens of these 13 kings.