cover image The Night Library of Sternendach

The Night Library of Sternendach

Jessica Lévai. Lanternfish, $14 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-941360-51-4

Lévai debuts with a lush, modern take on the trope of supernaturally star-crossed lovers, told entirely through sonnets. When Kunigunde “Kinge” Heller’s mother takes Kinge, as a child, to meet the vampire Graf of Sternendach, Kinge is immediately struck by his countenance and the elaborate library in his castle. The Graf gives Kinge a book of fairy tales and she grows up thinking fondly of him. By the time she’s 19, that fondness becomes something more. But Kinge is heir to a line of vampire hunters, and though the Graf and Kinge’s family have agreed to a fragile truce, the love that grows between Kinge and the Graf is still forbidden—and even more so as the Graf is already married to another vampire, the Gräfin. This operatic love story caters to many beloved tropes while providing a fresh perspective and building toward an unusual, bittersweet ending that explores “how love costs more than it seems.” Readers looking for something different among the crowded field of vampire love stories will appreciate the poetry and language of this brief tale as much as the sweet romance. (Apr.)