Note: There are spoilers aplenty in this post. Also, I'm not sure how well I have articulated exactly what I'm feeling, but I've given it a good shot *grin*
Last month I wrote a post entitled Alternate Endings as I had just picked up As Shadows Fade, the fifth and final book in Colleen Gleason's Gardella Vampire Chronicles, from my local library. I finished reading the book at the end of last month and I've been thinking about it ever since. Remember how I said there was a love triangle, and that I had a fair idea who the heroine (Victoria) would choose, and that Victoria's choice for Victoria was the opposite of orannia's choice for Victoria? Well I was right (unfortunately). On the plus side, the romance between Victoria and her choice of hero (Max) worked for me. I didn't think it would, but it did. I believed it, believed in them. The rather large elephant of an issue I have with the book is what happened to the alternate hero (Sebastian).
As the book progresses and Sebastian accepts that Victoria has not chosen him, he starts dreaming of his previous beloved Giulia (Max's sister), who was introduced to vampires (by Max) and subsequently turned. Sebastian was the one who staked her (I hope that makes sense).
Was it just because he'd lost Victoria that Giulia had come back to haunt him? Had his relationship - such as it had was - been simply a distraction from Giulia and her memory?Excuse me? Sebastian considers his relationship with Victoria a distraction?
Sebastian then discovers an ancient prophecy foretelling the coming of a saviour who carries the deepest taint. So, in an effort to save Giulia and others from eternal damnation (because they drank human blood), Sebastian rescues Max from the clutches of the evil vampire queen and allows himself to be turned into a vampire.
For Giulia. For her soul. He would save her soul, and keep his own clean. And then, someday, they would be together...when his long promise was fulfilled.I'm sorry, be together? But...what about Sebastian's feelings for Victoria?
Breathing hard, he looked at her (Victoria): the face he would never forget, the woman he loved, the eyes, sharp but pleading.So, you do love her (Victoria)?
I'm not a huge fan of love triangles (but then I can't imagine one hero falling in love with me let alone two [although a gal can dream *grin*]) but...I trusted the author to do right by it. Unfortunately, I feel that Sebastian was cheated. And what's worse is that Max was the person who introduced Giulia to the vampire that turned her (although I will stipulate that he was ignorant of the exact consequences of his introduction) and yet Max ends up playing happy families with Victoria and Sebastian spends the rest of his life as a vampire... Does that seem in any way fair to you because it doesn't to me.
And what's more, where was Sebastian's anguish and heartache over losing Victoria? We are never shown it. It's almost like we are meant to believe that Sebastian didn't really love Victoria. Except...the author sold me on that in the first four books, and not having a resolution, any resolution, cheapens those feelings. And to make him a vampire?
I'm sure the author has her reasons and I'm missing them by such a gap you could drive a supertanker through, so if someone can explain them to me I'd be very grateful as I just don't understand...
Edited to add: I realized after posting that this post was rather anti-social unless one had actually read the book. So, in the general scheme of love triangles, what are your thoughts on how the author should handle the alternate hero's ending?