This image probably looks familiar–it’s the official cover art for Red Viper. This image has none of the cover text, however, and I wanted to show the art in its full glory. As you can see, Sam is extremely snake-like in her dragon form, and has bright venom-green eyes. Goliath takes upon the form of a vampire bat, and this scene is from a very late point in the book. It looks glorious!
Sambuca Viper is the female protagonist of Book 1 in the Vampire War series. She’s pretty much the “poster child” for the series along with Goliath (who will be introduced in a moment.)
A vampire huntress her entire life prior to meeting Goliath, Sam had no idea the world was saturated in magics and creatures beyond her wildest imagination, which indeed included dragons. Her backstory is tragic, in which she was sent away to vampires as a blood slave at a young age. She toughened it out, of course, and managed to escape with her venoms.
Speaking of venom, when Sambuca was a vampire huntress, she used it to kill them. While vampires are extremely versatile, both silver and concentrated dragon’s venom can severely harm them, including the most powerful among them.
Sam had no idea at the time that she naturally could produce venom, of course, and got most of her stock from snakes that she lived with in a little forest cottage. Her species enabled her the ability to speak with them, and they were like a family.
With the temper of a dragon, Sam’s gotten herself into quite a bit of trouble throughout the series.
She is known as the “Red Viper”.
Goliath Elapid is the male protagonist of Book 1 in the Vampire War series. Like Sam, he’s a “poster child” of the series, and he’s very frequently spotted with her, especially after he intentionally runs into her in the beginning of the series.
Goliath is a living vampire, and one of the most powerful among them at that. Since he’s a royal vampire, he has natural powers such as turning into a cloud of bats or isolating a target from the rest of the world to take down. Initially he went after Sam to kill her, because her species was a roadblock to vampires taking the world for their own. He was a dragon killer, something he still regrets to this day.
Upon witnessing Sam sparing an innocent vampire orphan, however, he lost any desire to harm her and wanted to form a team. Unlike many of his family like his brother, Ash, Goliath saw humans as equals and wanted harmony with them. He had his sinister cruelty beaten into him, and was woken out of that by Sam’s act of kindness.
Goliath, of course, kept his love for killing despite his change in heart. He directs it toward enemies, however, though has a certain fondness for ripping out the hearts of his victims and eating them even today. That’s likely never going to change about him, nor is his sinister smile.
He is known as “The Bat in the Tophat”.
Goliath and Sam are often fighting either with each other or side-by-side. Their relationship is, needless to say, complicated. Do they eventually end up together, though? I suppose you’ll have to read to find out.
Click here to view the twitter profile of Harcloniter, the artist that created this wonderful piece!
Here’s a piece I got where the couple are in an anime style.
Darcia Deville plays a HUGE part in the Vampire War series, and is the second perspective we see in book 1. She’s a badass female protagonist that doesn’t take shit from anyone. Darcie is a Tasmanian Devil shapeshifter, hence the image on her white shirt there.
A huge trait of Darcia is her loyalty; she’s seen rushing off to save her friends or aid in the war effort on a regular basis. She’s a natural leader, eventually taking over her pack after quite a few complications. Not only that, but she’s incredibly intelligent, carrying on the tradition in her species of being a ‘bookworm’. She certainly looks like someone who’d be better suited for fighting on the battlefield than in a library, but the truth is, she fits in both locations.
Darcia is a stubborn woman. Rage getting the better of her isn’t as big of a problem as it is with Sam, but Darcie can sometimes be stuck in her ways and refuse to listen to reason. She sees the world in a black-and-white manner sometimes, and might not understand when evidence proving otherwise is presented to her.
Her mind is capable of being changed, however. This is seen most abundantly via her interactions with Robert Smoke. Let’s just say, if Goliath and Sam’s relationship is complicated, hers and Smoke’s is worse.
Fun Fact: She features as a bestiary teacher in Cobratongue University.
And then, there’s this bastard. Where do I even begin with Robert Smoke. His primary trait, in the beginning of the series, anyway, is greed. Smoke is obsessed with money, as he never had it after his parents were butchered by vampires.
Smoke became a vampire hunter and worked his way up, until of course he betrayed the entire association with a few of his cronies by allowing Ash Elapid, an evil vampire royal, to turn him into a vampire. This way, he could forever hunt and be oh so much more powerful. He’s a huge issue for Sam and Goliath in the beginning of the story.
In fact, he eventually strikes a deal with Darcia, getting her to form a blood bond with him so he could undermine any plans she might have to overthrow him. In exchange, he no longer would be working with Ash, but rather against him. This backfired.
Smoke lost all of his forces the following battle, almost dying himself. By some miracle, he was spared, which is about the time he began to…change. For the better.
Robert Smoke became a key antihero of my story, shifting from an evil antagonist to a backstabbing protagonist, making some nasty decisions in favor of team “hero”. In The Vampire War: Conclusion, his relationship with Darcia truly becomes well-rounded. How, though? You’ll have to read and find out.
He is known as “The Rat with the Knife”.
I GOT SOME WONDERFUL MANGA DONE of these two forming the blood bond! See this blog post about it, click away!
And of course, Darcia and Smoke end up a ship. This is why I put “Spoilers” in caps lock on top of the page!
Messing with Smoke might not be the best idea when he’s angry…
A good question to ask is: “Is the entire ‘Smoke’ family crazy?” The answer is probably going to be yes.
Like her brother Robert Smoke, Cecelia Smoke started off as a vampire hunter. Except, she joined a part of it known as the ‘Exorcist Sect’, in which she was indoctrinated pretty horribly. Not only did she not have the proper knowledge on how to fight vampires, but she refused to listen to reason when confronted with evidence of her folly right before her.
Initially she hated her brother for ‘abandoning her’, however he had done nothing of the sort. Rather, she ran off and didn’t listen to him when he wasn’t as passionate about vampire killing as she. Robert had been focused on survival, whereas Cecelia was upon revenge.
This led her down a dark path, and when the war was out in full force, she was tossed out to die, unprepared for battles against vampires. Right then is where she met Ares Arachnida–someone who was fully capable of ripping her limb from limb, but decided to show mercy.
She shows up in The Vampire Wars: Conclusion and has a very rich arc, eventually coming to regret some really nasty actions she made against her unlikely savior Ares.
Here’s a wonderful piece I got of Cecelia, this came out perfectly! It captures her personality well, especially when we move onto the Cobratongue University series and after she practices her magic quite a bit more.
Much later in her character arc, Cecelia becomes an extremely powerful lightning mage. She humbles and is forever grateful to her brother and Ares. There’s a scene at the very end of Cobratongue: A Bloody Spring where her powers REALLY get to shine.
Here we see gang leader Ares Arachinda. He looks absolutely terrifying, and like Goliath, has tons of power due to being a royal vampire. Of course, upon meeting him, no one knows that, and he just seems like some high-end biker gang leader.
As the vampire wars progressed, he and his gang began to starve. Initially they targeted the scum of the streets, clearing out humans in the big city that wanted nothing more than to harm others. This, however, changed, and out of desperation he and his gang attacked Darcia with the intent of slowly taking her blood.
Let’s step back for a moment, though. Ares is actually extremely kind-hearted and hates how some of his kind view humans only as livestock. In fact, he was turned cannibalistic (feeding off of and killing other vampires) upon getting rather angry at various situations that are revealed in the book.
He didn’t want to lash out at Darcia, however, in the end it was inevitable. Luckily he was spared and eventually joined Goliath’s forces to free the city from the evil Ash.
His story really comes to fruition in The Vampire War: Conclusion. He showed kindness to Cecelia beyond what she deserved, and in return, got himself into a near-death situation. Poor Ares.
Fun Fact: He’s a magic teacher in Cobratongue University, and has a particular love for Dungeons & Dragons. His main DnD character is a kobold known as “Forktail”! Also rather than a bat, he chooses to shift into a crow, so that he can ‘be different’.
He’s known as “The Dancing Crow.”
I won an art piece from an amazing artist and decided to have a portrait of Ares done, so here it is! This REALLY captures his personality very well. This is on point as to how he looks from a realism perspective.
And here he is shirtless, yes he has a dancing crow tattoo. I don’t think anyone is surprised!