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Chapter 3: Our Heroine Heeds Some Good Advice

In the morning Alexia goes to see Lord Maccon. She is horrified by the mess in his office, and he isn’t thrilled to see Alexia. It becomes obvious that Lord Maccon has not slept, and that Prof. Lyall is absent (otherwise the Earl would have been forced to sleep). Lord Maccon tells Alexia that it is BUR business, and that Queen Victoria is curious about the rove vampire. He explains that Prof. Lyall is checking for absent rove vampires in cities besides London. Lord Maccon believes that it is more likely that the rove came from the Westminster Hive, because he smelled like someone from Countess Nadasdy’s line. Countess Nadasdy denied this, and it’s very odd since any vampire that survives the transformation usually merits a party. Maccon finally asks why Alexia is there, and she said that Lord Akeldama suggested it. Maccon obviously hates (or is incredibly jealous of) the vampire, unaware of his flamboyant tendencies. Alexia tries to flirt with Maccon to get him to calm down and tell her what she needs to know. She explains the meeting with the drone in the park, and Maccon becomes so agitated that he shouts that she is forbidden to go. Another argument starts. Maccon tells her that the hive will no trust her: a preternatural is the natural enemy of the vampire. They were the original “sundowners” or vampire hunters, and new scientific theories validate the reason for both existing. The counter balance theory “is the scientific idea that any given force has an innate opposite. For example, every natural occurring poison has a naturally occurring antidote—usually located in proximity”. Alexia tells him she cannot refuse the invitation since she has already accepted. Lord Maccon asks how she will get home after their meeting, and insists that she take his carriage. The conversation turns to whether or not Alexia could ever be interested in Lord Maccon, and she tells him that she is a spinster “long on the shelf” and that he is a catch of the highest order. He says that he doesn’t see any problem with either of those things, although he has to remind himself that he can’t actually stand Miss Tarabotti.


“Has the queen reported any new additions recently? Any blood-metamorphosis parties?’

‘I should say not! The Canterbury hive is old and very dignified, not given to crass displays of any kind.’ He actually seemed a little offended” (75)


Do you think Countess Nadasdy blames Alexia for the death of the rove? Does she want information or revenge?

Do you think the disappearances of the vampire are connected to the disappearing werewolves?

Chapter 4: Our Heroine Ignores Good Advice

That night Alexia is forced to sneak out of the house to visit the Countess. Floote disapproves, but helps her. Alexia arrives at a fashionable-enough address and is escorted in by a French maid. Inside was opulent, but not overdone; wealthy in a way that didn’t need to announce itself. A woman introduces herself as the Countess, and then introduces a Lord Ambrose, Dr. Caedes, the Duke of Hematol, and Miss Dair. Miss Dair and Alexia were the only humans in the room, and none of the vampires looked pleased to see her.

Read more of the summary, quotes and discussion questions here.