As a Dhampir, Emma Andrews was literally born to be a vampire hunter but lacking the necessary knowledge to be an effective warrior, she went to a monastery in Copenhagen for further studies. While there, her good friend Sebastian Dulwich wrote about a situation at the Blackbrier School where a teacher was concerned about the students falling under the influence of something evil. Posing as a teacher, Emma takes up residence at the school and quickly discovers that all is not well. An ancient evil known as the Cyprian Queen is mesmerizing the girls and some of the village boys causing them to commit heinous acts.
Emma, assisted by Sebastian, Father Luke and Valerian Fox probe deeper into the source of evil while she continues seeking information about her mother who attended the same school. What no one realizes until it is nearly too late is that evil can be closer to home then you know and possess insidious allies.
The strict moral codes of the 1860’s add an unusual element to this nicely constructed vampire hunter tale with well-rounded characters and smooth storyline. Although the vampire’s identity is no surprise to the reader, it is a treat watching the four companions sort through the clues and work toward a resolution. A fifth companion is drawn into the story, rounding out the abilities of the group as they get ready to face their next challenge. While it may seem strange for a proper Victorian young woman to be a vampire hunter, Lepore makes it work in this second addition to the series.