Vath’s Legacy (The Rufino Factor: Book 4) by Joshua Rem is the continuation of a fantasy series by this author. Rufino is a Vampire who inhabits the world of Ch’ulu and is on the hunt for his missing mobile coffin, which was beneath a cart that he has now lost. It is the eve of the Winter Solstice and the humans are celebrating the arrival of the fat man in the red suit, which for Rufino means cookies left out for the jolly man, that he, Rufino, can steal to feed his sweet tooth. Despite his small size, Rufino has performed many acts of heroism over the years and he has a strong moral compass to guide him in what is right and wrong. The beautiful, mysterious, and greatly feared, druid-sorceress, Kiralyn Frostwhisper is both Rufino’s greatest nemesis and his deepest fantasy. Unsure and uncertain of his own attractiveness to Kiralyn, he takes what little affection he can from her, when it is on offer. It is Kiralyn, though, he must unite with and work with if the evil Vath Legacy is to be overcome and defeated.
This story, Vath’s Legacy (The Rufino Factor: Book 4) was a real eye-opener for me, as a reader. Used to fantasy tales full of weird and wonderful creatures who partake in epic battles, author Joshua Rem has scaled that back and focused very much on the characters and their development, especially the characteristics of their makeup that make them do what they do. Rufino is not your typical vampire at all. He cares about doing the right thing and appears not to have an amoral bone in his body. Deeply attracted to Kiralyn, he cannot believe that she could possibly find him attractive and this constant seeking of her approval plays a large part in the story. I am aware that this book is part of a series, but you don’t have to have read any of the other offerings to truly enjoy this book. What this story did make me want to do, was to read more of this series and of this author. I think that’s the greatest compliment a reviewer can pay an author of a series. Vath’s Legacy is a tale of the underdog, battling against prejudice and seeking acceptance for who he is, as an individual, rather than who he is as a race or a species. The parallels to society today are clear and noticeable. I would describe this book as Fantasy with a heart and soul. I can highly recommend it.