This short story is about Valdia, a half-vampire trying to protect the village of Sheol. Sheol is located on the Plane of Shadow, an opposite of the normal world inhabited by undead and other creatures that shun the darkness. She has been hired to rescue an infant kidnapped by ghouls. Unfortunately, she has fallen victim to a plot to separate her from her chosen wards (thus the Pawn and Deception).
Here we have a heroine who is conflicted about her heritage who is trying to fit in with the human population of the town that she has chosen to defend. The townspeople don't trust her because of her heritage. She does not get along with her vampire father, who takes an interest in her activities for undisclosed reasons of his own. There is some fighting and mild horror violence. The words themselves are strictly PG on the MPAA rating scale. However, on film there are scenes that would push it firmly into the realm of PG-13. The story is dark, but not inappropriate for anyone 13 or up. Would definitely be enjoyed by any adult who is a fan of dark fiction (Valdia's father offers to take the infant off her hands, presumably as foodstuffs. No sparkly vampires here).
My only complaint is two spelling errors (incorrect homonyms used). I would rate this a 3.75, rounded up to 4 stars. A bargain at the price.