The third entry in TSR/Ravenloft's ``open-ended series of Gothic horror tales,'' this is a chilling, dark fantasy again featuring powerful vampire Count Strahd Von Zarovich. Strahd relates how he conquered the realm of Barovia, and how he became a vampire to win the love of his brother's wife, Tatyana. He tells of fratricide, suicide, treachery and a horrible curse connected to his beloved Tatyana. While this volume follows Vampire of the Mists (by Christie Golden) and Knight of the Black Rose (by James Lowder), the narrative's events seem to pre-date those of Golden's story. Although certain events and characters are depicted differently in all three novels, this is not a failing, necessarily, if readers keep in mind that this book is part of TSR's Dungeons & Dragons gaming world, in which each session at the gameboard produces varying scenarios. Elrod's strong prose and excellent pacing are not diminished by being confined to the boundaries of a pre-established universe. Though this novel lacks the baroque sensuality of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire or the streetwise humor of the author's own The Vampire Files , it is an exciting and original vampire tale. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993 Release date: 09/01/1993 Genre: Fiction
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