cover image Blood Roses: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain

Blood Roses: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Tor Books, $24.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86529-0

As an exiled foreigner living in the village of Orgon in the midst of 14th-century France, the 3000-year-old vampire Saint-Germain (Mansions of Darkness, etc.) has enough trouble at the best of times convincing the locals that his unusual habits and interests are no threat. It's bad enough to be a man of culture and learning during the Dark Ages without being thought a minion of Satan. Yet even the purest motives aren't enough to withstand the suspicion of the church when Saint-Germain uses his medical skills to heal the Vidame Saint Joachim of a wound no other healer has been able to diagnose. When the church accuses Saint-Germain of helping to spread the plague, the vampire is forced to flee as his lands and goods are seized. In the disguise of an itinerant jongleur, he finds himself attached to a noble house where his learning and sympathetic manner make him first confidant, then secret lover of the Lady Huegenet. Yarbro moves her story along swiftly, filling each page with the period detail for which her work has become known. As is also customary with her writings, the well-told tale is less about vampirism than about the texture of life during a pivotal moment in time long past. Agent, Donald Maass. (Oct.)