Saturday, July 6, 2013

Borne in Blood, by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Tor
367 pages
Source: My collection

Description: The year is 1817.  In Switzerland, the Count Saint-Germain leads a comfortable life with his paramour Hero whose husband died fighting Napoleon. Saint-Germain's loving kindness cannot keep Hero from missing her children who are being raised by their hard-hearted grandfather. 

The Count has become intrigued by the work of an Austrian noble investigating the properties of blood, a subject always of key interest to a vampire.  But when the noble's beautiful ward fixates sexually on the Count, the vampire fears for himself and his gentle lover.
(From GoodReads)

Review: While this book does suffer a bit from information repetition, and from some scenes that feel a lot like filler, overall its a good read.

The two plots are both fairly simple and straightforward, but they both progress well. The book isn't particularly fast paced however, so there the reader does need a certain degree of patience.

The main plot, which focuses on Hyacinthie, and her attempts to deal with people she views as competition, is both tragic and disturbing. While I found the details of the abuse she suffered as a child to be relatively vague, the implications are clear enough that it might be a good idea to skip this book if reading about CSA is an issue for you.

The secondary plot, which deals with a group of highwaymen who are clearly receiving help from someone local, was a bit less interesting. The characters involved aren't quite as well fleshed out. There is one scene, makes me wonder if the author changed who was involved at the last minute. The person helping the robbers seems to be bent on implicating Saint-Germain, and there's a scene where a servant tries to delay his departure for no obvious reason. If this person had turned out to be involved, it would make sense, since it would be hard to frame Saint-Germain if he's not there. But he's not behind it, so the scene just ends up as puzzling filler.

Overall, this is a decent book in a long running series. Not the best, but far from the worst.

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