From Publishers Weekly
Yarbro takes an unusual tack in her latest adventure (after Communion Blood) for the worldly vampire Saint-Germain. In lieu of locating her vampire hero at a specific historical hot spot, she presents a plot that sprawls across 500 years, and for the familiar human heavies she substitutes a vampire villainness of the benevolent bloodsucker's own creation. While traveling through Spain in the seventh century, Saint-Germain, against his better judgment, saves the life of the mortally wounded Csimenae through a mingling of their blood. Despite his efforts to instruct her in the necessity of unobtrusive coexistence with humans, the haughty, impetuous Csimenae intimidates her countrymen into worshiping her and her son, Aulutis, eventually driving her vampire mentor away. Over the next 500 years, Saint-Germain's travels bring him into contact several times with Csimenae, who engenders a personal vampire army that preys on both unwary pilgrims and invading Moors. Yarbro's impressive historical research allows her ample opportunity to parallel Csimenae's exploits to the Muslim plunder of the Spanish countryside and the siege spirit that infected medieval Europe. Though the incessant details of daily life in the Dark Ages can grow wearisome, they are offset by Saint-Germain's poignant moments of soul-searching over his rare, regrettable moment of fallibility. The chronicles of Saint-Germain total more than a dozen books, but the unexpectedly original angle of this novel offers an infusion of fresh blood that could make it one of the series' most popular entries; it also suggests that Yarbro has other surprises to spring in future volumes. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Among the numerous and diverse vampires invented in recent years, Yarbro's Prince Ragoczy stands out. From his debut in Hotel Transylvania (St. Martin's, 1978; o.p.) to Communion Blood (Tor, 1999), through 19 popular novels and a short-story collection, this paradoxically humane vamp has survived terrors of history from ancient Egypt to World War II. In ironic contrast to man's documented inhumanity, the vampire Ragoczy is intelligent, ethical, and heroic. Several thousand years of personal growth have taught him to nurture his "victims" with a sensual sharing of their life force, rather than killing them, when he feeds. Here, in a moment of poor judgment in seventh-century Catalonia, he creates a monster vampire who proceeds to terrorize the countryside for hundreds of years; feeling responsible for this "child," an anguished Ragoczy attempts to reform her. Come Twilight describes 500 years of Catalonian social, political, linguistic, and ecological changes under the successive rule of Romans, Moors, and Christians. Especially noteworthy is the parallel Yarbro draws between the ecological disaster resulting from the Moors' deforestation of the area, and the failure of Ragoczy's morally deficient protge to survive in a way that connects with life rather than destroys it. Episodically exploring one geographical region over several historical periods rather than focusing on a single era, this is an interesting departure from the earlier novels. It assumes some previous knowledge of the series, but fans of the "Saint Germain Chronicles" should appreciate this fresh perspective.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.