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Communion Blood: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain [Paperback]

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 6 2000 St. Germain (Book 12)
Olivia Atta Clemens, Saint-Germain's love from the days of Imperial Rome, has died the True Death and left her lavish estates to her servant, Niklos Aurilios, but they have been claimed by a young noble who says he is the long-lost son of Olivia's dead husband. Saint-Germain may not be able to convince a court of Niklos's rights without revealing Olivia's true nature, and therefore, his own.

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Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's regal vampire Ragoczy, the Count Saint-Germain, crushes our perceptions of the stereotypical bloodsucking, murderous vampire. Unlike his undead brethren Dracula and Lestat, Saint-Germain values life, and he is the very paradigm of humanity and tenderness.

In his long and sometimes overwhelmingly lonely life, Ragoczy has lived through France's 14th-century Black Plague (Blood Roses), Ivan the Terrible's bloody reign (Darker Jewels), and the First World War (Writ in Blood). In Communion Blood, Count Saint-Germain travels from Transylvania to Rome to help out a distressed friend. It is the 17th century, a time when the pope had absolute power, and his "Little House," (The Inquisition), was a law unto itself. A vampire would be viewed as the ultimate heretic, but Saint-Germain puts his own fears aside as he offers legal advice and support to his good friend and fellow undead Niklos Aulirios, who is involved in a bitter legal dispute.

For over 1,300 years, Niklos was the faithful manservant of Olivia Clemens, until she died the True Death. Although she bequeathed everything to Niklos in her will, a young German, Ahrent Julius Rothofen, has challenged the will. He claims to be a relative of Olivia's late husband, but the vampires know this "husband" was purely fictitious. Rothofen also happens to be part of Archbishop Siegfried Walmund's entourage, a powerful allegiance of men who use the church to further their political ambitions and personal wealth. These are not men to vex, particularly if one happens to be a vampire.

As she has done so well throughout her series, Yarbro weaves Saint-Germain's personal dramas into a larger historical picture. We learn much about the complicated politics and religious divisions of 17th-century Europe, and we are treated to a fascinating snapshot of the music, arts, and fashions of the era. This is all laced with enough horror, supernatural intrigue, and erotic vampire sex to remind us that Saint-Germain, despite his humanity, is really not of the natural world. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The tyranny of the Inquisition in 17th-century Rome leaves no one safe, especially those unfortunate enough to possess property desired by powerful members of the Roman Catholic Church. When she died 30 years ago, Olivia Clemens, an old friend of Yarbro's gentleman-vampire hero the Count Saint-Germain (Writ in Blood, etc.), bequeathed her estate to her loyal servant, Niklos Aurilios. Now Niklos's ownership of the ample lands is threatened by Ahrent Julius Rothofen, a member of Archbishop Siegfried Walmund's entourage. Rothofen claims to be a long-lost son of Olivia's husband, though in fact Olivia had no husbandAbut to reveal that fact would open her life to deeper scrutiny than Niklos and Saint-Germain will allow. Saint-Germain agrees to plead Niklos's case in court. He earns even greater enmity from the clergy when he shelters Cardinal Cavaleria y Vacamonte's runaway sister, who is trying to escape an arranged marriage to the archbishop's pox-ridden brother. While sidestepping threats from his enemies, Saint-Germain finds time to take a lover, the beautiful soprano Giorgianna Ferrugia, and to write her an opera with baroque composer Alessandro Scarlatti. As usual, Saint-Germain's vampirism forms only a minor footnote to the story. Yarbro's painstaking researchAdetailed in author's notesAyields a finely wrought tapestry of lives in grim historical context. The author captures vividly the brutality and greed that powerful Romans hid behind a facade of elegance and piety. Those new to the count, as well as his loyal admirers, will enjoy this richly textured tale of political intrigue spiced with hot blood. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
To the Abbe of Sanct' Parasceva, in Transylvania, the greetings of Niklos Aulirios in Roma, in the hope that the worst of the fighting now going on in the Carpathians that we hear reported here in Roma has passed you by; Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Twelfth in the Saint-Germain series. July 11 2003
Format:Paperback
Or thirteenth, if you count "Out of the House of Life", which is primarily a spinoff novel about Madeline de Montalia (former lover and vampiric "childe" of Saint-Germain), but which does include some flashback scenes to some of Saint-Germain's early history.
Or sixteenth, if you also count "A Flame in Byzantium", "Crusader's Torch", and "A Candle For d'Artagnan", the spinoff series about Atta Olivia Clemens, an earlier vampiric "childe". This book is, after a fashion, a sequel to "A Candle for d'Artagnan".
The book is set in seventeenth century Rome, 30 years after Olivia's death, and somewhat more than that after "Mansions of Darkness". The plot and historical settings were interesting enough, if not Yarbro's best; the love interest, for a change, was neither traumatized, killed, nor psychotic, and even the secondary female character, who WAS traumatized and a bit difficult, was at least not completely psychotic. It was interesting to see, for a change, that the diligence of the church investigators actually worked to Saint-Germain's advantage.
The only real problem with this book was that the writing was inexcusably sloppy. I've long since accepted the fact that there are going to be errors in any mass-market paperback, and in spite of the fact that we pay "quality paperback" prices for the current run of Saint-Germain books, they are basically mass-market paperbacks in Sunday-Go-To-Meeting clothes. And Yarbro has always tended to be a tad on the sloppy side about her proofreading, but I can accept a typo or three per book without getting all worked up over it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Power spirals out of St-Germain's hands Dec 10 1999
By M. D. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As always, I enjoyed the integration of history and story line in Ms. Yarbro's work. This book continues a wonderful new trend in the St-Germain chronicles. Events sometimes spiral out of the protaganists' hands and he does not know all of the forces that are in play against him. Therefore, some friends will not be saved; in some cases, he must make compromises that he does not like.
This book also continues the examination of the lack of power of women over their own lives throughout history.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner starring everyone's favorite vampire Sept. 25 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In the seventeenth century Rome, Atta Olivia Clemens death leaves her vast estate to her loyal servant Niklos Aurilios. However, Ahrent Julius Rothofen challenges the will by claiming he is the son of Olivia's spouse. By virtual of that relationship, he inherits the estate. Niklos turns to Olivia's long term friend Count Saint-Germain for help.
The Count knows that his cherished Olivia had no husband. However, Ahrent is part of Archbishop Walmund's retinue, which means he has powerful connections. That threat fails to deter the honorable vampire who alienates the Archbishop further when he helps a young lady escape from marrying the brother of the holy man. Though he knows he needs to show more caution, Saint-Germain continues to do what he feels is right in spite of the danger posed by the Church.
The latest entry in the long running Saint-Germain novels continues the excellence of its predecessors. The story line remains fresh due to the emphasis on the characters and the era rather than just another vampire tale. The myriad of tidbits woven into the plot adds a historical feel rarely seen in a novel. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro keeps her lead protagonist from becoming stale almost as if this is his first appearance, but he still retains his basic charming traits. Ms. Yarbro continues her tradition of providing the best of the "vampiric" tales because she understands it's not the gore or a bushel of victims. It's the authenticity that counts.

Harriet Klausner
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars darkness that is not so dark Aug. 21 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have followed Saint-Germain now for over 15 years. I fell in love with the vampire and the historical settings and people that Yarbro placed her vampire in and around. For a while there Saint-Germain was silent, and when the novels once again started coming forth, I was extremely happy. Unfortunately, the stories and situations that were written about were so extremely dark and depressing that it still takes me a long time to build up the courage to begin a new Saint-Germain book. I am very happy to say that Communion Blood and Blood Roses were extremely wonderful to read. Not that there wasn't darkness because there is in abundance especially where the Roman Catholic Church touches. However, there is a great deal of hope that shines through in Saint-Germain and those that touch his life which was very unlike what was portrayed in Mansions of Darkness, Better in the Dark, or even Tempting Fate. I would highly recommend this book not only for the historical accuracy and removed-blinders look at the power that the Roman Catholic Church wielded, but for a real glimpse of why Saint-Germain still remains even more human than many of us today.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun book, but not one of her best March 26 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I enjoyed -Communion Blood-, but not for the plot. Saint-Germain has faced off much worse villians in -Mansions of Darkness- or -Darker Jewels-, to name a couple. The book's strengh was in its secondary characters. It was great fun to see Saint-Germain as a contemporary of Scarlatti, and I liked Georgiana. The Penitent (I'm blanking on her name) was a carbon-copy of any other oppressed woman Saint-Germain tries to help, but she didn't have Xenya's depth--or strength--of personality (Darker Jewels). My favorite secondary character was Genarro; it was fun to have a secondary character as a common thread through three different novels. On the whole, I'm glad I bought the book. (There is no such thing as a "bad" Saint-Germain book) But I'm glad it wasn't the first Saint-Germain book I read; I might not have come back for more.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must read for any yarbro fan! Nov. 6 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Great read, will not be dissappointed by Sanct Germain's latest adventure
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