As a loyal Yarbro/Saint-Germain fan, it's going to be very hard for me to be objective about this book, but I'll do the best I can.
Allow me to begin by saying: She's done it again!
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro succeeds where many authors fail: Continuing to hold our interest in a character for over 20 years, without any of the bells and whistles that accompany other, more 'traditional' vampire novels, all without compromising the character's dignity and honor.
Set in the 1930's, on the heels of the time period the very popular "Tempting Fate" takes place in, it's obvious from the get go that we're in for quite a ride (pun intended). While the action throughout the novel isn't exactly break-neck speed, this is a very evenly paced story. Whereas some of the novels have, IMHO, dragged in some spots, I didn't detect any lags here at all.
In a way, this book reminded me of a 'buddy/road trip' type movie. Saint-Germain and Roger (who is referred to in this story as 'Rogerio') are forced to flee Spain and fly to the United States after a brief layover in Ireland.
Once they're in the States, we get to meet some very colorful characters, some likeable, some not and most, personalities that we can all relate to in our every day lives i.e, used car salesmen, lawyers, insurance men, policemen, cab drivers, even carpet installers. All of which, help to make this novel very believable as Roger and Saint-Germain do their best to fit into 20th century America while constantly being on guard against forces wishing to do Saint-Germain harm.
That being said, the Saint-Germain/Roger relationship is of great interest to me and I find myself wondering exactly what it is about these two men that, after 2,000 years, not only keeps them together, but makes for such a fantastic team. Yes, loyalty, devotion, respect, honor, gratitude and brotherly love
all play a part, but I sometimes get a bit frustrated with the 'master/servant' thing. By now we know they're way beyond that. I'd just like to see more of the components of their unique friendship outlined and detailed a bit more while they maintain the decorum they've established.
It was a pleasure revisiting Rowena Saxon, now a bit older and wiser than when Saint-Germain first met her in "Writ in Blood", and I found the character of Cenere fascinating. I wish we could have seen a bit more of him, but his face-off with Saint-Germain is worth the price of admission, alone.
And true followers of the series will recognize many references to past and future events/characters that will play important parts in past novels. Ms. Yarbro does a splendid job of filling in those holes for us while still cleverly foreshadowing events that we already know are going to take place.
My favorite part? Saint-Germain haggling over the price of a used Packard. Great stuff!
And of course, the romance/sexual encounters were top-notch.
All in all, another wonderful read by a gifted and prolific author. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next!
An easy five stars from me.
You outdid yourself, Ms. Yarbro. Take a bow.