Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fifteenth in the "Saint Germain" series.
Or sixteenth, if you count "Out of the House of Life", a spinoff novel mostly about Madeline de Montalia, Saint Germain's lover from the first novel in the series, "Hotel Transylvania", by the time of "House" a vampire in her own right.
Or nineteenth, if you count "A Flame In Byzantium", "Crusader's Torch", and...
Published on March 5 2004 by James Yanni

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Sanit Germain a vampire? You could have fooled me ...
Tempted to read Night Blooming and Hotel Transylvania by the reviewers' comments, I was sorely disappointed in these books and the primary character, Saint Germain.
Germain is "supposed" to be a vampire - although it is really hard to tell since the only vampirific tendencies he regularly exhibits are 1) he has a hard time crossing running water, and 2) he has to...
Published on Feb. 14 2003 by Spooty


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2.0 out of 5 stars Sanit Germain a vampire? You could have fooled me ..., Feb. 14 2003
Tempted to read Night Blooming and Hotel Transylvania by the reviewers' comments, I was sorely disappointed in these books and the primary character, Saint Germain.
Germain is "supposed" to be a vampire - although it is really hard to tell since the only vampirific tendencies he regularly exhibits are 1) he has a hard time crossing running water, and 2) he has to tuck his native earth into shoes, saddles, and other accoutrements SO THAT HE CAN BE OUT AND ABOUT IN THE SUN.
Come on, I realize vampire characteristics differ - but two things are usually universal 1) vampires drink the blood of the living to continue their existence, and 2) they can be killed by exposure to sun light.
Oddly enough, "Saint" is an excellent title for Germain because he and Mother Theresa could be good friends. Germain travels the earth doing good works. He spends his time helping ladies that he fancies, kings that require advice and counsel, down trodden servants, outcasts of society, and so on. I really don't know why Yarbro bothered to make Germain a vampire - the books would be more interesting if he were a regular person who did these things; because he is supposed to be a vampire, you keep expecting him to do gothic, vampire-like stuff, when he doesn't, he slips into being dull, predictable, and tiresome.
For me, Yarbro's writing style is tedious, vapid, and uninspired. It took me many more days than it should have to read these books because I kept falling asleep. All of the tedium about titles, church minutia, underdeveloped characters, and loose ends ... I was secretly hoping to permanently misplace the books so that I did not have to finish reading them.
I am sorry that this series did not live up to its billing. Since Anne Rice's glory days (I don't count her more recent work to be a part of her stellar past), it is difficult to find engaging vampire fiction. If you are dying to read this series, make certain that you either adjust your expectations about what a vampire is and does or load up on caffeine before you begin.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fifteenth in the "Saint Germain" series., March 5 2004
By 
James Yanni (Bellefontaine Neighbors, Mo. USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Or sixteenth, if you count "Out of the House of Life", a spinoff novel mostly about Madeline de Montalia, Saint Germain's lover from the first novel in the series, "Hotel Transylvania", by the time of "House" a vampire in her own right.
Or nineteenth, if you count "A Flame In Byzantium", "Crusader's Torch", and "A Candle For D'artagnan", all centering on the life of Olivia Atta Clemens, his lover from "Blood Games", third in the series, likewise a vampire herself in these stories.
As in all of the books in this series, Saint Germain is an unmitigated hero, gentle, kind, suave, cultured, generous, intelligent, wise. Some readers of vampire fiction don't want their vampires to be good guys; at best, they want engaging bad boys like Anne Rice's "Lestat". At worst, they want ravening demons. If you fall into this category, don't read this book (or any book in this series). You won't get what you're looking for here. In Yarbro's books, the bad guys are generally the political and religious powers that be in the historical periods that she writes about.
Which brings us to one of the most fascinating things about this series: the historical settings. Saint Germain is a vampire who has lived for 4000 years; as such, each novel sets him in a different time period; this one sets him in the court of Charlemagne, circa 800 CE. Don't read these books as vampire fiction; read them as historical romances.
One of the few negative aspects to this series is that regular readers know from earlier-written books set in later historical periods that most of the romances are doomed to tragic endings; if they weren't, the romantic interests would have become vampires, and we'd have seen them or heard them referred to in later-period books. This gets a bit depressing after a while, but is hardly enough to keep the series from being worthwhile.
I would put this book about on a par with "Blood Roses" or "Darker Jewels", not as good as "Writ In Blood" or "Better In The Dark", but better than most of the series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Saint-Germain is our vampire-embedded-in-History, Dec 13 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Night Blooming (Mass Market Paperback)
I've read every one of CQY's vampire novels. Yes, they are slightly formulaic, yes they are historical--but what do you think the life of a putative vampire who is thousands of years old would be? Most tellingly, Saint-Germain, despite his several long-lived friends, suffers boredom and loneliness, and struggles against cynicism. The beauty of these novels is their portrayal of history without the rose-colored glasses present in most history books. Partially epistolary in form, these novels allow us to see history not through the rose-colored glasses of distance, but through the eyes of those living it as their present, and then supplies "commentary" in the form of Saint-Germain, whose 4,000 years of life have allowed him the time to develop modern sensibilities, as we see them. If you're looking for a horror story, you'll be disappointed; Saint-Germain is much more. If you expect institutions such as the Church and various historical figures to come out smelling like roses because the simplistic history you learned at school or even in your church suggests that it is so, you'll be disappointed as well. The reality and politics of the dark ages, say, or religion is often much nastier than we want to suppose, though it takes looking at primary sources--rather than TV and movies--to understand this. I am grateful that CQY does do this research, and then writes these novels, so the rest of us can see history--and humanity--with new eyes. A little fresh blood never hurt anybody, so to speak.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Same Old, Same Old, July 8 2003
By A Customer
I've read all of CQY's vampire stories and this is the last one for me. I loved the first few books, enjoyed the middle few, got heartily sick of the last 2 and this one I didn't even finish. Don't need to; I know how it ends. She is following the same basic formula for every book and while it was a good formula, it's time for a change! Hate to echo what's already been said here, but I'm sick of the same types of characters, the same dialog (SG and Roger seem to have the same bantering conversation in every book!), the same plot. CQY is a good writer and should not be wasting her time with this stuff. She should use her talents to explore new territory and techniques.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Horror-romance made routine, April 4 2003
By A Customer
Of the many novels starring the vampire Saint-Germain that Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has written since 1975, this is definitely another one.
Historic setting? Check; the kingdom of Charlemagne (or Karl-lo-Magne) around AD 800. ... male-dominated society and religion full of ignorance, superstition, and pervasive abuse of women? Check. Sensitive, intelligent damsel more than usually distressed by this nasty culture? Check. Reason she's singled out for extra distress? This heroine's both an albino and a stigmatic -- someone who bears spontaneous wounds resembling Christ's in the palms of both hands.
Two main variations in the formula this time around. The romance is so low-key as to be almost non-existent. The 'evil superstitious patriarchal society' plot takes up a correspondingly larger amount of room. In this one, the vampire or the damsel can barely say "please pass the salt" without the remark being construed as treason, heresy, or witchcraft by the uniformly nasty cast surrounding them. Some local peasants whose story parallels the damsel's have no better luck, in spite of being mostly male. As is so often the case in this series, their eventual destruction is the result of an ill-considered charitable act by St. Germain earlier in the book.
Yarbro does do her homework on historical matters. As always, she does an admirable job of evoking of a society unfamiliar to her readers. She describes every single one of them as superstitious, petty, and cruel to women, but at least she doesn't skimp on the details. The other bright spot is the brief return of Olivia, a Roman matron who is one of the hero's former lovers now turned vampire.
If you like the series, you should have no serious gripes with this entry. If not, I wouldn't recommend this book as a starting point.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars So that's what happens, Jan. 16 2003
At last I know what happens to a mosquito that bites the Count. I thought it just went on and on doing the same thing forever, but became harder to swat, being stronger and faster.
Seriously, I'm under the spell again of Ms. Yarbro's words and character. The only problem I have is that just about everyone in the religious life is in it for greed or power, and more time is spent on one-upmanship by formality or insinuation than true piety. No one becomes a bishop or a simple nun for love of goodness. The only goodness usually found in the novels are that of the Saint himself who always gets victimized himself for showing humanity. Thanking a slave for service was the height of suspicious behavior. Could everyone have been that bad?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars CQY has written herself into a rut, with compensations, Jan. 14 2003
Having read all of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's St. Germain novels, I can't stop now, but it does seem to me that CQY has written herself into a rut. The first 5 or 6 books were engaging, exciting, and fun to read. Now we still get to see St. Germain, and in this outing, we even get to visit with Olivia in Roma, but the tone is consistently depressive.
As always, the historical details are of interest and presumably impeccably researched. Some of the changes Yarbro keeps ringing, however, are just getting to be tiresome. How long can we keep hearing Roger and Germain referring to each other as "old friend", without really seeing any evidence that they are really "friends". Yes, Roger is always concerned for Germain's needs, but neither character ever really discusses their concerns with the other. One reveiwer remarked that centuries of butlerhood must be getting old for Roger, and I would have to agree. It also becomes increasingly difficult to see why Germain wants to continue his extended existence. In the earlier books, he was much livelier, but in the last several, it's been just one depressing century after another.
Finally, a word or two specifically about this book. What is with the stigmata? They seem to be there as just a plot device. For all his concern over his albino, stigmatic love, Germain never really concerns himself with WHY her hands are always bleeding. Is she really a Saint? Does this mean that there is a God, and he is into manifestations of sainthood? Is she nuts? A self-mutilator? We are led to believe that she is a true innocent, whose palms have been bleeding off and on (but mostly on) since childhood, but no rationale is so much as suggested. And, finally, how about some guidance in pronouncing her name (Gynethe Mehaut)?
OK, OK, so I still would recommend reading this book, especially if you've read all the rest, but please---CQY, try to recall the vivid, heroic, undead gentleman from the first few books, and let the old boy have some fun!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars St. Germain - an acquired - ahem - taste ..., Nov. 10 2002
This is one of the most popular vampire series on the market - and it's very existence flies in the face of common editorial wisdom. I know because I've sold a number of novels, including a vampire romance coming out in 2003, Those of My Blood, and the vampire related novels of Sime Gen such as The Unity Trilogy ASIN 1592220037.
Most professional editors will tell you that if you want to sell a book to an editor, you can't mix your genres. And if the publisher has any hope of selling to a wide audience, you really really must never ever mix genres.
Well, The Chronicles of Saint-Germain are Vampire-Romance-Historical-Feminist psycho-drama, as Those of My Blood and Sime Gen are also mixed genre.
Yarbro has blended the twenty-first century's terse style with that antique style of words for their own sake, images described for 10 pages in paragraphs two pages long, words and words and words that just ripple across the senses for the sake of evocation of strange places in the minds of those who have never been 20 miles from their birthplace and never met anyone they haven't known all their lives. Yarbro evokes that wordy style without a spare word anywhere.
Relying on the reader's modern experience, Yarbro transports us to "there and then" by capturing the attitudes and ideas, the viewpoints of those who lived in such a world.
These novels have no action. Even when the characters are running for their lives, there's nothing resembling the kind of "action" you see on tv or in films.
But you know what? That's exactly why I love them! How refreshing! A real, complex, deep, rich story told without depending on fight scenes the way "Walker, Texas Ranger" does. Yarbro uses plenty of danger, threats that materialize, angst,and conflict to give us insights into how our culture has become what it is today.
I've done a long review of Night Blooming in my review column focusing on how perfectly the story of Gynethe Mehaut, a woman who is a totally passive victim of her life, time and circumstances reveals the full complexity of the definition of Enemy. She's an albino raised by Nuns, and has accepted a life of nothing but penitential prayer. Then the Church investigates why her hands bleed with stigmata reminiscent of Christ's wounds. She is sent from convent to convent and eventually to Charlemagne's court.
She has solid emotional defenses against the life she's caught in -- until Saint Germain introduces her to the delights of the body. At one point, he uses a length of silk to pleasure her -- and offers her entre into his "life." Shortly after that, she's tortured. It seemed to me that because he broke down her inner defenses, the torture was hundreds of times worse for her than it would have been.
For the torture scenes alone, Night Blooming is a stunning achievement of the writer's craft. But aside from that, the book reveals the full meaning of the casual references sprinkled in some of the other St. Germain novels about the time Saint Germain was at Charlemagne's court.
If this is your first Saint Germain novel, I don't think you'll be able to rest without reading the others. Like watching just one episode of Forever Knight - it leaves you tantalized by so many questions.
Live Long and Prosper,
Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Dash it all. Here we are again., Nov. 5 2002
By A Customer
Sooooo...this was an exercise in how many unpronounceable names can you put in one book. Or perhaps how many times can you have repetitive conversations about religious blindness. Was there a story in there? OK, so it was better than Come Twilight, which was painful to read but still...more than 250 pages into the book and our hero hasn't met his babe for more than a fleeting moment. He's too busy mucking around giving his Word (does that capitalization grate on anyone else's nerves?) to Great Karl and the peasants and generally having a very dull time, sing halleluiah. Once we leave the north and travel to Rome the story tries to pick up steam, but in the end it seems someone forgot to hitch the coal car to the engine. Fizzle fizzle thunk. The short scenes with Olivia and Niklos are the only relief from the monotony. If you're looking for an historical picture of religious fundamentalism at its intolerant worst you've come to the right place. If you're looking for a captivating story with remarkably well-drawn characters too bad for you. I keep coming back to this series because of my love for Yarbro's Saint Germain, but the last three books have been really trying. Where is the man from Hôtel Transylvania and Blood Games? Has the well run dry? Will the next book also tank? ...this one certainly did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Night Blooming, Oct. 23 2002
By 
"kon2" (Oakland, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Another excellent C.Q.Yarbro novel with Saint-Germain as the lead chacter. For those of you who are new to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's much beloved vampire, fear not-this novel will bring you up to speed on our hero, his very long life and his rather unique "needs". (and I am not just talking blood!!)
I was struck by the sad tone of the novel. Saint-Germain often laments on how lonely his life is and this novel definely drives that point home. Gynethe Mehaut truely is a lost soul that Saint-Germain fights Heaven and Earth for. A very disturbing and gripping ending to this well written and researched novel.
A definate "must read" novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Night Blooming
Night Blooming by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (Mass Market Paperback - Sept. 1 2003)
Used & New from: CDN$ 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews