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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on October 15, 2002
I picked this book out on a whim when out doing some shopping. ...The letter's made me feel as if I was sneaking around looking over the charters shoulders or reading there diaries. ... I love a clean love story that has life around it. The fight scenes were not long and drawn out, Nor was there a love scene every time you turned a page. Though the hero is immortal there are ways that he could be killed, and the last fight makes you wonder as you turn the pages. I enjoyed the ending because it doesn't leave yea feeling as you just read A Cinderalla Story with them riding off into the sunset with the They lived happily ever after type of feeling. The charters are left with so much more to go beyond the pages of this book. If you are looking for a bloody vampire story then this book might not be for you. If you enjoy becoming one of the charters or love a personnly relationship with the charters in a book then you might find this book a Great Moonlight read... I myself will be looking for more Chelsea Quinn Yarbro books and books about the Vampire Le Comte de Saint Germain.......
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on October 3, 2002
Base in France during the 1740's, the heroine (Madeline) reaches marriagable age and is sent from her country home to Paris to live with her Aunt. While she is there, she meets the mysterious County St. Germain. St Germain is the current identity of a very old vampire (and is also the famous vampire of Transylvania lore). In addition to a mild romance brewing between the two is a nefarious Satanic plot by an old enemy of Madeline's father, that is also connected to St. Germain.
Reading the plot synopsis could be slightly misleading due to current expectations for vampire novels. Anyone expecting something similar to Anne Rice or Laura K. Hamilton will be disappointed. This is not a graphic vampire novel or a tragic love story. Having only read this first book in the series and the discriptions of later books, I suspect the author was using the vampire as a way to use the same character in different time settings. The mysticism, romance, and occult are weak but useful tools to help the plot progress. This is very much a costume peice-- but an interesting one.
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on September 15, 2002
I can't help but wonder if I read a different book than everyone else here. I picked this up last week and was intrigued by the summary on the back and purchased it. I do have to say that it was very well researched, but that's about all I can say for it.
From reading the back, I was looking forward to a "disturbing," "erotic" story that would haunt me the way Anne Rice's vampires did when I first read them. Instead I got a definite lack of character development, and got a story where everything happened by rote. I wanted to see Saint-Germain fall in love with Madelaine. For someone who's lived for so long and held himself apart from people, what made her different? What made her so irresistable to him? We don't get to see that at all. As for, no. A whole love scene that is comprised of "and he worshiped her with his hands and his lips" (possible paraphrase) is not erotic. Sorry. I know that makes it look like all I wanted was an erotic novel, and that's not true. But if I'm told on the back of the book that it's "disturbing" and "erotic," then that's what I expect on the inside. And it was neither.
Two stars because the time period was very well researched, although I didn't like how the action was brought to a screeching halt to describe what everyone was wearing. And I love it when someone does a new and original take on the vampire mythos. That shows creativity.
I'm glad her books are so popular, but I didn't even finish this one, and don't intend to seek out any more.
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on September 13, 2002
... and I have paid for it by buying every other book in this series ever since.
This is the first of a series of novels of historical fiction which are linked by one central character - the Comte Saint-Germain (or sundry variations on the theme depending on the locale), scholar, artiste, alchemist, humaitarian and vampire.
Please understand that the vampirism is definitely a fairly minor part of the story - do not expect scenes of rabid bloodlust and slaughter, of necrophilia and excessive time periods spent among the decaying bones of past victims - you won't find them.
You will find the depiction of a very human (and humane) man, his relationships with a well drawn and believable supporting cast, in a well researched and believably presented historical setting - and this is the feature of the entire series. No transformations into bats or mist, no bloody battles with an army of vampire hunters - but the tale of a good man and his loves set against historical events spanning the centuarys.
This series has all the hallmarks of good historical fiction, without the 'occult' aspect intruding into the story's innate believability.
If I have one complaint about this series it is, that after 20 years reading it and many hints dropped over that period, that it is time for Ms Yarbro to finally write the tale of the Comte's pre vampiric life - I am still dying to KNOW!!!
Read this - it won't disappoint.
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on August 26, 2003
Hotel Transylvania takes place in 18th century Paris and serves as an introduction to the character of Le Comte de Saint-Germain, a vampire featured in this series of novels by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Anyone expecting horror will be disappointed in this novel, which I found to be reminiscent of --- although not necessarily derrivative of --- Anne Rice's vampire novels. Like Rice's novels, this book was more of an erotic vampire story than a horror story. Even the cover art makes it fairly obvious that the novel is a "bodice-ripper" with fangs. The story was predictable, but it was a smooth and enjoyable read and I enjoyed Yarbro's writing style. Though it ready annoyed me that every time she mentioned a door in the story she called it a "french door." Since the story takes place in France, I found that rather irritating. I gave the book 4 stars on the Amazon rating scale, but 3 1/2 stars would better reflect my feelings about the book.
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on June 6, 2003
This is the first in the Yarbro Saint-Germain series and as my header suggests, first impressions really do 'Count'.
After a friend of mine recommended the series to me, I began reading this one first, not really expecting to like it or the series and seriously doubted I'd get hooked.
Boy, was I wrong!
Captivating, engrossing and very romantic, this is the one to start with. Saint-Germain, though IMHO, not really at his best here, is still fascinating and sexy enough to hold the reader's interest. And Madelaine is a throughly enjoyable character.
The ending is a luscious combination of action and romance.
There are other books in the series I like better, but this one will not disappoint. None of Yarbro's books ever could.
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on October 7, 2003
I'd read a number of other of Yarbro's Saint-Germain novels before coming back to this first book in the series, and it was a bit of a surprise. For all that this book was written in 1978, it reminds me more of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series than do the other Saint-Germain books. While Saint-Germain is impotent, the bad guys here revel in sexual torture and rape as part of their Satanic rituals (boy, that sounds cheesy, but it works in this Gothic setting). While the detail is less graphic than Hamilton's more recent stories, these are not passages comfortable for the faint of heart. A good read, though the series gets better as it matures.
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on November 11, 2002
I decided to read this book because a) I loved "False Dawn" by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and b) I thought I'd try another genre other than my favorite of Urban Myth and Fairy Tales. Big mistake on both accounts. Half the book is literally explanations of what people are wearing, and I really don't care. By the time I was done reading the paragraph about what someone was wearing I had to get back into what the story was about. It was very jarring and gratuitous. I agree with another reviewer: it drags. It's supposed to be about the vampire Saint-Germain and the woman he falls in love with, but the story focuses more on these Satanic men who want to sacrifice her than the actual love story. I hate when I read a book and think Damn, if only this were edited differently or rewritten I could really love it. If you are into historical fiction, especially French historical fiction you might really like this. But I will stay with the "Vampire Chronicles" by Anne Rice for for the kind of vampire stories I like and can, forigive the pun, sink my teeth into.
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