- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Orb Books; large type edition edition (July 15 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312890192
- ISBN-13: 978-0312890193
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.4 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 562 g
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,031,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Candle For d'Artagnan Paperback – Large Print, Jul 15 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
In this conclusion to the trilogy chronicling the life of vampire Atta Olivia Clemens, Yarbro depicts the reigns of Louis XIII and young Louis XIV and the battles waged by Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin to uphold the power of the monarchy. Living quietly on her estate in Italy, Olivia, now a wealthy widow, agrees to join Mazarin's retinue and move to France where she can serve as his agent and provide a place for him to hold informal meetings. Once there, she meets and falls in love with Charles D'Artagnan of the King's Musqueteerssp ok , uncovers treachery and is dogged by a secret enemy. The story often advances obliquely, with much of the action taking place offstage and reported to the reader through letters or later commentary. This often boring approach is here a brilliant device, illuminating motivation and providing the necessary compression for tumultuous events that span more than a decade. Yarbro writes sympathetically about the loneliness and perils of near-immortality.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"This is romantic suspense with a few intellectual vampires stirred into the ploy....a gentler kind of 'horror'."--Booklist
"Yarbro's vampires are benign, rational, civilazed beings more worthy of the term 'humanity' than many of the mortal they encounter."--Locus
Top Customer Reviews
For those unfamiliar with the series, the Saint-Germain series is a series of historical "horror" novels (although the horror element is tenuous at best, based purely on the fact that the main characters are vampires, and "vampire fiction" is considered a subgenre of "horror fiction"; actually, "historical romance" is closer to accurate) in which the main character is the vampire Saint-Germain, who has lived as a vampire since roughly 1500-2000 BCE. In this book, however, as in the previous two, the main character is Atta Olivia Clemens, who as a lover of Saint-Germain's became a vampire when she died, back in the Rome of the Emperor Nero (in the third book of the series, "Blood Games".)
This book is set in France during the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, which is the period during and slightly after the time of Cardinal Richelieu of "The Three Musketeers" fame. The "d'Artagnan" of the title is based on the historical Charles d'Artagnan on whom Dumas based his hero, not on the fictional hero himself.
In some ways, this book is better than the two previous books focusing on Olivia; my major complaint about them, that Olivia's vampiric powers were downplayed too severely, does not apply to this book. But I have a very major problem with EXTREMELY major plot points happening offstage, and the reader being informed of them after the fact and given an insufficient description of events to follow the action. This was badly done, and is a major part of my failure to rate this book more highly. Also, the editing did not seem as tight as in the previous entries; far too many typos and incorrect word usage (being "adverse" to something, rather than "averse", etc) managed to slip through. I hope this trend doesn't continue into the later books in the series.
This is an enjoyable read, better than some in the series, certainly not as good as "Tempting Fate", the fifth book in the series.
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Olivia trilogy is comprised of A Flame in Byzantium (1987), Crusader's Torch (1988), and A Candle for d'Artagnan (1989). As well as being the concluding volume, A Candle for d'Artagnan is the best book in the trilogy. As usual, Yarbro's research is excellent, and the readers are introduced to actual historical figures such as Cardinal Richelieu. The action takes place in mid-17th century France, where Olivia is whisked away to as part of a political team. During her stay in France she meets and falls in love with Charles d'Artagnan. Olivia is torn between her desire to let Charles know her for what she is: a vampire, or to keep quiet because of the risks. Yarbro expertly combines historical romance and political intrigue with the supernatural.
As of May 2000, Yarbro has had 12 Saint-Germain novels published that serve as a companion to the Olivia series, as well as one book about the vampire Madelaine de Montalia.
It is a pleasure -- albeit a bittersweet one -- to read this best of the Olivia books and realize that if there had been no Count de Saint-Germain, one would still want to know this brave, wise woman who only incidentally has lived for centuries.
The love and devotion of d'Artagnan for Olivia is profound.... the kind of love we all search for.
A must read for all fans of Ms. Yarbro's books.... or anyone who loves a good vampire story!
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