Borne In Blood
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Tor, Dec, 2007, $27.95, 368 pp.
In 1817 the vampire Comte Franciscus Saint-Germain Ragoczy is living in peace in his chateau in Switzerland with his paramour widow Hero and both of them are very happy in their relationship. She accepts him for the four millennia year old being he is; recognizing that he is more humane than most of the humans who are living in the time when poverty is rampant thanks to Napoleon’s wars and defeat. He understands that there is a perpetual sadness about her because her father-in-law has custody of her children.
Saint- Germain plans to visit one of the authors of his Eclipse Publish Company who is studying the nature of blood. Graf Van Rasenberg welcomes a man of his stature to see his work and it is the court’s hope that her father-in-law will let her see children. At a party celebrating her engagement to an older man, Hyacinthine plans a surprise that will destroy several lives yet bring her a peace that has eluded her for years.
The twentieth Saint-Germain book takes place just after the Napoleonic Wars when French soldiers are turning to banditry and becomes outlaws because of the sudden poverty in a power vacuum that is not being filled to for these veterans and their families. Saint-Germain does what he can to help feed the starving masses as crops have failed for two years due to terrible weather but comes under suspicion when bandits steal it. In spite of all he undergoes, he retains his humanity in a world that looks at a foreigner and exile with suspicion. Ms Yarbro’s vampire novels are some of the best historicals on the book shelves.