Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Return of Saint Germain

COMMEDIA DELLA MORTE, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Tor, $29.99, reviewed by Jim Brock.

France in 1792 – the French Revolution has reached a state of wholesale slaughter of the nobility, the intellectuals, merchants and tradespeople to the point where the thirst for blood is by necessity reaching lower levels of society. It is reaching a state where mere accusation is enough to warrant conviction and execution.

It is ironic that in Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s latest offering of the chronicles of the vampiric Saint Germain, the two least bloodthirsty characters are the vampires St. Germain and Madelaine de Montalia. Madelaine is in France despite St. Gemain’s warnings of the dangers that revolution can bring. After her arrest, he must journey to France with his man, Roger, to affect her escape.

In order to facilitate his plans, St. Germain becomes patron and musician for a traveling troupe of entertainers. Once again, the inherent nobility of his character causes him to overlook obvious complications and growing dangers with his traveling companions that will place him in the path of the True Death that Madelaine already faces.

The depth of historical research and the richness of language Yarbro has always used have made the St. Germain series the vampire series of greatest substance in print.

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