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Bride of the Rat God [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Hambly
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Book Description

After donning a cursed necklace for the cameras, a silent screen starlet and her entourage are terrorized by an ancient demon

It is 1923, and silent film reigns in Hollywood. Of all the starlets, none is more beloved than Chrysanda Flamande, a diva as brilliant as she is difficult to manage. Handling her falls to Norah, widow of Chrysanda’s dead brother. She has always done her job well, but she was never equipped to deal with murder.
When a violent killing shocks Chrysanda’s entourage, and other weird happenings swiftly follow, Norah begins to suspect that some strange power is stalking the star. In Chinatown she receives warning that a curse has been placed on the actress as vengeance for wearing a sacred amulet in one of her films—and this curse could mean death for all who surround her.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Barbara Hambly, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

Editorial Reviews


“Barbara is a fabulously talented writer who can write well in any genre.” —Charlaine Harris

"The novel is set among the film-makers in 1923 Los Angeles. Everything is described in a highly evocative, sensual manner so that as a reader, you can see the scenery clearly in your inner eye, hear the sounds, and almost smell the smells. A lot of information about Hollywood's early history and the making of silent movies is included yet Barbara Hambly never begins to bore with lengthy descriptions. Instead she seamlessly inserts details that the narrator observes or considers at a given moment and that are relevant to her situation right then." — Rike Hortsmann, All About Romance

"It’s fascinating, well written, fast paced, and packed with tension leading to a dynamite ending. It’s also got a sweet romance between a woman who thought her heart was dead and a fantastic hero who’s probably a good four inches shorter than she is, bearded and who wears glasses. Readers who want to experience an unusual hero need look no further …The wealth of period detail, the pulse pounding ending, the complex characters, the tight narrative, and three wonderful little dogs make Bride of the Rat God a winner for me." — Dear Author

From the Publisher

Even though I don't usually read fantasy, I read this book because of the interesting setting--Hollywood in the 1920s. A strange setting for magic, so I had to find out how Hambly could make it work. And she does. This is an enjoyable romp--and if you're an SF editor who reads Fantasy for fun on the subway, this book is just the ticket.

                                --Ellen Key Harris, Editor, Del Rey Books

Product Details

  • File Size: 3469 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (March 29, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TC146E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,667 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly immaginative saga of good vs. evil September 4, 1998
By A Customer
This book had the wonderful combination of keeping me turning the pages to find out what was happening next and laughing hysterically. While very unlike Barbara Hambly's other books, each one of which I have loved, this book shines out as a more lighthearted version of the same gripping plot, deep characters, cohesive world view, and some creeping horror that must be fought, if only they can figure out how in time. I bought extra copies of this book and sent them to three friends who were having a hard time right then with their life. All three reported that 'Bride of the Rat God' brought immediate relief from depression!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A different premise, to say the least June 30, 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hollywood, 1923. A small town on the verge of greatness, filled with silent film stars, directors, producers, and an ancient Chinese Rat God hell-bent on taking his bride!! His intended is Chrysanda Flamande, aka Christine Blackstone, one of the new up-and-coming stars of the silent film era. She lives the good life with her widowed sister-in-law Norah and her Pekingese dogs in the hills of Los Angeles. With her big-time producer boyfriend, she is the toast of the town, while her dowdier sister-in-law tries to keep her from getting into too much trouble and helps her to get to work on time. This idyllic existence is interrupted by the arrival of a myserious Chinese gentleman, who tries to warn her that the Rat God is coming for her, because of the old Chinese necklace she wore in her last film. She pays him little attention until people around her begin to die or disappear and strange things start happening around her home. Suddenly Christine, Norah, and their friends are thrust into a whirlwind of danger and magic that threatens their very souls. And the only thing standing between her and a "hellish" marriage is the old Chinese man, who happens to be a wizard. But can they muster the strength of body and mind to overcome such an ancient evil?
This is another good book by Hambley. Again she dazzles us with her precise, vivid writing and heartfelt characters. She makes you worry about what will happen to them. The reader will also learn a bit about what Hollywood was like 80 years ago, before all the glitz and glamour (although Hollywood 1923 at times sounds like Hollywood today). Seeing Norah finally climb out of her pit of despair from her husbands untimely death in World War I and find love again uplifts the heart.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of her best books! March 14, 1998
By A Customer
This is a great book! Set in 1923 in a nascent Hollywood, Hambly has presented the hectic life of early movie people, and mixed it all up with an ancient evil Manchurian Rat God, and Chinatown in Los Angelas. Her totally charming heroine, "Chrysande Flamande", with 3 little pekinese dogs, which are also Fu dogs, born to fight demons is at the center of this great story. But there is also the dignified, sholarly brown haired Norah, and her new love, Alec, the short and stocky cinematography. The only problem with the book is the truly awful cover, which completely misses the feeling of the book: nostalgia; kindliness; and ugly scuttling evil out there in the dark....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a can't-put-it-down kind of book. April 14, 1998
Ms. Hambly portrays early Hollywood so well, you find yourself surprised to look up from the book and see the 1990's. Nora Blackstone is the person telling the story, a practical down-to-earth sort of woman, the widow of Jim, brother of silent film actress Chrysanda Flamande. Jim was killed in WWI, barely a few years after he and Nora were married, and much of the book is driven by Nora's recovery from mourning and her concern for her sister-in-law, who has been inadvertantly promised to (you guessed it) the Rat God. It is an action-packed book, with wonderfully presented and believable characters, and a joy to read. The only drawback is the cover of the book. If I hadn't already been aquainted with the author and how good she is from her vampire books (Those Who Hunt the Night, and Traveling with the Dead), that cover would've put me off for sure.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, intelligent book! January 23, 2002
The only thing wrong with Bride of the Rat God is cover illustration. It seems that the artist only read the squib on the back cover.
Christine Blackstone, aka Chrysanda Flamande, is one of the biggest stars of the silent film era. She lives with her widowed sister-in-law, Norah, and her Pekingese dogs, in the hills of Los Angeles. After wearing an ancient Chinese necklace in one of her movie costumes, she is cursed to be killed by the Rat God.
Sounds just like a pulp thriller, right? Fortunately this particular book was written by Barbara Hambly, so what you get instead is an intelligent, well researched, somewhat spoof of Hollywood in the 1920's. The characters are well rounded, the plot is interesting but not overly complicated, and the writing is superb. Now if there was only some way to get rid of that terrible cover....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Clever: No -- Really, I Mean It February 26, 2004
If the name Barbara Hambly isn't enough to make you expect something well above what the title might imply, let me try to convince you. The title sounds like something out of a bad scifi movie, and it's got lots of the elements of just that genre of film: an ancient cursed necklace, a demon (the Rat God itself), explosions, cryptic omens, people who refuse to die even when their skulls are cracked open, and mysterious Chinese gentlemen.
But it's also got a wealth of finely-drawn characters: the `bad' actress who's having an affair with the studio owner, the widowed sister-in-law she rescued from companion status in England, the brave photographer, the above-mentioned Chinese gentleman, a trio of charming and essential Pekingese, and a bevy of side characters equally memorable.
And also finely-detailed is the setting: Los Angeles at the height of the silent film era, when everyone worked long hours, and used a lot of illegal drugs (including alcohol). A Los Angeles just beginning to grow, still full of woods, orchards, oil derricks, Hollywood, Chinatown, bootleggers, and dockside piers with carnivals. So while our intrepid heroes are waiting for the right time to confront the Rat God and contain it so they can live on in peace, you get to meet some new friends and see an intriguing view of Hollywood during prohibition.
I've read this book at least four times. Each time I've thought: do I really want to keep this in my library? And then set it aside to decide that question later. Well, this time I've decided -- it's being kept for the next time I want something light, clever and textured. It's out of print, but worth looking for.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fun, light read. Good character development and nicely descriptive of the time period.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, superb!
I really, really, really enjoyed this book; I always like Barbara Hambly but she makes the world of Southern California in the 1920's come alive as well as telling a roaring good... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Melodi Lammond-Grundy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - very entertaining
Well, it's not too deep - it's very campy and in style with the 20's. Just a lot of fun.
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of ups & downs...too many downs
I can't believe I finished this book. The plot wasn't really all that suspenseful. I enjoyed the descriptions of Hollywood in the 1920's and most of the characters were fun... Read more
Published 13 months ago by jacks
4.0 out of 5 stars Literary Pulp, Period Piece, Romance
I purchased this book for my Kindle on a whim. Having never read anything by Barbara Hambly, I had no preconceived expectations, other than having read she was an excellent writer. Read more
Published 14 months ago by L. Columbus
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror in Old Hollywood
Bride of the Rat God, by Barbara Hambly, was as enjoyable this time around on my Kindle as it was when I first read it in paperback twenty years ago (something I didn’t remember... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Kay Hudson
3.0 out of 5 stars Charming Fantasy
A silent film actress, her widowed sister-in-law, an ancient Chinese sorceror and a cameraman with his own kind of magic rid the world of a horrible evil in this charming,... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Karen
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read!
Barbara Hambly's writing is always well-researched and evocative of time and place. Highly creative, this look at the realities of film-making in early Hollywood, wrapped in a... Read more
Published 15 months ago by the2masks
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read overall, though not her best
I'm a fan of Hambly's Benjamin January series, as well as her vampire series, so decided to try this book as well. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Desert Mambo
3.0 out of 5 stars The title was not promising, but....
The book was a pleasant surprise. I had only encountered Barbara Hambly in the Benjamin January books, which are fun to read, but BotRG was an enjoyable outing from an good... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Hollis Storm
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