Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Communion Blood: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain (St. Germain) Hardcover – October 7, 1999

14 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$5.07 $0.01

4 Stars and Up Feature: Kitchens of the Great Midwest
"Foodies and those who love contemporary literature will devour this novel that is being compared to Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge. A standout." --Library Journal Learn more

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's regal vampire Ragoczy, the Count Saint-Germain, crushes our perceptions of the stereotypical bloodsucking, murderous vampire. Unlike his undead brethren Dracula and Lestat, Saint-Germain values life, and he is the very paradigm of humanity and tenderness.

In his long and sometimes overwhelmingly lonely life, Ragoczy has lived through France's 14th-century Black Plague (Blood Roses), Ivan the Terrible's bloody reign (Darker Jewels), and the First World War (Writ in Blood). In Communion Blood, Count Saint-Germain travels from Transylvania to Rome to help out a distressed friend. It is the 17th century, a time when the pope had absolute power, and his "Little House," (The Inquisition), was a law unto itself. A vampire would be viewed as the ultimate heretic, but Saint-Germain puts his own fears aside as he offers legal advice and support to his good friend and fellow undead Niklos Aulirios, who is involved in a bitter legal dispute.

For over 1,300 years, Niklos was the faithful manservant of Olivia Clemens, until she died the True Death. Although she bequeathed everything to Niklos in her will, a young German, Ahrent Julius Rothofen, has challenged the will. He claims to be a relative of Olivia's late husband, but the vampires know this "husband" was purely fictitious. Rothofen also happens to be part of Archbishop Siegfried Walmund's entourage, a powerful allegiance of men who use the church to further their political ambitions and personal wealth. These are not men to vex, particularly if one happens to be a vampire.

As she has done so well throughout her series, Yarbro weaves Saint-Germain's personal dramas into a larger historical picture. We learn much about the complicated politics and religious divisions of 17th-century Europe, and we are treated to a fascinating snapshot of the music, arts, and fashions of the era. This is all laced with enough horror, supernatural intrigue, and erotic vampire sex to remind us that Saint-Germain, despite his humanity, is really not of the natural world. --Naomi Gesinger

From Publishers Weekly

The tyranny of the Inquisition in 17th-century Rome leaves no one safe, especially those unfortunate enough to possess property desired by powerful members of the Roman Catholic Church. When she died 30 years ago, Olivia Clemens, an old friend of Yarbro's gentleman-vampire hero the Count Saint-Germain (Writ in Blood, etc.), bequeathed her estate to her loyal servant, Niklos Aurilios. Now Niklos's ownership of the ample lands is threatened by Ahrent Julius Rothofen, a member of Archbishop Siegfried Walmund's entourage. Rothofen claims to be a long-lost son of Olivia's husband, though in fact Olivia had no husbandAbut to reveal that fact would open her life to deeper scrutiny than Niklos and Saint-Germain will allow. Saint-Germain agrees to plead Niklos's case in court. He earns even greater enmity from the clergy when he shelters Cardinal Cavaleria y Vacamonte's runaway sister, who is trying to escape an arranged marriage to the archbishop's pox-ridden brother. While sidestepping threats from his enemies, Saint-Germain finds time to take a lover, the beautiful soprano Giorgianna Ferrugia, and to write her an opera with baroque composer Alessandro Scarlatti. As usual, Saint-Germain's vampirism forms only a minor footnote to the story. Yarbro's painstaking researchAdetailed in author's notesAyields a finely wrought tapestry of lives in grim historical context. The author captures vividly the brutality and greed that powerful Romans hid behind a facade of elegance and piety. Those new to the count, as well as his loyal admirers, will enjoy this richly textured tale of political intrigue spiced with hot blood. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: St. Germain
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (October 7, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031286793X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312867935
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,238,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A professional writer for more than forty years, Yarbro has sold over eighty books, more than seventy works of short fiction, and more than three dozen essays, introductions, and reviews. She also composes serious music. Her first professional writing - in 1961-2 - was as a playwright for a now long-defunct children's theater company. By the mid-60s she had switched to writing stories and hasn't stopped yet.

After leaving college in 1963 and until she became a full-time writer in 1970, she worked as a demographic cartographer, and still often drafts maps for her books, and occasionally for the books of other writers.

She has a large reference library with books on a wide range of subjects, everything from food and fashion to weapons and trade routes to religion and law. She is constantly adding to it as part of her on-going fascination with history and culture; she reads incessantly, searching for interesting people and places that might provide fodder for stories.

In 1997 the Transylvanian Society of Dracula bestowed a literary knighthood on Yarbro, and in 2003 the World Horror Association presented her with a Grand Master award. In 2006 the International Horror Guild enrolled her among their Living Legends, the first woman to be so honored; the Horror Writers Association gave her a Life Achievement Award in 2009.

A skeptical occultist for forty years, she has studied everything from alchemy to zoomancy, and in the late 1970s worked occasionally as a professional tarot card reader and palmist at the Magic Cellar in San Francisco.

She has two domestic accomplishments: she is a good cook and an experienced seamstress. The rest is catch-as-catch-can.

Divorced, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area - with two cats: the irrepressible Butterscotch and Crumpet, the Gang of Two. When not busy writing, she enjoys the symphony or opera.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. D. Moore on December 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As always, I enjoyed the integration of history and story line in Ms. Yarbro's work. This book continues a wonderful new trend in the St-Germain chronicles. Events sometimes spiral out of the protaganists' hands and he does not know all of the forces that are in play against him. Therefore, some friends will not be saved; in some cases, he must make compromises that he does not like.
This book also continues the examination of the lack of power of women over their own lives throughout history.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In the seventeenth century Rome, Atta Olivia Clemens death leaves her vast estate to her loyal servant Niklos Aurilios. However, Ahrent Julius Rothofen challenges the will by claiming he is the son of Olivia's spouse. By virtual of that relationship, he inherits the estate. Niklos turns to Olivia's long term friend Count Saint-Germain for help.
The Count knows that his cherished Olivia had no husband. However, Ahrent is part of Archbishop Walmund's retinue, which means he has powerful connections. That threat fails to deter the honorable vampire who alienates the Archbishop further when he helps a young lady escape from marrying the brother of the holy man. Though he knows he needs to show more caution, Saint-Germain continues to do what he feels is right in spite of the danger posed by the Church.
The latest entry in the long running Saint-Germain novels continues the excellence of its predecessors. The story line remains fresh due to the emphasis on the characters and the era rather than just another vampire tale. The myriad of tidbits woven into the plot adds a historical feel rarely seen in a novel. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro keeps her lead protagonist from becoming stale almost as if this is his first appearance, but he still retains his basic charming traits. Ms. Yarbro continues her tradition of providing the best of the "vampiric" tales because she understands it's not the gore or a bushel of victims. It's the authenticity that counts.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have followed Saint-Germain now for over 15 years. I fell in love with the vampire and the historical settings and people that Yarbro placed her vampire in and around. For a while there Saint-Germain was silent, and when the novels once again started coming forth, I was extremely happy. Unfortunately, the stories and situations that were written about were so extremely dark and depressing that it still takes me a long time to build up the courage to begin a new Saint-Germain book. I am very happy to say that Communion Blood and Blood Roses were extremely wonderful to read. Not that there wasn't darkness because there is in abundance especially where the Roman Catholic Church touches. However, there is a great deal of hope that shines through in Saint-Germain and those that touch his life which was very unlike what was portrayed in Mansions of Darkness, Better in the Dark, or even Tempting Fate. I would highly recommend this book not only for the historical accuracy and removed-blinders look at the power that the Roman Catholic Church wielded, but for a real glimpse of why Saint-Germain still remains even more human than many of us today.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed -Communion Blood-, but not for the plot. Saint-Germain has faced off much worse villians in -Mansions of Darkness- or -Darker Jewels-, to name a couple. The book's strengh was in its secondary characters. It was great fun to see Saint-Germain as a contemporary of Scarlatti, and I liked Georgiana. The Penitent (I'm blanking on her name) was a carbon-copy of any other oppressed woman Saint-Germain tries to help, but she didn't have Xenya's depth--or strength--of personality (Darker Jewels). My favorite secondary character was Genarro; it was fun to have a secondary character as a common thread through three different novels. On the whole, I'm glad I bought the book. (There is no such thing as a "bad" Saint-Germain book) But I'm glad it wasn't the first Saint-Germain book I read; I might not have come back for more.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Great read, will not be dissappointed by Sanct Germain's latest adventure
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Pamela A. Jordan on March 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has definitely written better Saint-Germain books. _Communion Blood_ takes the vampire hero to 17th-century Rome, where he gets embroiled in a real-estate dispute, Papal politics, and the composition of an opera (with music great Alessandro Scarlatti, no less). As always, Yarbro's historical research is adequate (although not nearly as impressive as her fans always seem to insist it is). But not only is the plot tedious, the characters are absolutely cardboard and inconsistent. As for Saint-Germain, he has almost no personality at all, except to serve as a vaguely-defined fantasy version of the Perfect-In-Control-But-Sensitive-Almost-To-The-Point-of-Being-Annoying Male.
Overall, this book has the feel of having been written in a terrible rush. Yarbro has a tendency to put stilted, verbose language in her characters' mouths when she means them to be elegant or clever. Even worse, whoever edited the book deserves to be fired: on average, a typo, a grammatical error, or gross misspelling occurs once every five pages ("roughian" instead of "ruffian," or "thredony" rather than "threnody," for example). Not to nitpick, but when you're reading an author whose reputation is based largely on her research skills and her intelligent use of language, it jars quite a bit to read prose that looks like it's been proofread by a middle-school student.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews