From Publishers Weekly
Yarbro's 17th entry in her historical-horror series (Path of the Eclipse
, etc.) adroitly uses the ever-metaphoric vampire to portray the human dimensions of a cataclysm that changed the course of history. Vampire Saint-Germain and his faithful companion, Roger, who go under the names Zangi-Ragozh and Ro-shei in this solid installment, are merchants in sixth-century A.D. Yang-Chau, as Shanghai was called during this period. Forced by political necessity to journey westward to Chang'an (aka Xian) during winter, the pair soon realize that this is a winter like no other. Never in his more than 3,500 years of existence has the well-traveled vampire experienced anything similar—a sun with "no warmth or strength," strange yellow snowfall and an "invisible cloud" distorting the sky. Unbeknownst to most of the world, an eruption of the volcano Krakatau (aka Krakatoa) is to blame. Agricultural and economic disruption result, illness spreads, social unrest and collapse follow. The Dark Ages begin. Faced with a multitude of hardships, Saint-Germain determines to travel across Asia to his native soil in the Carpathian Mountains. The romantic and supernatural play second fiddle to history in this well-told story that deals with the meaning of being human.
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“Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has created the most remarkable and original vampire since Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”--The Midwest Book Review
“Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Saint-Germain novels are probably the best series of vampire novels ever written.” --The Hartford Courant
“Quinn Yarbro is one of our finest writers and craftpersons, incapable of a slack paragraph, or a fuzzy thought. Everything is perfectly focused, everything is expertly accomplished. And the Count remains a vibrantly original character, one of the greatest contributions to the horror genre. --Peter Straub
“Any book by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is a keepsake; any new book by her is a must read.”
--West Coast Review of Books