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More Than Mortal (Renquist Quartet) Hardcover – August 11, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Renquist Quartet (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (August 11, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312879016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312879013
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.3 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,720,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The expansive vampire mythology Farren elaborated in The Time of Feasting and Darklost gets snagged in a holding pattern in this surprisingly sluggish third chapter in his Nosferatu chronicles. Nosferatu elder Victor Renquist is still rebuilding his decimated New York vampire enclave when he's summoned to Ravenkeep Priory, the English estate that's home to a female vampire "troika." Archeologic excavations at nearby Morton Downs coincide with strange dreams and visions transmitted to the Nosferatu ladies, and Victor deduces that the digging has disturbed the resting place of Taliesin, better known as Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend. Merlin is a member of the Urshu race which, like Homo sapiens and the Nosferatu, is one of several species created eons ago by the Nephilim as part of their biotech experiments in colonization outside their planet and his re-emergence signals a possible upset in Earth's balance of supernatural powers. Victor and other Nosferatu fret that their days may be numbered, and with little to do until Merlin hatches from his protective cocoon in a climactic finale, they spend most of the novel challenging one another to duels of honor, indulging in neo-medieval pageantry and launching internecine power struggles. Long on scene setting but short on plot development, this novel reads very much like a middle book in a lengthy series. Farren's fans will devour it, but other readers may wish they had the patience of immortal vampires to endure its longueurs.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Summoned to England by a trio of female Nosferatu, vampire lord Renquist investigates a mysterious presence within an ancient burial mound. His research leads him to the discovery that none other than Merlin sleeps beneath the ground, ready to awaken. When a group of Scottish vampires enters the picture and Merlin demonstrates his own ruthless agenda, Renquist finds himself questioning everything he once believed. Continuing his series featuring a cultured and humane vampire protagonist, the author of The Time of Feasting and Darklost has produced another vivid tale that should appeal to the genre's many fans. Suitable for most libraries.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is Mick Farren's third effort in a series that focuses on the adventures of Victor Renquist, the 1,000 year old master of a vampire nest in Los Angeles. Farren's vampires are the results of alien genetic experiments about 15,000 years ago, but are otherwise fairly traditional. While not particularly averse to religious symbolism, they can be destroyed by light and must sleep during the day. Taken as a subculture, they are a weird and degenerate group, ranging from Victor's suave style and manners to half insane Scotsmen who go on regular blood rampages. For the most part they are not 'evil' but they have no particular feelings of remorse about using people for their regular diet.
In this tale Victor is called to England to help with a curious problem that has overtaken a troika of female vampires. These creatures are Columbine Dashwood, a regency beauty who has a severe intelligence problem; Marieko Matsunaga, deadly as both Japanese courtesan and swordswoman; and, finally, Destry Maitland; who has spent much of both her life and her unlife as a mercenary. Destry possesses Dormandu, an Uzbek, the incredibly rare hereditary steed of the warrior vampires. The problem Victor has been called on for is that digging at a nearby archeological site has started to awaken something that has begun to affect the women's dreams, especially Columbine. Anything that can do that is a threat that can't be ignored.
Victor arrives to discover that the dig hides the resting place of an ancient Urshu, known as Taliesin the Great Merlin. The Urshu were a creation of the same aliens that bred the vampires. They were considerably more powerful than vampires, especially in powers of illusion and are able to work in daylight. Nor do they require the normal vampire diet.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alan Robson on November 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In More than Mortal, Mick Farren gives us another instalment in the life of Renquist, the vampire. This third novel in the series appears to be a launching pad for an extended story arc and while it is complete in itself and is thoroughly enjoyable (this is Mick Farren after all) it is definitely a scene setter for whatever comes next. Renquist receives a message from Columbine, an old flame. She is living in a remote English village in an ancient priory with two other nosferatu Marieko and Destry.
Destry is mad about horses and at one point in the novel someone asks, "Where's Destry?"
"She's riding again," is the (inevitable) reply.
You have to admire the sheer nerve of an author who can put a joke as bad as that one into a novel.
Anyway - the point of asking Renquist to come to England is that Columbine has detected psychic radiation from an old Saxon burial mound near the priory. The mound is currently being investigated by an archaeological team and Columbine is a little frightened at what they might uncover. Renquist To The Rescue!
He finds things to be a bit more dangerous than he expected. The being in the burial mound is the extra-terrestrial who was once known to human history as Merlin. In that guise he played a large part in the Matter of Britain, and it seems that his ambition in this area is not yet satisfied. Renquist has his work cut out for him as he tries to foil both Merlin's plans and also the ambitions of a feudal clan of Scottish nosferatu who have their own secret agenda for the newly revitalised being. There is an ending of sorts, but it is nicely ambiguous. We haven't seen the last of Merlin.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen C. Griffin on January 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
There is a good deal of suspension of disbelief when reading a vampire/nosferatu novel. Much depends on character and atmosphere. Mr. Farren has a real gift for presenting weak, flat characters and nonsensical atmosphere! The snobbishness and pretentiousness aren't a great problem. The difficulty is is remarkable silliness! He attempts to be "scholarly," and makes repeated errors. A great deal of emphasis is placed on Renquist's education and fluency in Latin, then he is impressed by dog-Latin in which he is called "brothers in blood." He seems to have been born to a Norman baron half a century before the Norman Conquest; Farren can't spell Norman or Saxon names. "Victor of Redlands" in 1000 AD is left with ONLY a sword, suit of armor, and cavalry horse capable of carrying a mounted knight; that's like saying the illegitimate son was "disinherited" with only $ 50,000, a car, and a military education! He thinks a priory is inhabited by a whole bunch of priors! It goes on and on!
This might have worked if Farren had stuck to the punk/grunge/ Goth style. As it is, he's thrown in everything from references to H.P. Lovecraft and Bram Stoker to his personal prejudices. The confusion, dull dialogue, stereotypes, and messiness are dreadful.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Nosferatu Victor Renquist struggles to rebuild his American based vampire colony when he receives the summons from three females of his species, including a former love. Knowing this is not a friendly visit between old friends, Victor drops everything to go to Ravenskeep Priory, England where he learns that Homo Sapiens archeologists disturbed the gravesite of Taliesin, better known as Merlin. The return of Merlin to the world means the belief that the Urshu species is extinct is no longer true.
The question facing Victor and his vampire allies is whether to kill Taliesin before he becomes a powerful wizard that could destroy the current balance of power. As the brooding Nosferatu debate what to do, power struggles and duels from within leave the group somewhat disabled as no can take charge to make the final decisions on the emergence of an Urshu.
Based on his previous novels in this series, this reviewer expected to spend time on a Nosferatu feast, but instead felt lost in the dark of an anemic plot. The background of MORE THAN MORTAL is deep so that readers understand the difference between the species and somewhat how they were "planted" on the planet. The concept of this Merlin is intriguing and the insight into the Nosferatu is quite illuminating. With all that going for it, this novel could have been the horror-fantasy tale of the year, but instead Mick Farren gives fans a tale that feels more like an in betweener novel.

Harriet Klausner
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