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Night Blooming Hardcover – October 22, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Aspect; First Edition edition (October 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446529818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446529815
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,870,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The prolific Yarbro (Hotel Transylvania, etc.) flawlessly weaves a meticulous historical milieu and enthralling characters with the fantastic in her 15th volume to feature compassionate vampire Ragoczy, Count Saint-Germain. Here known as Hiernom Rakoczy, he travels in A.D. 796 to Tours and later Aachen to advise the Frankish king, Karl-lo-Magne (Charlemagne), who's closely allied with Pope Leo III. Meanwhile, saintly albino Gynethe Mehaut struggles within a church that can't decide whether her stigmatic wounds denote holiness or blasphemy. The white woman and the dark count, still recovering from an ill-fated encounter in Come Twilight (2000), eventually cross paths in Rome, where their passions ignite, though those expecting the high eroticism of Laurell K. Hamilton will be disappointed. The melancholy count regains some joie de vivre when he's reunited with his old friend, the always remarkable Atta Olivia Clemens. Richly rewarding for longtime readers, the novel also provides a good entry point for new recruits with its subtly supplied back story. The eighth century European setting is more accessible than the 14th century India-Asia setting of the previous book in the series, A Feast in Exile (2001). In Yarbro's saga the vampires are honorable, civilized and heroic it's humankind that's horrific. Current popular vampire fiction reflects her influence more than that of the better known Anne Rice, and her noble vampire deserves comparable sales.and Stoker awards.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

More vampires, this time in the 15th novel in the series featuring Le Comte de Saint-Germain. A sinister stranger in the court of Karl-lo-Magne (that's Charlemagne) has an amazing knowledge of maps perhaps because he's traveled all over the map for centuries.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Richmond VINE VOICE on November 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This series never fails to enthrall with its fastidious attention to historical detail and its equally charming vampire hero. It's really quite amazing how subtly and so casually author Yarbro deals with the mundanities of vampirism, which never gets in the way of the plot or the history. Saint-Germain himself just gets better all the time. What a fabulous character, created from a bit of history himself! The supporting cast -- his manservant, his former-lover-turned-best-vamp-bud, and her charming and witty ghoul amanuensis --- are so well developed throughout the series, they now seem like old friends. Admittedly, Anne Rice and her Lestat, worthy of praise and adultation, tend to overshadow the more quiet seduction of Yarbro and S-G; that seems a bit unfair, but then this kind of historical fiction does not appeal to everyone. If you love Rice, you should though at least give Yarbro a try. The same is true for fans of Laurell Hamilton, whom this writer finds to be an acquired taste which just hasn't happened for him yet, if ever. NIGHT BLOOMING is a superb additon to the S-G chronicles.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Yanni on March 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Or sixteenth, if you count "Out of the House of Life", a spinoff novel mostly about Madeline de Montalia, Saint Germain's lover from the first novel in the series, "Hotel Transylvania", by the time of "House" a vampire in her own right.
Or nineteenth, if you count "A Flame In Byzantium", "Crusader's Torch", and "A Candle For D'artagnan", all centering on the life of Olivia Atta Clemens, his lover from "Blood Games", third in the series, likewise a vampire herself in these stories.
As in all of the books in this series, Saint Germain is an unmitigated hero, gentle, kind, suave, cultured, generous, intelligent, wise. Some readers of vampire fiction don't want their vampires to be good guys; at best, they want engaging bad boys like Anne Rice's "Lestat". At worst, they want ravening demons. If you fall into this category, don't read this book (or any book in this series). You won't get what you're looking for here. In Yarbro's books, the bad guys are generally the political and religious powers that be in the historical periods that she writes about.
Which brings us to one of the most fascinating things about this series: the historical settings. Saint Germain is a vampire who has lived for 4000 years; as such, each novel sets him in a different time period; this one sets him in the court of Charlemagne, circa 800 CE. Don't read these books as vampire fiction; read them as historical romances.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read every one of CQY's vampire novels. Yes, they are slightly formulaic, yes they are historical--but what do you think the life of a putative vampire who is thousands of years old would be? Most tellingly, Saint-Germain, despite his several long-lived friends, suffers boredom and loneliness, and struggles against cynicism. The beauty of these novels is their portrayal of history without the rose-colored glasses present in most history books. Partially epistolary in form, these novels allow us to see history not through the rose-colored glasses of distance, but through the eyes of those living it as their present, and then supplies "commentary" in the form of Saint-Germain, whose 4,000 years of life have allowed him the time to develop modern sensibilities, as we see them. If you're looking for a horror story, you'll be disappointed; Saint-Germain is much more. If you expect institutions such as the Church and various historical figures to come out smelling like roses because the simplistic history you learned at school or even in your church suggests that it is so, you'll be disappointed as well. The reality and politics of the dark ages, say, or religion is often much nastier than we want to suppose, though it takes looking at primary sources--rather than TV and movies--to understand this. I am grateful that CQY does do this research, and then writes these novels, so the rest of us can see history--and humanity--with new eyes. A little fresh blood never hurt anybody, so to speak.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In 796 Gaul, Karl-lo-Magne (Charlemagne) has summoned Europe's finest minds to attend him in an attempt to resurrect the Roman Empire. Karl-lo-Magne discusses rare maps with one of the scholars, Rakoczy, whose vast knowledge and strange practices makes His Highness question what the Count is, but he still bestows favors and property on the "foreigner".
Nearby at about the same time, albino Gynethe Mehaut visits a convent seeking help with her constant bleeding palms. The local church is divided between her representing divine benediction and the Antichrist. Proving his leadership ability by placing the monkey on someone else's shoulders, Karl-lo-Magne dispatches Rakoczy to escort Gynethe to the Vatican so Pope Leo III will have to deal with the problem. As the duo travels south avoiding sunlight for different reasons, they form a deep passion for one another, but to save her life, Rakoczy must defy the two most powerful mortals in the world: the monarch and the pope.

As expected with a Count Rakoczy novel, the astute historical background provides a powerful opportunity for the audience to luxuriate in a bygone era. The story line is typical of the long running series yet grips the audience with the feel of the battle for supremacy between the monarch and the pope mostly through the perceptions of the traveling couple. Fans of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and those newcomers who delight in a historical compassionate vampire tale will want to read NIGHT BLOOMING, a robust end of the Dark Ages tale that showcases Rakoczy in top form because his companion brings out the best in him.

Harriet Klausner
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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.

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