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The Secret History of Vampires Mass Market Paperback – April 3, 2007


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075640410X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756404109
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,831,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer VINE VOICE on August 8, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At first glance, "The Secret History of Vampires" appears to be a fascinating, creative take on vampires and how they have influenced famous historical persons and events. However, I felt that many of the contributors to this collection of short stories did not know how to approach this task. Additionally, the editing of these stories did not meet my expectations. Nearly every story had grammatical errors, punctuational errors, or copy and pasting errors. The first story in this collection (written by Harry Turtledove) is a fine example of the copy and paste error: the same sentence ends one paragraph and then begins the next. Below I will highlight three of the stories you will find in this collection:

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro ("Harpy"), an author that comes highly recommended by many vampire readers, spun a story about a mother and her children living in poverty in ancient Greece and the mysterious benefactor (a vampire!) who brings her food and conversation while her famous husband (no, I won't tell you who!) is away with his dedicated students and followers. Though the identity of the vampire is hinted throughout the story, the hints were not clear enough for me to determine who he was. The writing quality of this story was far more impressive than most others in this collection.

Having read Carrie Vaughn's "Kitty Norville" series, I was excited to read "Princess of Spain," which is about a young Katherine of Aragorn who has just married Prince Arthur (King Henry the VIII's sickly elder brother) and has yet to consummate her marriage with him. Though the vampire seems to be thrown into the story for no purpose other than to fulfill the task, I really enjoyed this story for its setting and also because of its author.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Madelyn Pryor VINE VOICE on June 14, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Secret History of Vampires is Daw's latest anthology. The premise of the anthology is to take very real historical events, and very real historical figures, and show the vampires lurking behind the curtains, shaping events. Thirteen stories follow this winding path and arrive at very different destinations, all of which are unique and intriguing.

The quality of the writing and the stories in this anthology is amazing. Usually, in multi-author works at least one or two tales that lack the quality of the others. This is not the case here. Each and every story is phenomenal, worthy of being reread time and again. The complete list of stories follow:
** Under St. Peter's by Harry Turtledove
** Two Hunters in Manhattan by Mike Resnick
** Smoke and Mirrors by P.D. Cacek
** Garbo Quits by Ron Goulart
** Blood of Dreams by Sarah A Hoyt
** A Princess of Spain by Carrie Vaughn
** Harpy by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
** Honored Be Her Name by John Betancourt and Darrell Schweitzer
** Ill-Met in Ilium by Gregory Frost
** The Temptation of Saint Anthony by Brian Stableford
** Bohemian Rhapsody by Ian Watson
** Green Wallpaper by Tanith Lee
** Sepulchers of the Undead by Keith Taylor

All of the stories are original and creative. I personally love Two Hunters in Manhattan because it is about Teddy Roosevelt, and Harpy about Dracula and an improvised family in ancient Greece.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves vampires, alternative history, actual history, anthologies, or anyone who loves a great book. This will be a wonderful addition to any collection, and a purchase you'll be happy you made.

Highest recommendations.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mythadventures on November 6, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The Secret History of Vampires is an anthology. The stories insert the vampire mythos with actual historical figures.

Under St. Peter's by Harry Turtledove is an interesting premise. I did find the point of view changes a bit confusing at times as he switches from one to the other.

Two Hunters in Manhattan by Mike Resnick involves Teddy Roosevelt before his turn as president. Roosevelt incounters a vampire as he tries to clean up the streets as New York's Police commissioner.

Smoke and Mirrors by P.D. Cacek involves Harry Houdini in his never ending search to truly find out about what is beyond the grave.

Garbo Quits by Ron Goulart casts the great Greta Garbo as a vampire. He has an interesting style. I might look into more of his writings.

Blood of Dreams by Sarah A. Hoyt casts the communist leader Lenin as a vampire. I couldn't really see what the author was trying to accomplish with this story other than an explanation of why Lenin is in a glass coffin.

A Princess of Spain by Carrie Vaughn is a very entertaining account of Catherine of Aragon's marriage to Prince Arthur, the brother of Henry VIII.

Harpy by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's entry used her very popular character St. Germain. As a vampire tale, she didn't really go into his vampirism that much. It was an interesting tale though on the fate of women in ancient Greece.

Honored Be Her Name by John Gregory Betancourt and Darrell Scweitzer involves a missing archaeologist suddenly returning and the tale he has of Cleopatra and her court. It was OK, but I wasn't overly enthralled with the story.

Ill-Met in Ilium by Gregory Frost involved a much changed account of the events in Homer's the Illiad.
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