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Blood Games Mass Market Paperback – September 2, 1980

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
Book 3 of 25 in the Saint-Germain Series

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Mass Market Paperback, September 2, 1980
$91.34 $4.93
--This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chelsea Q. Yarbro is the first woman to be named a Living Legend by the International Horror Guild and is one of only two women ever to be named as Grand Master of the World Horror Convention (2003). In 1995, Yarbro was the only novelist guest of the Romanian government for the First World Dracula Congress, sponsored by the Transylvanian Society of Dracula, the Romanian Bureau of Tourism, and the Romanian Ministry of Culture. Yarbro is best known as the creator of the heroic vampire the Count Saint-Germain. With her creation of Saint-Germain, she delved into history and vampiric literature and subverted the standard myth to invent the first vampire who was more honorable, humane, and heroic than most of the humans around him. She fully meshed the vampire with romance and accurately detailed historical fiction, and filtered it through a feminist perspective that made both the giving of sustenance and its taking of equal erotic potency. A professional writer since 1968, Yarbro has worked in a wide variety of genres, from science fiction to Westerns, from young adult adventure to historical horror. A skeptical occultist for forty years, Yarbro 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.
--This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Signet; First Thus edition (September 1, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451094050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451094056
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,607,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Kelly Wagner on December 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Blood Games is set in Nero's Rome, in the 817th Year of the City. (about 60 C.E.) The book is the third one written in the series; it is one of the earliest in terms of historical chronology. Despite being the third one written, it is a good one to start with if one is first starting the whole series, because this is the book in which St. Germain acquires his bondsman, Roger, who will be a continuing character in the series. The spectacles at the Circus Maximus form a large part of the book, along with the corruption of Roman politics. The book is well titled; there is a great deal of blood and violence both in and out of the arena. Atta Olivia Clemens is the wife of Senator Cornelius Justus Silius, one of the most corrupt and perverse of the Romans. St. Germain rescues her from his cruelties through bringing her "to his life," that is, turning her into a vampire also. Olivia will be a continuing character in the series for another millenium and a half. An epilogue set in the 855th Year of the City gives perspective, and establishes the pattern of letters between Olivia and St. Germain which is used in future books of the series to set the scene and bring us up to date.
Those who already know that they like vampire novels, anything at all that features a vampire, can skip this review, and likewise, those who hate the whole idea of vampires can skip it. But for those trying to decide whether or not to read more of this genre, or whether the one vampire novel you've already read was a fluke, it may help if we have some ways to categorize these novels. Thus: BunRab's Standard Vampire Elements.
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Format: Paperback
Though this is not the first in the series, this is a good introduction to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's great creation, the Comte de Saint-Germain, a noble, a man of righteousness, and - oh, yes - a vampire who has lived, at the time of this tale, for several thousand years.
I had not read any of Yarbro's tales of Saint-Germain for quite a while and it is a pleasure to come back to them. These stories are a worthy alternative to Anne Rice's tales of Lestat, Louis, Armand, and all the other denizens of her dark world. The world of Saint-Germain is much lighter by comparison, and also contains far more action and intrigue than any of Rice's works (with the possible exception of "The Queen of the Damned"). This does not mean I dislike Rice's books. Quite the contrary, in fact - but Yarbro paints a far less shadowy world than Rice does.
Here we meet one of the great loves of Saint-Germain's long life - Atta Olivia Clemens. She has been horribly abused by her husband, a Senator of the Roman Empire around the time of Nero. To call him a pervert is to make light of his atrocities; in addition he has political ambitions that are almost as sickening as his sexual ones. It is this man, Cornelius Justus Silius, who is Saint-Germain's adversary in this novel, although the two of them do not actually do battle in any true sense of the word - and it is their actions against each other, and events related to those actions, which make up the core of this book.
Along the way Yarbro has much to teach us about vampire lore. There is no mention of the use of a cross - but then again, this novel takes place at the time of Nero, and the Christians were just beginning to make themselves noticed at this time.
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Format: Hardcover
I had never considered reading a vampire novel until I stumbled across "Blood Games" while searching for novels on ancient Rome. St. Germain's dangerous yet compellingly compassionate character completely drew me into the story and I've since been reading my way through the rest of his history. Ancient Rome's excesses and casual disregard for human life is sharply contrasted with the vampire's compassion and loyalty to the people around him. His essential "humanity" is shown most in his relationship to Olivia, the horrifically abused wife of the villian, who becomes one of the enduring loves of his life. If you've never before considered reading a vampire novel you'll change your mind once you've met St. Germain.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been reading this line of novels for about five years, and have often had to read them out of sync since they can be very hard to find at the chain stores (and I have no good local stores to go to). I must say that this book should be one of the first that you read if you are beginning the series (which I HIGHLY recommend). The story is set in Nero's Rome and introduces two of Yarbro's main characters (Roger and Olivia) to the story arc. The writing is magnificent, and the attention to detail in the historical background is wonderful. Rome is portrayed as a wonderfully alien place rather than "Americans in Togas" that some historical writers seem to go for. I have a few more Yarbro novels waiting in my read pile now (Thanks Amazon!) and I can't wait to read more.
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