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Mansions of Darkness: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain (St. Germain) Paperback – October 15, 1997

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
Book 9 of 25 in the Saint-Germain Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The long-suffering vampire Count Saint-Germain turns up in 16th-century Peru in this latest installment (after Darker Jewels) in a series that began with Hotel Transylvania in 1978. Although Saint-Germain hopes to live quietly in this land where a monolithic Church is systematically destroying the remnants of Inca culture, his eccentric interests immediately mark him as an outsider. The local clergy believe his medical knowledge is evidence of witchcraft; those rumors are inflamed when Saint-Germain befriends a woman said to be the last of a once-powerful family of Inca priests and nobles. Side plots present priests vying for supremacy in the Church hierarchy and fortune-hunting Spaniards seeking legendary Inca treasure. As usual with Yarbro, the tone here is old-fashioned, the pace slow, with mood and character, not action, of paramount concern. Saint-Germain's vampirism is low key; his presence acts mainly as a catalyst for the treacheries around him. Those who enjoy well-researched historical fiction will relish the detailed setting and the tangled plottings of the churchmen and secular agents whose mortal lives brush against that of the immortal undead.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

TITLR Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn. Yarbro's best-known creation, the vampire count of Saint-Germain, here travels to mid-seventeenth-century Spanish America. As always, he is hoping (as always, in vain) for a refuge from those who pursue and persecute vampires, and he is curious about the indigenous civilization, rapidly vanishing under the onslaught of the Europeans. Inevitably, he must contend with stupidity, cupidity, and cruelty on the parts of ordinary Europeans and the all-powerful Inquisition. Yarbro delivers so much historical data that it slows the pace, and the plot really does not differ much from those of the last few Saint-Germain romances, for her vampire can only work justice, love mercy, and take no unwilling partners. In spite of these drawbacks, the comparatively unexplored setting and Yarbro's genuine historical gifts make this one livelier reading than most recent entries in the series. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: St. Germain (Book 9)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (October 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312863829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312863821
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,186,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Yanni on February 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Or tenth, if you count "Out of the House of Life", which is primarily a spinoff novel about Madeline de Montalia, but which does include some of Saint-Germain's early history.
Or thirteenth, if you count "A Flame In Byzantium", "Crusader's Torch", and "A Candle for d'Artagnan", the spinoff series about Olivia Atta Clemens.
This book, set in 17th century Peru and Mexico, details what was happening to Saint-Germain while Olivia was experiencing the events in "A Candle for d'Artagnan". It is one of the best of a very good series; as usual, Yarbro's historical research is excellent, and her characters (with the exception of Roger, who seems somewhat lacking in the personality department; what does this guy do for fun? Thirteen books and counting, and I have no idea) come alive, even if I did find Saint-Germain's willingness to turn the other cheek after Dona Azul had Oaxetli poisoned somewhat out of character.
For those unfamiliar with the series, the Saint-Germain series is a series of historical horror novels in which the hero (and he IS a hero, not a villain or even an antihero as is so common in vampire fiction) is a 4000 year old vampire. The vampiric aspects are very subdued; he needs blood to maintain his strength, which is formidable, and is susceptible to running water and sunlight, but both of these weaknesses are significantly less pronounced than in much vampiric fiction.
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Format: Hardcover
The ninth installment in Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's cycle of historical horror novels featuring Saint-Germain proves once again what a fine craftsperson she is. Set in the mountains of 17th Century Peru, Saint-Germain becomes a subject the Inquisition after a daughter of Incan royalty captures his heart. Yarbro's writing is given flavour with the impeccable research she has used in this novel, making the actions and emotions of her vampire-hero more believable and enjoyable to read. The reader not only gets a fascinating glimpse into the immortal's 4000 years of life, but also becomes a part of one of the most violent periods of all time. The only problem I found in the book was that several of the names were hard to digest, but this conflict is resolved immediately after the first several chapters, when the plot thickens and the characters come to life
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Format: Hardcover
Alright, I have to admit it, if a vampire is in a book, I simply must read the book. I've read all sorts of vampire-literature -- from books with grammatical errors and no plot to speak of to, well, Yarbro's novels. Yarbro's novels are top-notch and although classified as "horror," the horror actually stems from our realization that a vampire could have more humanity within him than most "mortals" do. Yarbro's novels include something to satisfy everyone: a well-researched historical setting (I learned more history from Yarbro's novels than I ever learned in school -- sorry Mrs. O'Keefe!), a heart-wrenching romance, plenty of action between a hero and lots of of nasty folks, and, my personal favorite, a passionate and dashingly handsome vampire! Yarbro's writing style is intelligent and, in just the perfect spots, very suspenseful (and, hey, no grammatical errors)!

A word of warning is in order: once you've read one of Yarbro's books you'll be eagerly awaiting her future releases (thank goodness Amazon.com Books has electronic notification of new releases, huh?).

A novel that you will keep you thinking long after you finish the book!
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Format: Paperback
My exposure to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro was accidental. I saw one of her books and was attracted by the title, enough to open the cover and read more. I was intrugued by the main character, le Comte de St. Germain, as he is sometimes known. A mercurial figure indeed. I was also familiar with a certain sect devoted to St. Germain who believe he has lived in many different eras. This is not something Ms. Yarbro made up. The books can be still found in "esoteric" book stores (as few as there are) and are usually green paperbacks with purple ink and the text is, well, boring.

Not so Ms. Yarbro. This novel, and I have not read very many, set in 17th Century Peru during the conquista, is alive and fresh. The historical perspective she gives is fantastic and I feel myself transported back in time. Yje characters are unique and develop well with the story, even the Conte de St. Germain, who even though endowed with some awesome supernatural powers, does not serve as an excute to cop out on the plot. It was a satisfying experience for me.
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