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A Mortal Glamour Paperback – February 1, 2007

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Terrifying. Her picture of women going slowly mad in a convent during one of history's darkest periods is both gruesome and irresistible." - Stephen King

"Sinister, sensual, and damned scary...if Chelsea Quinn Yarbro had written this four hundred years ago she would have been burned at the stake -- very, very slowly!" - Whitley Strieber

The uncut, restored, original novel as authorized by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro! This edition includes -- for the first time ever -- over 25,000 words cut from the mass market version.

About the Author

The author of more than 80 books, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is best known as the creator of the heroic vampire, the Count Saint-Germain. Yarbro is the first woman to be named as an International Horror Guild Living Legend, one of only two women ever to be named as Grand Master of the World Horror Convention (2003), and the first to serve as president of the Horror Writers Association (1988-1990). In 2005 the city of Padua, Italy honored her with a day of celebration. She is the recipient of the Fine Foundation Award for Literary Achievement (1993) and (along with Fred Saberhagen) was awarded the Knightly Order of the Brasov Citadel by the Transylvanian Society of Dracula in 1997. She has been nominated for the Edgar, World Fantasy, and Bram Stoker Awards.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Juno Books; Revised edition (February 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809557940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809557943
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,848,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dark historical fiction set in fourteenth century France, A Mortal Glamour tells the tale of one turbulent year in the life of a convent. Although A Mortal Glamour was originally published in 1985, this new edition--published by Juno Books with wonderful new cover art--includes over twenty-five thousand words cut from the first edition.

Young, headstrong Seur Aungelique (nobly born into the d'Ybert family) enters la Tres Saunte Annunciacion convent rather than marry the man chosen by her father. Stifled by the Rule of Order, Aungelique becomes increasingly frustrated with convent life after the introduction of a strict young superior. Fleeing under cover of night, she takes refuge with Comtesse Orienne, the most accomplished courtesan in France. Though openly admitting her desire to receive tutelage from the Comtesse, Aungelique also seems to have an ulterior motive: to meet her true love Pierre Fornault (Duc de Parcignonne), who she knows to be a patron of Comtesse Orienne. Though she is returned to the convent before she has the chance to commit any real sins of the flesh, Aungelique's appetite for lust has been whetted, an appetite that soon becomes irrepressible.

After her return to the convent, Aungelique begins to experience nightly visitations accompanied by loud moans of pleasure and pain from her cell. No penance, it seems, can relieve her of these visitations: neither performing vigils nor fasting helps and, indeed, scourging seems to exacerbate the problem. Whether demonic or no, the visitations are contagious and soon other sisters, a priest, and even a soldier stationed at the convent are affected. As the convent falls prey to otherworldly chaos, it is left to languish and questions begin to multiply.
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Format: Paperback
Set in 14th Century France, times are hard at the convent La Tres Saunte Annunciacion. The plague has come, killing many of the area's residents. The Catholic Church has two popes; one is in Rome, while the other rules from the French city of Avignon. The convent is doing the best it can, offering a meal and a bed for any passing travelers.

Aungelique, one of the sisters at the convent, is a headstrong young woman, and the daughter of a Baron. She is there only because of a huge disagreement with her father over whom she should marry. Aungelique has discovered the pleasures of the flesh (a major sin for a nun), and runs away from the convent, twice. She wants to live with, and learn from, Comtesse Orienne, the most sexually accomplished courtesan in Europe. Each time, she is convinced to return to the convent by Orienne.

Soon, screams of pleasure and pain are heard from behind the door to Aungelique's room, accompanied by bruises and scratches all over her body. It is as if she is being ravished by some invisible demon. She is ordered to fast, and keep all-night vigils, praying for God's assistance, but it does not help. In fact, the "disease" spreads to other sisters, one of whom becomes pregnant, and dies in childbirth. An investigator is sent; he thinks that the best way to drive the demons out of the nuns is by physically beating them. He and Orienne cross paths; after a night of passion, he turns from an arrogant person convinced that he is right into feeling like the biggest sinner who ever walked the earth. The last resort for the authorities is to destroy the convent, and take everyone involved away to be burned at the stake.

An abridged version of this book was published in the mid-1980s. Here is the unabridged, author-approved version, and it is very much worth reading. It is quite dark and spooky (at which Yarbro is a master), and is a really well-done story.
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This is a fascinating period in history, and what could be more compelling than a story about nuns succumbing to demonic possession at an remote French convent? My expectation of a novel combining sexual eroticism with atmospheric creepiness was fairly well met, but did not result in that interesting a book after all. The author has done a good job recreating a believable cloister of this period and the supernatual aspects of what the besieged nuns are experiencing (or believe they are). When all is said and done, however, many questions are left unanswered and the "solution" to the mysterious goings on is fairly predictable. I realize demon lovers are very in vogue right now, but personally I felt this novel never really hit the mark. A near miss, no more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an interesting book. The problem I had was with the kindle edition. There were so many mistakes in the text that often I could not determine what the author was writing. Obvious transcription mistakes. I think the transcription was done by a very poor computer program. maybe somebody should change the batteries in the robot that did it. I would think Ms Yarbro would be very upset with the way somebody treated her book.
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