Mansions of Darkness: A Novel of Saint-Germain

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Author Tor Books $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85759-2
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. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996
Release date: 08/01/1996
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