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Night Blooming
by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Category: Fiction / Horror
429 pages; ISBN: 0446529818

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

In 796 Gaul, Karl-lo-Magne (Charlemagne) has summoned Europe’s finest minds to attend him in an attempt to resurrect the Roman Empire. Karl-lo-Magne discusses rare maps with one of the scholars, Rakoczy, whose vast knowledge and strange practices makes His Highness question what the Count is, but he still bestows favors and property on the "foreigner".

Nearby at about the same time, albino Gynethe Mehaut visits a convent seeking help with her constant bleeding palms. The local church is divided between her representing divine benediction and the Antichrist. Proving his leadership ability by placing the monkey on someone else’s shoulders, Karl-lo-Magne dispatches Rakoczy to escort Gynethe to the Vatican so Pope Leo III will have to deal with the problem. As the duo travels south avoiding sunlight for different reasons, they form a deep passion for one another, but to save her life, Rakoczy must defy the two most powerful mortals in the world: the monarch and the pope.

As expected with a Count Rakoczy novel, the astute historical background provides a powerful opportunity for the audience to luxuriate in a bygone era. The story line is typical of the long running series yet grips the audience with the feel of the battle for supremacy between the monarch and the pope mostly through the perceptions of the traveling couple. Fans of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and those newcomers who delight in a historical compassionate vampire tale will want to read NIGHT BLOOMING, a robust end of the Dark Ages tale that showcases Rakoczy in top form because his companion brings out the best in him.

Harriet Klausner

 

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