Commedia della Morte
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Tor, Mar 13 2012, $29.99
Count Saint-Germain learns that the Revolutionary Tribunal of Avignon determines that Madelaine de Montalia will be guillotined. Determined to rescue his beloved from losing her head, something even a vampire cannot heal from, Saint-Germain joins Photine d’Auville and her Commedia del’Arte troupe as a musician (and a paying traveler) as they head to Lyon where Madelaine is under house arrest.
Though he loves Madelaine, Saint-Germain and Photine share a tryst that further irks her angry teenage son Enee. His resentment growing, Enee wants Saint-Germain dead and plots to betray the ancient vampire.
The latest Saint-Germain historical vampire thriller (see An Embarrassment of Riches) is an entreating tale that fascinatingly captures the changing morality of the French Reign of Terror from idealistic caring of all citizens to an insidious bloodbath. The troupe is terrific as they perform Racine’s Phaedra while trying to stay out of the troubles. Although there is too much backstory from previous entries mostly involving Madelaine (see In the Face of Death, Out of the House of Life and Hotel Transylvania), saga armchair fans will enjoy touring Revolutionary France with the vampire count as our guide.