THE PALACE by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro


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An earlier avatar of sexy, benevolent vampire St. Germain, hero of last year's Hotel Transylvania, here pops up in Renaissance Florence under the name of Francesco Ragoczy de San Germano. He befriends Lorenzo de Medici, hobnobs with Botticelli, and is persecuted by Savonarola. As before, Ragoczy is an alchemist, a patron of the arts, and an irresistible lover who seeks only his true love--one who will love him even though he's a vampire and accept his culture and way of life. Lovely Demetrice is drawn to him but turned off by his species; she joins him in vampiredom only to avoid burning at Savonarola's stake. As a side attraction, we see the effects of religious mania and intolerance on various and sundry: Botticelli burns his masterpieces in the Piazza San Marco; and his nympho cousin Estasia, an ex-lover of Racoczy's, joins with Savonarola, becomes a study in psychosexual aberration (flagellation division), and ends up immolating herself in the big auto-da-fÉ. This pleases her fellow vampires, since ""she would have been the sort of vampire who gives our kind the hideous reputation we have gained."" An amusing exercise in the camped-up, costume macabre which Yarbro is developing as her own private genre--""the historical horror novel.

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 1978
ISBN: 0759299463
Publisher: St. Martin's