MANSIONS OF DARKNESS by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro


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 An addition to Yarbro's noteworthy series about the immortal vampire Count Saint-Germain (Better in the Dark, 1993, etc.). Here, in 1640, the Count takes up residence in Cuzco, Peru, in order to learn what he can of Inca civilization before it's totally destroyed by its Spanish conquerors. Acanna Tupac, the middle-aged, last pure-blooded scion of the Inca royal house, soon becomes the object of the Count's attentions. Meantime, the Portuguese nobleman Dom Enrique and his cohorts, with the connivance of the Spanish- -intending to despoil the Incas of the last of their hidden treasure, despite Acanna Tupac's denial that any such thing exists- -invade Acanna Tupac's house and molest her. The Count comes to her rescue, thereby earning the enmity of Dom Enrique and the Spanish. And soon, the saintly Saint-Germain, with his herbs and anatomical knowledge, heals the sick and injured, even the natives--thus condemning himself as a heretic and sorcerer. Fatefully, the last Inca High Priest dies; Acanna Tupac, seeing no hope for her people despite her love for Saint-Germain and his offer of vampirical immortality, dons ritual dress and commits suicide. The Spanish quickly attempt to arrest the Count, who flees with his faithful servant, Rogerio, his dwindling supplies of native earth, and a map supplied by Acanna Tupac. In the high mountains, he hopes to find temporary refuge in a monastery. Another illuminating and satisfying episode in the life of Saint-Germain. His historical range is much wider than Lestat's- -although, perhaps because of this particular cultural milieu and its inescapable implications, somewhat predictable.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-85759-4
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1996


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