Another outing (Mansions of Darkness, 1996, etc.) for Yarbro's ancient and well-traveled vampire, Ragoczy, the Count Saint- Germain--the ``saint'' component of his name is no coincidence. This time, in 1910, Czar Nicholas of Russia engages Saint-Germain to try to persuade King Edward of England and Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany to disarm. But Saint-Germain's activities are complicated by the attentions of the enigmatic English masterspy, Sidney Reilly, the Count's own affection for beautiful English artist Rowena Saxon, and the implacable opposition of the Prussian Baron, Klemens Manfred von Wolgast, in league with the Balkans and the forces of darkness. Readers hooked on Lestat would do well to investigate Saint- Germain: He's altogether different yet at least as complex and satisfying.