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A first novel, vampire-style, by the author of the lively Living in Fear: A History of Horror in the Mass Media. During the reign of Torquemada as Grand Inquisitor, a river of blood rises in Spain. Diego de Villanueva takes the post of Inquisitor in a small outlying district near the family castle so that he can care for his dead brother Sebastian, a vampire who sleeps by day in the castle and at night composes a stupendous book about the forces of evil. Claiming this book as his own, Diego hopes to astound Torquemada and gain glory, so Sebastian fears that Diego will kill him (with a wooden stake) once the book is done. Meanwhile, a beautiful witch has been spied dancing with a goat-spirit; when she's captured, Diego puts her to the rack, but Sebastian soon saves her from flames at the stake, asking--will you join me among the living dead? Yes, she says, and during penetration he opens her jugular and makes her his mate. The climax involves a beheaded body rushing and gushing about, and there are a few delicious moments while the two huge love-bats frisk over the countryside and make moan upon the nightwinds. Daniels writes a fair plain-style, has moments of flickering excellence, and wisely saves his best moments till the end. But the overall effect here is more studied than electrifying, padding along on foot when it should take batty flight; still, ghoulishly promising.

Pub Date: June 9th, 1978
ISBN: 0011079169
Publisher: Scribners