The 26th volume in the legendary Saint-Germain series finds the millennia-old vampire in 13th-century Egypt. Known here as Sandjer’min, he is asked to lead a group of Christian pilgrims through the desert to the holy sites of Ethiopia, using his knowledge and experience to protect them from environmental and political dangers. The pilgrims – including a beautiful and lonely noblewoman, perfect for Sandjer’min’s special needs – face increasing perils as he and his devoted servant Roger (here called Ruthier) endeavor to protect them while also protecting themselves from discovery.
Fans of this series know well what to expect: densely intricate writing, abundant historical research, and elaborately worded romance. Yarbro’s books are period pieces, renowned for evocative settings and attention to detail rather than action and fast-moving plots. Some readers find them slow, while others enjoy immersing themselves in the period and experiencing history through the Count’s eyes. If you find the setting intriguing but hesitate at the vampire element, don’t worry – as in all Saint-Germain books, vampirism is a minor detail, a vehicle by which a unique character travels through history. As always, an unusual and absorbing read.