1918. A First World War battlefield becomes the cosmic battleground for two vampires, as Karl von Wultendorf struggles to free himself from his domineering maker, Kristian.
1923. Charlotte Neville watches as her father, a Cambridge professor, fills Parkland Hall with guests for her sister Madeleine's 18th birthday party. Among them is his handsome new research assistant Karl - the man Madeleine has instantly decided will be her husband. Charlotte, shy and retiring, is happy to devote her life to her father and her dull fiance Henry - until she sees Karl...
For Charlotte, it is the beginning of a deadly obsession that sunders her from her sisters, her father and even her dearest friend. As their feverish passion grows, Karl faces the dilemma he fears the most. Only by deserting Charlotte can his passion for her blood be conquered. Only by betraying her can he protect her from the terrifying attentions of Kristian - for Kristian has decided to teach Karl a lesson in power, by devouring Charlotte.
©1992 Freda Warrington (P)2014 Audible Ltd
"Not merely one of the finest fantasy novels of recent years, but one of the finest ever. Should not be missed." (Brian Stableford Interzone)
"... a tale which throbs with lush romanticism." (The Times)
"... a really, really splendid read... It's a story that plays out over cups of tea and glasses of brandy in the drawing rooms of chic London townhouses and glittering stately homes, and here again Warrington shows her writer's chops, layering in exquisite period detail. Sometimes the effect is playfully satirical... but more often it's lusciously picturesque; and, with the characters barrelling around in Hispano-Suizas and the like, it's all attractively reminiscent of the lux, country house horror of Hammer's The Devil Rides Out. On this evidence, Freda Warrington is like a cross between Anne Rice and Kim Newman – she has the sweep of one, the cleverness of the other. Titan will be reissuing the other titles in the series throughout the year, and they're not to be missed." (Starburst)
"... this delicious tale of love, lust and a passionate affair that stretches beyond the grave, is truly delightful. Step forward Charlotte and Karl, a magnificent pairing, and a timeless couple that deserve a place up there with the very best of genre lovers... There's so much here to love… To be honest, there's very little herein that I didn’t love... the writing is gorgeous, by turns haunting, lucid, and all-round beautiful... This first instalment is eminently readable, absorbing, and all-round brilliant, a lovely piece of work, and definitely a must-have whether or not you're a fan of vampires. It's a book for fiction-lovers and anyone that claims to appreciate the written word, I think. And I for one am looking forward to reading the rest of the series." (British Fantasy Society)
"Lovely vampire story which is essentially a love story laced with horror." (The Bookseller)
I need more ears!
I love vampire stories, especially when they offer a different spin. This one is set in London and Cambridge shortly after the end of WWI, and the setting and era are quintesentially British. It's also an era we don't often see outside of a "cozy." (Think Downton Abbey.)
This, however, is a monster cozy, if I can coin a phrase. All the drawing room, stiff upper lippi-ness one expects from a British mystery, only the mystery is about vampires. Our hero is a world weary vamp who's fallen in love with a human woman, and this results in a tangle involving her family, and his family of monsters. What's clever is that the characters are dignified and properly attired while their world unravels. Of course, this doesn't prevent them from serving tea, or even brandy, if the day has been very, very trying.
And there is a complex villain who gave me the willies. I loved it!
Freda Warrington has created a cool mythology that is very different from what we're used to. Oh, the fanged ones still drink blood, but they also exist part-time in a parallel reality, (the description of which is amazing).
Jane Copland did a great job bringing everyone to life, and she's an important reason I'm continuing on with the series. She sets the perfect tone.
Note: This is not a book I listened to from cover to cover. I found I had to be in the mood for it. But when I was in the mood, it was awesome.
I don't like women of historic books, what is considered strength in these books is laughably weak of a modern women and i just don't care for it. There were too many "grey" characters in this book. Your main characters with both tortured, indifferent, and superior, which often just resulted in annoyingly "grey" characters. Every action required contemplation, yet no effort was made to change the behavior due them being superior.
"Not bad but I won't be reading the second one"
First thing, unlike in some series, this book does stand on its own. All of the story-lines are resolved and the teaser for what's to come suggests a new adversary too.
As for the content, I'm a massive vampire fan and this book both pleases and annoys me. It's great in how the reactions of the humans to the vampires are portrayed, they're a lot more realistic than a lot of vampire books. On the other hand, the vampires' ability to enter another (metaphysical) plane annoys me. As does the process for creating a new vampire.
The main romantic plot is also quite infuriating. The heroine is by turns easily manipulated and stubbornly intractable. It is rather difficult to see why the vampire would choose her over any other woman in history. That's not to say she doesn't have merits but there's nothing particularly incredible about her.
It is at times difficult to remember that this is meant to be set in the 20s, rather than the Edwardian or late Victorian period. The only bit that really convinces you of the setting is the heroine's sister in London. In fact, I think I could happily read a book all about her and her experiences with vampires. It would be more riveting.
"I think i am the wrong age and gender.."
I bought this because i do love a good vampire tale. I enjoyed Janes narration that was compelling..i just never quite got going for me. Too many body parts aching for another and not enough of a story. But thats probabky me. I wont listen to other two books.
A quicker paced, more interseting story.
All of them
The narrator did a great job, but this is one of the most tediously boring stories I have ever listened to. It just dragged on and on, in the end I just stopped listening to it. I usually finish a story, even if I'm not enjoying it, I always need to know what happens, but with this I just couldn't care less what happens in the end. I just couldn't listen to one more second.
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