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But a strain of their blood lives on in humanity, the genes themselves bending the forces of probability to reunite. Secret clans used their half-understood abilities to hide from the witch-finders and the normal humans; occasionally one would be detected, a Giles de Rais or an Elizabeth Bathory. Then, in the 19th century, the discoveries of Mendel and Darwin enabled them to understand what they were and to breed back the full range of their dark powers.
Now, in the 21st century, they rule the world again in secret; only the Brotherhood fights them, in a clandestine war of terror and assassination, of Wreaking and silver-inlaid knives. Adrian Breze was born into that war, but he defected to the side of humanity, and for decades he was the Brotherhood's most effective fighter, just as his twin sister Adrienne is the Council of Shadow's strongest. Now he has retired, weary of the endless struggle, but Adrienne has her own purposes, and they don't include letting her brother live quietly in his mountaintop retreat near Santa Fe. To force him out, she kidnaps his human lover, Ellen Tarnowski, and the war is on again - with the future of humanity at stake. For the Council of Shadows is ready to emerge into the light, with a plan that will reduce humans once again to the harried prey of the creatures of darkness.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By John Vodonick Ph.D. on 05-22-10
Aweful, just aweful.
A Taint In The Blood is Steven Stirling’s new novel loosely based on Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Story of O, by Anne Desclos. The estates of Stoker and Desclos should sue.
Stirling is generally a good, well researched author who has worked in a variety of speculative fiction genres. I have read most of his novels and have enjoyed them immensely. This most recent work is the exception. Apparently he has decided to jump on the vampire bandwagon with a vengeance, and has created a work of supreme awfulness. Todd McLaren has narrated all of Mr. Stirling's work that I have listened to, and again usually does a very good job. In this reading he sounds embarrassed from time to time. No wonder. Save your money or credits and pass this one by.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Brent on 07-09-10
Trying to Like it. Trying to Care
Vampires, soft porn, characters who are wealthy beyond all reason, and a damsel in distress. Good formula to make some bucks given today's fad in the above. Unfortunately, not anywhere near S.M. Stirling's best so it just lies there in the crud with the Twilight books and others like them. Ann Rice did it better 20 years ago. It could be an explanation of the Nantucket occurrence in the change series, but there are some contradictions to be overcome. If you get it, don't go in with your expectations very high.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By David on 02-01-11
A 'marmite' book
This book gets mixed reviews for a good reason. A type of book you'll either love or hate - like all good literature it provokes a response, and for that Mr Stirling can be very pleased.
Yes, it is violent. Yes, it is uncomfortable. And yes, very much an 'ADULTS ONLY' book. But that simply defines an audience.
In terms of genre it is nice to have a novel that portrays a dark side of the undead rather than the chaste teen fantasies of much current writing. Power corrupts, and this is a novel which portrays that.
I look forward to the next instalment