The 21st Saint-Germain Book
Tor, Oct 2008
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood
The vampire Saint-Germain has been sent to the Russia of Peter the Great.
He is pretending to be a Hungarian Count because the real Arpad Arco-Tolvay
has inconveniently gone missing. The real Count has a Polish wife, and
Saint-Germain and Zozia are acting on behalf of the King of Poland.
The city of Saint Petersburg is being built out of a swamp, on the orders
of the Tsar. Disease and weather are often deadly, while Saint-Germain
must protect not only his disguise as the Count, but also his disguise as
a human. His skills with water drainage equipment are useful to the Tsar,
and his insight is useful to the king of Poland.
An unknown someone has targeted Saint-Germain for death for reasons that
are never fully explained, but that is to be expected in Saint-Germain's
life. Because of the attack he finds the care-house, a hospital for anyone
of rank in the primitive surroundings of Saint Petersburg. He feels
comfortable here, in the company of friends and using the centuries of
study he has put into medical learning. The care-house becomes the focus
of his days. By contrast the upper-class social life of the foreign
ambassadors is a minefield which Saint-Germain negotiates with the grace
of long practice, if not always with enjoyment. Very different kinds of
danger come from the Tsar himself, and from Saint-Germain's Polish "wife"
and her brother.
I see a marked shift of approach from
ROMAN DUSK of this series,
which I reviewed most recently. In ROMAN DUSK, vicious enemies abounded
and Saint-Germain and his friends were in deadly danger most of the time.
A DANGEROUS CLIMATE has what feels to me to be the perfect balance of
friendship, intrigue and danger. And let's not forget the gift that author
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has for bringing to life whatever setting she puts
A DANGEROUS CLIMATE gives us a vivid, involving combination of research,
intuition and psychology. As in the rest of the series, Saint-Germain is
the admirable hero of a rewarding and intelligent read.
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