More than two decades strong, the Saint-Germain cycle is one of the most compelling works of dark fantasy and horror of our age. Historically accurate, often involving key events or figures from throughout world history, these deeply emotional novels have a devoted readership. Each novel is written as a stand-alone and they are not chronologically consecutive, so readers may enter the saga with any book and move backward or forward in time as they choose, from Pharaonic Egypt to Paris in the 1700s, from the fall of the Roman Empire to World War II Europe.
In An Embarrassment of Riches, the vampire Count finds himself a virtual prisoner in the Court of Kunigunde in Bohemia in the 1200s. Rakoczy Ferncsi, as Saint-Germain is known, passes his days making jewels to delight Queen Kunigunde and trying not to become involved in the Court's intrigues. In this, the vampire fails. Handsome, apparently wealthy, and obviously unmarried, he soon finds himself being sexually blackmailed by Rozsa, an ambitious lady-in-waiting. If he does not satisfy her, she will denounce him to the priests and he'll be burned at the stake, resulting in his True Death. Despite his care, the vampire makes more than one enemy at the Bohemian Court, and by the end of An Embarrassment of Riches, the Count can see only one road to freedom...through death.
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Yarbro's long-running series featuring the millennia-old vampire Saint-Germain continues to mix rich historical detail and erudite eroticism, though the horror element has become nearly invisible. Known now as Rakoczy Ferancsi, Comes of Santu-Germaniu, Saint-Germain has been exiled from his ancient lands and now resides at the court of the melancholy Queen Kunigunde of Bohemia in 13th-century Prague. He is regarded with suspicion by the local church hierarchy and with intense personal interest by three ladies of the court: the scheming Rozsa of Borsod, the passionate teenager Imbolya of Heves (a particularly unlikely match for 3,200-year-old Saint-Germain), and the determined Iliska of Szousa. Though the intensity of the storytelling has lessened substantially over the course of the series, Yarbro's compelling prose and meticulously researched setting still combine effectively for a vivid historical tale that will please series fans.