Probably the best entry in Yarbro's two intertwined vampire series. After a while, the long-suffering St. Germain and his endless procession of misunderstood mortal girlfriends becomes a little dull. Yarbro's Roman vampire heroine, Olivia, has a much better excuse; she's living in centuries when a woman without a male protector is one step away from being a social outcast. Behavior that would be maddeningly passive from St. Germain is pleasantly assertive in Olivia. Charles D'Artagnan, who falls in both love and lust with Olivia, gives the book a breath of fresh air. In a series where most male characters are either eunuchs or evil sadists, it's nice to see a testosterone-driven character who is nonetheless honorable and likeable. As in all these books, Yarbro has done her historical homework. Charles is definitely based on the real historical figure, not the book or movie D'Artagnan of the Three Musketeers. Readers who are expecting Dumas will be disappointed (the historical Athos, already dead when the book opens, is dismissed in a sentence) but Charles has much the same energy and enthusiasm you'd expect from a movie D'Artagnan. A fun novel even if you've never read the series; although it's the last book of a trilogy, it reads well on its own.