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A Feast in Exile: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain (Saint-Germain series) [Kindle Edition]

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A Feast in Exile draws readers back to the time when the Mongol hordes of Timur (known in the West as Tamerlane) swept across fourteenth-century India and Asia. Delhi's civilized veneer crumbles along with its walls. Foreigners, which the vampire Saint-Germain-here called Sanat Ji Mani-surely is, lose their positions, homes, wealth, and sometimes their lives, if they cannot escape the falling city.

Before he can flee Delhi, Sanat Ji Mani must ensure the safety of Avasa Dani, his beautiful ward, who has been abandoned by her husband. Sanat Ji Mani's love has awakened Avasa Dani's every sense; even she will become a vampire upon her death, but she finds no terror in this fate.

Avasa Dani and Rojire, Sanat Ji Mani's servant, successfully make their way out of Delhi, but Sanat Ji Mani himself is trapped. His life is bought by his skills with medicine, but, at Timur's command, he must travel-by day, and exposed to the sun-with the conqueror's army. Crippled and unable to escape, he knows that his vampire nature will soon be revealed, and then...

Avasa Dani, with a worried Rojire at her side, considers her options as a woman without a visible male protector in a land and time ruled by men. While one of Sanat Ji Mani's allies searches desperately for the missing vampire, Saint-Germain and a young acrobat, with whom he has escaped from Timur's forces, make their slow and painful way to freedom. The journey changes them both forever.

Product Description


"Yarbro's Saint-Germain novels are probably the best series of vampire novels ever written."--"The Hartford Courant"

About the Author

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's interests range from music--she composes and has studied seven different instruments as well as voice--to history, from horseback riding to needlepoint. Her writing is similarly wide-ranging; under her own name and pseudonyms, she has written everything from westerns to mysteries, from science fiction to nonfiction history. Yarbro's critically-acclaimed historical horror novels featuring the Count Saint-Germain, including "Hotel Transylvania, A Feast in Exile, Communion Blood, "and "Night Blooming," have a loyal readership. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has always lived in California and currently makes her home in the Berkeley area.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 901 KB
  • Print Length: 500 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B000PY4O3A
  • Publisher: Tor Books (22 Aug. 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SI9AI8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,234,127 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the single star review here 16 Nov. 2014
By Stephen E. Andrews TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm writing this review merely as a rejoinder to the other, single star review here.

I've read virtually all of Yarbro's Saint-Germain novels (there are almost 30 of them) and I'd described them as first rate Historical Fantasy, beautifully researched, urbanely written and sophisticated. I'm also well read in authentic vampire fiction - I've read all the major works from Polidori, Byron, LeFanu, Stoker, Matheson, Rice, Martin, Streiber, Charnas, Sturgeon, Garton and Somtow (just to name a few examples) and have little time for the Johnny-come-lately teen vampire stuff.

So when the other reviewer compares this to Buffy et al, I have no idea what they are getting at. The average reader of teen vampire fiction would be bored rigid by Saint-Germain, as he is a restrained, circumspect realistic vampire realised in impeccable historical settings, delineated with the skill of a major literary historical novelist. There is very little melodrama in the Saint-Germain books (especially after the initial sextet), but much depiction of man's inhumanity to man across history.

I enjoyed this novel very much, but then I am a longtime fan of the series. If I were to make any criticism of the book, I'd say that it were a little too long and a little too lacking in drama - when the tension came to tipping point in the plot, the moment of release wasn't as well realised as similarly climactic plot points in Saint-Germain novels such as 'Blood Games' and 'Mansions of Darkness' (for example).

For anyone yet to discover Saint-Germain, I'd say ignore the one star review here, read up on Yarbro on Wikipedia and in my other reviews and discount the idea that these novels have anything to do with the likes of Stephanie Meyer, Laurel Hamilton or Charlaine Harris.

Stephen E Andrews, author, '100 Must Read Fantasy Novels'
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yet more Buffyesque, angst ridden vampire drivel 11 Nov. 2003
By A Customer
I recently picked up a copy of this book to read on the plane, normally I'd run a mile to avoid reading a modern vampire novel, but in the five seconds I had to buy something the blurb read as if it might be Ok, and the setting really sparked my interest.
Despite my initial enthusiasm, I'd have to class this as one of the worst books I've ever read, the author failed to capture my interest so miserably I was flicking through the two thirds of the book and reading alternate pages. There are two big problems with this novel:
1. The author doesn't know anything about the place and era she writes about, the characters read as if they were modern day Americans attempting to enact a period drama for a local amateur dramatics society after reading a (bad) tourist guidebook's account of Indian history, there is no feel of time or place at all... and to be frank she gets a lot of facts wrong... very wrong. A bit of research could have made this book, but obviously the author didn't feel she needed to bother.
2. Vampires are getting rather tired, don't you agree? I mean the novelty has worn off and it's all seeming a bit... samey... it's time to grow up and try something a bit different. Funny how vampires used to be evil bad guys who liked to suck your blood, and now they seem to be all guilt ridden PC pacifists and die hard romantics isn't it?
Maybe none of this matters if you are a 15 year old school girl and a Buffy fan, in which case you might enjoy this book (especially if you like wearing black lipstick and have a face full of metalwork). On the other hand, if your not, avoid this book like the badly written two dimensional bit of PC filth it is.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite a feast 23 Oct. 2001
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
In 1400 AD Timur-i leads his Mongol hordes across Asia, taking control of much of India. In Delhi, the world order changes, as the foreigners no longer have their special status. Those foreigners foolish enough to remain behind in Delhi are either insane or in desperate straits because the city is no longer safe for them.

Saint-Germain the vampire has lived in Delhi under the name of Sanat Ji Mani. He knows he must flee before the Mongol horde ends his undead life, but he cannot leave yet because his honor requires he must care for his beloved Avasa Dani. Eventually she manages to escape the city, but the Conqueror detains Sanat. Timur-i needs Sanat's medical skills, but refuses to accept night calls only. He demands twenty-four hour healing coverage, which the vampire knows means sunlight and death for him. If somehow he survives, Sanat worries about his cherished Avasa, a woman alone except for a servant in a world gone mad.

The latest Saint-Germain novel, A FEAST IN EXILE, is a virtual feast for fans of the series and historical novel buffs alike. The tale brings to life India around 1400, showcasing Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's vast research into the time and place. By installing her hero in Asia, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro refreshes him so that the audience observes Saint-German in a different scenario, which turns A FEAST IN EXILE into one of the best books in one of the superior vampire series.

Harriet Klausner
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly Formulaic 18 Jan. 2004
By L. L. Daugherty - Published on
'A Feast in Exile' doggedly follows a formulaic pattern that has been established in the last four or five books. Saint Germain is living in India in the 14th century as Tamerlane (Timur-i-link) is invading from the north and the current Raj is putting in place taxes and restrictions on foreigners (the Count among them) within the city. There are two love interests, one extent as we begin the book and one the Count meets as he flees his home ahead of the invading army. Circumstances force them together in their journey south and to hoped-for safety.
Like many of the reviewers of Ms. Yarbro's books, I have read every St. Germain book, plus the three books based on Olivia and the first Madelaine book 'Out of the House of Life'. The first five books, beginning with 'Hotel Transylvania' were seductive, fascinating reads that I eagerly devoured and reluctantly finished because I wanted more. The writing sparkled, the characters were vivid, the dialogue fresh and the plot and characters were deftly tied to the political circumstances of the time period making the first five books an exquisite, sumptuous delight. I would highly recommend new readers of the Saint Germain series start with Hotel Trans and continue on with the next four books.
By constrast, 'A Feast in Exile' took me 6 months to slog through, reading a chapter here or there then putting it aside in favor of something more engaging. I finished the book out of a sense of loyalty to the character of Saint Germain more than anything.
Ms. Yarbro's last four novels have ceased to engage the imagination. Her longtime fans know the Count survives well into the 1970's, at least, if they've read 'The Saint Germain Chronicles'. And so, where the plot would normally revolve around the predicament and survival of the hero, it now must revolve around the predicament and survival of the secondary characters and their relation to the Count. For this to work the reader must be engaged and interested in the secondary characters, identifying with them and feeling they, too, have a stake in the success, failure, survival or death of those characters. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case with this series.
Ms. Yarbro's characters fall into three categories without fail: a) noble suffering martyr, b) cunning, cruel adversary (ultimately defeated) and c) cringing or offensive 'atmosphere' character. 'Feast' is chock-a-block with all three categories and no relief in sight, from the hand-wringing, risk-adverse business partner to the offensive spies that watch Saint Germain to the cruel Raja who tries to use the Count under mistaken (and somewhat murky) circumstances. Granted only Garrison Keillor has the knack of making ordinary folks interesting but certainly the medieval world had other people not so broadly drawn as to be obviously good or obviously evil? Were medieval people everywhere so selfish, suspicious and hysterical as to immediately suspect every stranger they saw? Was simple, common charity and openness so lacking?
The secondary characters are caricatures, broadly drawn stereotypes rather than real human beings. Attempts are made, here and there, to give the characters a bit of color or interest but once you are introduced to a new character it only takes a few lines to 'categorize' he or she within the framework of the story.
Like the characters, the stories have slowly taken on a stale flavor that makes me more and more reluctant to read them. The plot opens with an oppressive, male-dominated society on the brink of persecuting Saint Germain. A tortured (either mentally, physically or both) heroine captures his interest and his heart. She is also about to be or already is oppressed by the society. There is the inevitable need of Saint Germain (and possibly the love interest) to leave his home to outrun persecution. The culmination is the ultimate loss of his lover by some tragic means. The only thing that changes is the physical location and the political landscape.
From the beginning of 'Feast' the dialogue is wooden, stilted and repetitive, whether Saint Germain is speaking with his manservant, Roger, with his business partner or with his love interests. This has been a recurring problem through several books so I doubt it is some attempt to represent the manner in which people spoke in 14th century India or any other time period.
The same questions, concerns and themes are discussed ad nauseum by the characters, e.g., his constant reassurance to his second love interest that he won't force himself on her. Given the historical preferences of the Count for strong women who know their own minds (Olivia, Madelaine, Ranegonda) what he could possibly see in the woman he travels with is beyond me. She is callow, inexperienced and weak and her behavior toward him his repellant. Perhaps the old adage 'chicks dig jerks' holds true for ancient, lonely vampires?
'Feast' attempts to use physical movement (the Count's journey south) to simulate movement in the plot. A scene where part of a caravan is swept away by a swift river is so poorly executed that I paused in the middle and did not return to finish the chapter for a week. What little movement Ms. Yarbro achieves swiftly bogs down with repetitive, wooden conversations between the Count and his traveling companions as he reassures them he is no threat. It begins to read like one weary man's apologia to the entire female gender throughout history and that I find repellant as well. A man with his supposed grace, poise and command, who has the knowledge of thousands of years of life and the compassion he has chosen to take on instead of violence is reduced to sniveling.
The only thing that sparkles and continues to sparkle is Ms. Yarbro's research. It is always meticulous and interesting and, despite an error here or there (natural when dealing with so much detail and trying to distill it into a novel) 'Feast' as well as her other novels gives one an interesting encapsulation of a moment in history. But where the historical events played such an integral and fascinating role in the older books, it is now nothing more than a mildly interesting but unengaging backdrop.
The ending of this book seemed to me a stark and disturbing encapsulation of the entire novel - why did St. Germain do any of the things he did for either woman? What did it all mean? Nothing, apparently, and I was left feeling just as empty and dissatisfied. I do not know if I will continue to purchase and read the series. Clearly it has become a somewhat lucrative franchise, thanks to the popularity of vampires, and allows Ms. Yarbro to pursue other writing projects that are less lucrative but more creative. If nothing else, her editor does Ms. Yarbro and her readers a disservice by not pointing out the 'rut' into which these novels have fallen.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quick review of A Feast In Exile 1 Oct. 2001
By Helen - Published on
One of Yarbro's newest books avalible, it is a wonderful story set in the 1400's in India. Following the time-honed formula of writting, Yarbro gives her readers an inside view of life and hardships for all people-rich and poor. You follow Sanat Ji Mani as he is again seperated from the ones who know him best and must survive by placating to the whims of generals and ruling sultans. He meets a few women along the way, and you follow how they react to what he is and the life they will have to lead. An incredible novel of hope and disappointment, from every characters' point of view.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond my usually high expections 22 Oct. 2001
By Penina Spinka - Published on
The early Count SG books gave a feeling of great intimacy, of knowing this old-souled creature who is one of the most gentle and kind-hearted creatures of the night some lucky woman or man is ever likely to encounter. I felt for him and with him as much as I ever did in the esteemed and unforgetable FIRST FIVE that began with Hotel Transylvania and ended with Tempting Fate.
The devoted reader will be pulled into the adventure, feeling nearly as if she walked alongside our hero through a nearly forgotten period of time and unknown place. I found myself talking to the characters, sometimes shouting to them. At the end, I emerged from 14th century India feeling I had been there too, and was lucky to have experienced it all and still escaped. Don't put off reading this one. You won't be disappointed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fourteenth in the Saint Germain series. 31 Aug. 2003
By James Yanni - Published on
Or fifteenth, if you count "Out of the House of Life", a novel that is primarily a spinoff novel about Saint Germain's vampiric "childe", Madeline de Montalia, but does have some scenes that are flashbacks to the early years of Saint Germain's vampiric life.
Or Eighteenth, if you include "A Flame In Byzantium", "Crusader's Torch", and "A Candle For d'Artagnan", the spinoff trilogy about Olivia Clemens, a previous "offspring".
This is one of the best books in the series; many of the later books have been much more complex in their scope and plotting that the first four books in the series, all of which had a very strong tendancy toward the "Historic Romance" novel. There is still an aspect of that to be found in the later books, but there is more complexity to the characters, the plots, and the love interests than can be found in the earlier books. I wasn't entirely satisfied with the ending of this book, but not sufficiently unsatisfied to spoil the enjoyment of a fine story.
For those unfamiliar with the Saint Germain series, Saint Germain is a vampire who has lived for over 4000 years; each book places him in a different time period, and a different locale. This book finds him in India around 1400, during the time of the depradations of the man known in the west as Tamerlane (Timur-i locally). Saint Germain is not the antihero or sympathetic villain found in much of vampire literature, such as Lestat in the Anne Rice books; he is a legitimate hero; occasionally, he will make mention of the fact that when he first became a vampire, he was a more traditionally minded vampire, but has learned in his long life to avoid such rampages and bloodshed, as he has learned how to overcome many of the limitations of vampirism. In 4000 years (3400 at the time of this book) he has actually become one of the most civilized beings one could imagine.
A fine historical novel, one of the best of a fine series.
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