- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd; First World Publication edition (28 Nov. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0727883429
- ISBN-13: 978-0727883421
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 920,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Kindred of Darkness: A Sarah Burke Police Procedurala Sarah Burke Police Procedural (A James Asher Vampire Novel) Hardcover – 28 Nov 2013
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More About the Author
"Hambly's clever, driven characters are creatures of action, and will satisfy those who enjoy a well-articulated, heart-pounding mystery." Publishers Weekly Starred Review "Carefully constructed and lavishly detailed world" Kirkus Reviews "Another fine entry in this always-entertaining series" Booklist "Hambly imbues this historical horror novel with plenty of thrills and authentic historical details for a satisfying entry in the series" Library Journal
About the Author
Barbara Hambly holds a degree in medieval history from the University of California and has written novels in many genres, from mysteries to science fiction and fantasy. Married to science fiction writer George Alec Effinger, she lives in Los Angeles and teaches at a local college.
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Top Customer Reviews
What Barbara Hambly does exquisitely well is to create a society in the mind of the reader in all its detail. She does this very well in her Benjamin January books but I recommend that you read the first couple of chapters of "Dragonsbane" which are some of her best descriptive writing. In this book she is dealing with Victorian society, a world into which Lydia has been born and to which she has obligations but where she very much doesn't fit. The outcast, the misfit, or those who are mistrusted on the edge of society are regular characters in this author's fiction and here we have Lydia who is too intelligent and independent for her family and James who has been employed by the Secret Service and done ill in its name.
The Ashers must overcome their disadvantages in society, find what they have been asked to discover and work out what has been done to their child. They cannot trust anyone but they cannot reveal the vampire nature for fear of reprisals. The feeling of fear and impending doom is threaded all the way through this book and nothing comes easily to the couple - in fact, James is beaten up and terrorised so often that it is difficult to see how he keeps going.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is a gripping tale told with conviction by a master story teller. Hambley does not pander to a lazy audience and expects her readers to have a good vocabularly or a good dictionary. I am always entertained by the new vocabulary introduced when I read her stories. Rodomontade, incunabula, fortalice.........words to intrigue and describe. Her historical research whether about the politics of the day, London architecture and houses with noble floors and Houses of Office,the Boer War is a detailed, interesting back drop for the action of the story. The sounds, smells and sights of Edwardian England seem just a touch away.
What intrigues me most about these books and is the central theme of " The Kindred of Darkness" is the question of our morality and the choices one has to make when dealing with something inhuman. As Ysidro says " No good can come of friendship between the living and the dead. There are no easy answers and the reader is led to question what is their own morality through the choices offered to the various characters. By the end of the book, James has decided and I quietly wonder if his choice is signalling the end of the series.
Love is also another major theme. Hambley gives two examples of parents willing to sacrifice all for their child but in such different ways. Both are poignant but one gives an unexpected and horrific twist to the plot. Of course the Ashers love their child but we see that Armistead, the menacing cold American business man is willing to sacrifice just as much for the love of his child.
I love Barbara Hambley's sly humour and it offers a nice contrast to the darkness and horror in the story. Ysidro is such a snob. He can't bear to think of the eating habits of American vampires.
I found the final paragraphs of the book utterly perfect. James is lying in bed with his family. He has made his choice - all vampires are the enemy so he is waiting for daylight to come, a signal of a fresh start for everyone.
This is a wonderful meaty story that will entertain time and again.
She has a gift that she shares with her readers and I hope she will continue, at least in her other and new stories. This series has been masterfully closed.
I enjoy Hambly's Benjamin January books too, and the Abigale Adams series. I really enjoy her use of language. And No obvious spell-check errors ! this book was proofed by someone besides a machine.
A real treat.
In the previous volume, James and Lydia were in Peking in 1912. James went to a betrothal party at the Assistant Trade Secretary's home. Don Ysidro was also there, sitting on a piano bench with a young lady.
Ysidro asked why James is at the party, but he already knew the answer. James was looking for Hobart to protect his identity. Ysidro asked the young lady to play Serenade by Schubert and took James onto a draped bow window.
The discussions around him hadn't changed much since 1898. Yet the new Republic of China had introduced some recent alterations in the conversations. With the Emperor out of the picture, the favorite topic was the coming elections.
Yet James was not interested in politics as much a recent autopsy performed by a Lutheran missionary. The creature she described is very much like the Others in Prague. James wanted more information from Ysidro.
In this novel, James Asher is a retired agent of the British Foreign Office. He had been a secret agent for decades. He is also a Lecturer of Philology at New College. He has dreams of troubling incidents that have happened to him.
Lydia is James' wife. He has loved her since she was a child. Now she has included herself and their young daughter Miranda in the voyage to Peking.
Don Simon Ysidro is a vampire. He is very old and powerful compared to most Masters of the undead. Somehow he still seems to have compassion for the living.
Emily is the daughter or Richard and Isobel. She is Lydia's cousin.
Nan Wellit is the nursery maid. She does the nasty stuff like changing Miranda's diapers.
Lionel Grippen is he Master of London. He has been a vampire since 1555.
Damien Zahorec is a foreign vampire killing poor people in London, He had not gained permission from Grippen for taking the victimws.
In this story, seventeen months later, the Balkan states have thrown out the Turks. James is at a linguistic conference in Venice. Lydia suspects that he is also running errands for the department.
Lydia is in London for the Season. She is sponsoring Emily and dealing with all five aunts. She has been compelled to buy a gown for her cousin.
She returns to their house in Oxford and is met by the most of household. Miranda is missing, but her maid is also gone. A note says that Grippen has taken her.
Lydia walks home through the dark streets and is met by Grippen. He tells her that Zahorec has come to London and is stalking the streets. He is killing one, two or three victims every day.
Grippen wants Lydia to find him. He says he wants her to locate every place he could be hiding. Yet he doesn't want her to enter any of those locations.
Lydia send two telegrams. The first is to James, whom she hopes is not outside Venice. The second to Ysidro, asking for his help.
Lydia hires an detective to get the name of everybody who sailed to London with a trunk or other container four feet long or larger. Then she hires another enquiry agent to track the transfer of property for the past seven years. She cannot stop thinking about Miranda and Nan.
During this time, her family and their friends are worried about the Season. Lydia has to spend time in London. She hates the dinners, balls, operas and other entertainments.
Lydia evaluates the reports from her agents. She starts to identify certain names and properties associated with Damien. She also obtains names and properties related to Grippen.
Lydia meets Damien while searching Wycliffe house for clues. He confronts her and bedazzles her with his charms. Then they are interrupted by the woman he is seducing.
Simon appears, first in a dream and a couple of days later, in the flesh. He advises her and looks on his own. Then James returns and goes to meet Grippen.
This tale has James accosting Grippen and threatening him. The vampire throws him around, but does not seriously damage him. James believes that he has diverted the vampire's attention away from Lydia.
James compares different issues of Liber Gente Tenebrarum. The next installment in this sequence is Darkness and his Bones.
Highly recommended for Hambly fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of preternatural creatures, vampire hunters, and a bit of romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin