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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reissued at last, 22 Aug 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: A Taste Of Blood Wine (Paperback)
I'm so glad to see that this excellent trilogy is back in print, even if it is just as an import for now - hopefully whoever has the UK rights will realise what they are sitting on and make these great books available to a wider readership. Freda Warrington is one of the best and most unjustly neglected horror and fantasy writers today - surely we should be nurturing homegrown (UK) talent of this calibre?
The trilogy beginning with 'A Taste of Blood Wine' is one of the best vampire series, in my opinion bearing comparison with Anne Rice's work (although Warrington takes a very different approach). And unlike Rice, Warrington knows when to stop trying to wring out the last drops from the material (no endless sequels retreading the same ground).
'A Taste of Blood Wine' introduces the vampire Karl and his relationship with the (human) Neville family, which becomes complicated through the intervention of other, more malevolent vampires, and through his growing bond with Charlotte Neville, the underdog of the family. The story takes its time at first to build up characters and atmosphere, and then ricochets through several great plot twists before rounding off with a satisfying yet open-ended finish.
This first book could easily have stood alone, but I'm glad Warrington decided to continue - in the other two books of the trilogy ('A Dance in Blood Velvet' and 'The Dark Blood of Poppies') she introduces and develops a compelling character - the vampire/demon Lilith. Let's hope we see the rest of this trilogy reissued soon (along with most of the rest of Freda Warrington's work which is shamefully out of print).
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any vampire lover, 22 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Taste of Blood Wine (Paperback)
If you simply adore the kind of darkly sensual vampire novels given to us by Anne Rice and her contemporaries, then you will love this book. The characters, Charlotte, the strange, lonely, yet compelling woman who falls for the gorgeously tender vampire, Karl. Kristian, the manipulative, despotic 'mad monk' of the vampire world, arrogant Pierre, fiesty Ilona, are all skillfully crafted and, in their unique and often disturbing ways, appealing. I believe that Charlotte, especially, will strike a chord with many of us who wish to see a female character that is neither a fainting, fragile, flower or a scary amazon. She is a paradox skilfully and sensitively sculpted, a real woman ! Freda Warrington is a brilliant author who deserves as much acclaim as Anne Rice among vampire afficionados and lovers of dark fantasy everywhere. Her concept of the Crystal Ring adds a particular spice to the vampire myth as well as an interesting origin theory. This is a true delight. Ignore the hokey dracula cover art (surely they could have found something better ?), and get this book. Look out for the other books in the trilogy - A Dance in Blood Velvet and The Dark Blood of Poppies. You won't regret it !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Taste Of Blood Wine trilogy, 2 Sep 2005
This review is from: A Taste Of Blood Wine (Paperback)
Make no mistake, this trilogy rates as the best within the vampire genre. I don't say this lightly either, especially when you consider how this sphere of fiction has been milked for all it's worth. I have been a fan of vampire fiction and lore--in print and on screen--for over 30 years. Although Anne Rice wrote 'Interview..'(which is a wonderful novel in its own right), in the 70's, I believe subsequent titles in her series have not only possibly been influenced, and are inferior to, Warrington's, but have helped to diminish the appeal of the genre by flooding the market and tinkering with the legend to the extreme. However, that said, Freda is an exception and must, at some stage, consider dipping her pen into the arena again, to show the rest how it is done so perfectly....so 'believably'. I must admit to being ignorant of Warrington's fantasy writings, and was beginning to think she was either dead or had bowed out gracefully. Time for a resurrection!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 20 Jun 2007
This review is from: A Taste of Blood Wine (Paperback)
This book was amazing, so vivid and very well written. Reading it in bed before sleep, i had to force myself to put it down, and then had to turn the light back on to carry on cz it was so clear in my mind i couldnt sleep! (then only stopped because i got distracted by reliving experiences cz of what was happening in the book)

Kristian is like lord of the vampires, he tries to control them all.

Karl, a vampire, comes to work in a science lab in Cambridge of the 1920s. He cannot help but be drawn to the professors daughter Charlotte, and the two helplessly fall in love.

But it cant work for what he is, and as his secret slips out, life becomes more dangerous for the both of them, as each others' ties bring them further away, and can there be a happily ever after for this vampire and human?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars finally back in print!, 24 Aug 2013
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I read this when it was in print originally and somehow lost my copy so have been waiting patiently for it to come back into print-so very delighted that it finally is and I purchased it straightaway (and pre-ordered the next one).
A vampire novel unlike others, though reading this now I do wonder if some writers took "inspiration" from Warrington...

A true synopsis would contain too many spoilers so I will keep it brief. Karl, a vampire, becomes involved with a human family through his thirst for knowledge, and the inevitable meeting of his world with theirs has far-reaching consequences, some fatal and some rather unexpected...
Lovely writing style, story moves along nicely, no dead space or over-the-top descriptive passages here. I found myself rooting for Charlotte the main human character and thoroughly enjoyed how she grew as the book progressed.
Just an excellent book all-round, can't wait to read the rest!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Vampire Series, 11 Aug 2013
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This was originally written well before everyone became obsessed with vampires. I love how this book builds the characters so well, you can believe they exist. The romance in the story feels real, not sickly sweet. A Taste of Blood Wine is a must read. Freda Warrington has an incredible imagination and her writing puts a vivid image in your mind as you read.
Even if you haven't read a vampire book before, give this one a try!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars twighlight for horror fans, 7 Feb 2012
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This review is from: A Taste of Blood Wine (Paperback)
this is the first book in a trilogy, the next two being "a dance in blood velvet" and "the dark blood of poppies", but like all 3 can be read on its own or out of sequence. despite the book covers on this series i wouldn't class these stories as primarily erotic or paranormal romance because there is far more to them than that. there is a central romance between the 2 major characters but also a plethora of other relationships (non-romantic and romantic) with the other reaccuring characters. set from the end of ww1 freda warrington offers her own take and explaination on the vampire mythology quite unique to her. don't let the time period influence you though as what's more important are the believable circumstances and fully developed characters and plot lines. if you loved anne rice's vampires you'll love these too. if you thought rice's vamps were too goth then you'll also love these as they're even more human but not in a goody goody way (this is really a horror book as well as a fantasy-thriller-drama). it's also a bit "twightlight" saga for grown-ups. just wish warrington would do another vampire series/follow-up perhaps set in a later time period (or earlier as there's definitely room for some historical/genorigins).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising, 31 Mar 2011
This review is from: A Taste of Blood Wine (Paperback)
I first read this book in my mid-teens and I have long recalled it as a book that held me completely mesmerised. I have finally read it again, more than ten years later. Would I love it as much as I did the first time? I really did.

The brief synopsis can't possibly do this book justice. It's a complex, detailed portrait of a human family, the Nevilles, and a ring of vampires; the two become dangerously tangled over the course of this book. George Neville is a scientist, with one son (a veteran of the first world war), and three daughters. The middle daughter, Charlotte, is his assistant in his scientific research - and his substitute for his dead wife, her perfect mother. This role has always smothered her, left her unable to express her true self; until she meets Karl, a vampire who is still quite able to feel all the human emotions he ought to have left behind.

Karl intends no harm at all to the Neville family; he only wants to study science. But his presence draws other vampires after him. And besides, he cannot resist Charlotte's mixture of passion and vulnerability... Their love threatens to destroy both Charlotte and her family; and none of them can escape Karl's eternal enemy, Kristian.

This beautiful book is extremely well plotted, and offers a glittering feast of complex, believable characters. But it's not only that: Freda Warrington's prose is stunning. She presents the story in sumptuous, graceful language that's as seductive as the vampires she portrays. This author is one of the greatest we have in fantasy and horror; she deserves much greater acclaim.
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5.0 out of 5 stars new genre for me, 13 Jun 2014
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Fantasy novels are not what I normally read but thus book was recommended to me. I found it a real page turner, I wanted to know what happened next to both the humans and the vampire, and cared about them as the story unfolded. The main woman is well draw with a complete inner life of her win, not the vapid creature in a flimsy dress of hHollywood creations. Indeed she works in a science laboratory, which is well described. There are lovely touches of humour, and ironic references to the Vampire genre. A book for grown ups with real issues about the choices we make in life, our morals codes, and freedom.
Will defiantly read more by this author who should be wider known and recognised.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative take on vampirism, 10 Mar 2014
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A wonderfully imaginative take on vampirism, with beautifully observed characters and an engaging plot. The series never quite reaches these heights again. Highly recommended for any fans of intelligent vampire fiction.
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A Taste of Blood Wine
A Taste of Blood Wine by Freda Warrington (Paperback - 2 July 1993)
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