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War is coming, and according to one of the vampires of St. Petersburg, the Kaiser is trying to recruit vampires. Are they on the trail of a rogue vampire with a plan to achieve the power to walk in daylight?
Asher wonders. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.
Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Blood Maidens by Barbara Hambly. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. James Asher 3. Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Blood Maidens , please sign up. Lists with This Book.
Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Blood Maidens James Asher, 3. Jan 15, Jamie Collins rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , vampires , fantasy-urban. Another mesmerizing novel from Barbara Hambly. Don't let the melodramatic titles in this series fool you - Hambly is an excellent writer, and Don Simon Ysidro is one of my favorite literary vampires.
This story is set in Asher, the Oxford don and former British spy, teams up once again with Don Ysidro more or less willingly, this time when one of the vampire's long-time aquaintances in St. Petersburg disappears. Just before her disappearance, she wrote to Ysidro about a German doctor who Another mesmerizing novel from Barbara Hambly.
Just before her disappearance, she wrote to Ysidro about a German doctor who was possibly teaming up with a vampire to do research with an eye towards harnessing vampirism for the benefit of the Kaiser. Asher and Ysidro travel across pre-war Europe looking for clues, while Lydia Asher immerses herself in the high society of St. Petersburg, trying to sort through the gossip and the popular mysticism of the time for clues of her own. The plot is not the strongest point of the novel - nor was it in the previous two books.
The interaction between the Ashers and Ysidro, however, is fascinating. He's a romantic figure, even an honorable one - but there is no denying that he kills humans in order to continue his existence.
Has been killing humans for years. The Ashers know that they should kill him, and they've have had the opportunity to do so more than once. Yet Ysidro has kept his word to them, and has saved their lives on several occasions. Against their will he has become almost a friend - actually more than a friend to Lydia Asher. The conflict in their hearts when they consider Ysidro is the backbone of these novels.
Apr 30, Maggie Boyd rated it it was ok Shelves: reading-year. Let me begin by congratulating the publisher on their find. I assume their goal was to discover the most hideous cover imaginable and they succeeded. Barbara Hambly is a writer with a beautiful, lyrical voice who lends thoughtfulness and depth to vampire fiction. I discovered her book Those Who Hunt the Night back when it was first published in the s.
It is a brilliant work, nuanced and intelligent, tackling the glamour of the world of the vampires without losing any of the horror o Let me begin by congratulating the publisher on their find. It is a brilliant work, nuanced and intelligent, tackling the glamour of the world of the vampires without losing any of the horror of the idea of a being that kills to live.
I absolutely loved it. For me,though, this third book in the James Asher series was simply a rehash of the first two. As in the first book, we have people wanting to create a daylight immortal. As in the second novel, we meet the vampires of exotic places. And of course, we hang with the truly awesome Don Simon Ysidro, a being who is so artfully crafted that in spite of his cold hearted, deadly nature you find yourself wishing he was real and you could meet him.
But nothing moved forward in the plot, we learned nothing new of the nature of vampires, we covered old ground with beloved characters. Sometimes that is fun but sometimes it isn't enough and that was the case for me here. I will continue to read the books but I hope that the next two in the series show a bit more creativity.
Feb 02, Pam Baddeley rated it it was ok Shelves: fantasy. Having enjoyed the first two books in this series, I anticipated another enjoyable page turner with good characterisation. Unfortunately I was underwhelmed: the plot seemed to be rather a rehash of the previous volume, with a great deal of it being a travelogue as James Asher travels across Europe in the company of Don Simon, the 16th century Spanish vampire, while Lydia Asher pours over documentation in pre-Revolution Russia to track down information on a particular woman who has vampire traits Having enjoyed the first two books in this series, I anticipated another enjoyable page turner with good characterisation.
Unfortunately I was underwhelmed: the plot seemed to be rather a rehash of the previous volume, with a great deal of it being a travelogue as James Asher travels across Europe in the company of Don Simon, the 16th century Spanish vampire, while Lydia Asher pours over documentation in pre-Revolution Russia to track down information on a particular woman who has vampire traits but can walk in daylight without instantly burning up.
It is understandable that Simon keeps James away from the vampires in the various cities they visit in search of information that would uncover a plot to create vampires as the perfect killing machines for the Kaiser on the brink of what became World War I given the terrible injuries James has suffered from such encounters in previous books, yet it meant that a lot of the action took place off stage with James just kept up to speed with notes Simon left for him to read in daylight. The action doesn't really take off till about two thirds through when both Ashers fall into the clutches of various villains.
For me this volume was a disappointment after the suspenseful writing of the first two so I can only award it an OK read of 2 stars.
Jun 26, Dorian rated it liked it Shelves: other-ebooks. I never saw it in the bookshops. It felt a bit derivative to begin with, as James and Ysidro set out to track down a vampire that may or may not be able to walk in the sun an issue in book one of the series , and may or may not be being recruited by a human government a major issue in book two. However, this time the trail takes them to St Petersburg, and despite the superficial similarities, the plot is sufficiently different from the previous books' that my misgivings were soon allayed.
This book featured more moral qualms and soul-searching on James' part than the previous ones - and also more trouble leading from his previous life as a government agent. But there was also plenty of what I love about this series - James exercising spycraft, Lydia researching and gossiping, Ysidro being snooty, the interactions between all three, the excellently-drawn historical setting I think "Travelling with the Dead" is still my favourite book in this series, but this one is also very good.
And I got a mention in the Acknowledgements, which is very exciting! I probably say this every time I review a Barbara Hambly novel: I've loved her books for years. Her use of metaphor and simile is one of the loveliest things I know of in fiction. Her sentences are things of beauty which create miracles of character and setting. In a sea of mediocre freebies and ARCs, she is utterly reliable. Dec 24, Jacqie rated it it was amazing. Okay, I pretty much like anything Barbara Hambly writes. Admittedly, her straight historical novels haven't grabbed me as much as her mysteries or fantasy work.
This time, we get to go to St Petersburg, which is just as lush, corrupt, and intriguing as one could wish. Don Ysidro may be my favorite vampire. He is inhuman, honorable in an ancient sort of way, but clearly a predator who can Okay, I pretty much like anything Barbara Hambly writes. He is inhuman, honorable in an ancient sort of way, but clearly a predator who cannot be trusted by people. No sparkles, no moonsick maundering over a seventeen year old girl, no tortured darkness.
He's accepted what he is long ago. The fascination between Lydia and Ysidro is explored sympathetically- he's a predator who uses seduction as a hunting tool. Lydia knows this, and yet can't disengage her emotions. The endless trains from Moscow to Warsaw to Berlin to Munich to Nurnberg take up perhaps too much of this book, which was surprisingly short. That's about the only complaint I have. I hope we get more of these characters.