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Blood Games
by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro | Horror
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 6/29/2003
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by GoryDetails): travelling

5 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, June 29, 2003

7 out of 10

I found this hardcover edition, still in decent shape, at a local library sale, so I grabbed it! [The cover is different to that shown, but when I noticed that the book's been reissued in paperback as of April 2004 I had to tie in to the new cover {grin}.]

This is one of the earlier books in Yarbro's "Saint-Germain" series, which follows the adventures of the noble vampire through time and around the world. When I say "earliest" here, I mean that it was written early - the books jump around chronologically such that newer books may take place in an earlier time period. This one's still fairly "early" either way, as it is set in Imperial Rome; it includes the introduction of Roger (here, "Rogerian"), who will be Saint-Germain's friend, companion, servant, ghoul, and sidekick for most of the series. It also introduces Atta Olivia Clemens, one of the great loves of Saint-Germain's long life.

Caveat: this book contains scenes of extreme violence, including torture, physical abuse, and sexual and emotional abuse as well. While Saint-Germain can only provide limited help to the victims of these horrors without risking his own life, I still got quite impatient with him at times. One of the interesting things about the novels is their depiction of the very different social and political restrictions on peoples' actions. These are not the sort of historical novels in which the main characters behave like modern-day citizens of affluent societies; the protocols and class restrictions are very much present, and often the only thing our heroes can do about a bad situation is to get out of it themselves... 

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, June 29, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Controlled release (bookray):

I'm sending this out to Tyressia on July 3 to kick off the bookray. Mailing order is:

Tyressia (Ottawa, Ontario)
myntti (Finland)
senorag (Oxford, MS)
Ardy (Dillsburg, PA) [book has been here since Sept. 2003; I consider it stalled.]
pgsahm (Disputanta, VA) [Has not responded to PMs re replacement ring; skip.]
h3yd00 (NC) [PMed re replacement - has already read book. Skip.]
vampgirl (Spain) [Has not responded to PMs in some time; skip.]

When you receive the book, please journal it, and PM the next person in line for their address so you'll have it when you're ready to pass the book along. Then read the book reasonably promptly, and journal your comments before you send it out. Hope you all enjoy it! 

Journal Entry 3 by Amorae from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Thursday, July 10, 2003

This book has not been rated.

I received the book in the mail today (thanks GoryDetails!). I'm currently reading another bookray book, but I'll be starting this one as soon as I can (most likely within the next few days). I'll journal again when I've finished reading it, and then pass it along to myntti. :) 

Journal Entry 4 by Amorae from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Thursday, July 17, 2003

9 out of 10

After having been alive for two thousand years, Sanct’ Germain finds himself in Rome, at the time of Emperor Nero. In the 7 years that follow, during political and social turmoil, Sanct’ Germain meets Atta Olivia Clemens, who is suffering unspeakable torture at the hands of her husband. Together, they save each other through their shared love.

Truly, this book was incredibly well researched. Every detail of life in Rome at that time was impeccable – from the vivid descriptions of arena games, to the imperial plots and political backstabbing, it felt as if I was actually there. I also very much enjoyed the way Yarbro portrayed vampires in her novel. Sanct’ Germain was different. He was able to go out in sunlight and cross running water, as long as he took some precautions beforehand. It was also interesting to discover the way he made other vampires… it wasn’t what I was expecting. I was fascinated by the way each chapter began with a letter. It gave me a lot more insight into Roman culture than I otherwise could have obtained from just reading the chapters themselves. At times, I found that I looked forward to the letter to come more than the chapter itself!

The writing style flowed beautifully. I was especially amazed by how the dialogue sounded so true. Each time a character spoke it made me feel as if I was listening to a Roman citizen speaking. The writing was serious, but not self-important. The story line was fascinating. I found the book an incredible page-turner, and the plot progressed smoothly throughout the novel. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.

As far as characters go, I really liked Olivia. She had to endure so much at the hands of her husband, and I was in awe of how she was able to handle it as well as she did. She took strength from Sanct’ Germain, and managed to continue on, no matter how hard it was for her. I admired the way she lived for those stolen moments, when it could have been so easy for her to give in and perhaps take her own life. I also really liked Sanct’ Germain. He was so compassionate, and caring, and strong… admirable qualities in any century. Tishtry was another character I admired. She was very confident in her abilities, and herself. Even though she was a slave, she had a self-respect few people have. Justus, Olivia’s husband, was a character I loved to hate. My breathing came just a little faster each time a chapter focused on him. I didn’t know what to expect. To call him a pervert would be putting it mildly, and his political ambitions were almost as sickening as his sexual ones. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt such complete loathing for a literary character.

I found myself thinking about the memorable themes in this novel: mainly, the cruelties of men in the name of power and entertainment. Betrayal, and the way people can mask their evil nature were also major themes. The “unnatural creature” turned out to be much kinder and compassionate than a highly regarded Roman Senator. Ancient Rome's excesses and casual disregard for human life is sharply contrasted with the vampire's compassion and loyalty to the people around him.

Overall, a definite must-read for any historical fiction, or vampire fan. 

Journal Entry 5 by Amorae at on Friday, July 18, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Released on Friday, July 18, 2003 at postal release in Postal release, Postal release Canada.

Sent Air-Mail to myntti, today. =) Enjoy! 

Journal Entry 6 by wingmynttiwing from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Thursday, July 24, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Is it Christmas already? I received four Bookcrossing books in the mail this morning! This was one of them. Thank you, Tyressia! 

Journal Entry 7 by wingmynttiwing from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Tuesday, August 05, 2003

8 out of 10

This was my first Saint-Germain book, but it won't be the last. Now I'm going to look for the rest of the books in this series.

I would've liked to know more about Saint-Germain's background, but I guess that is revealed bit by bit during the series.

Both Rome and the characters felt real - as Tyressia says, there must have been a lot of research done to make ancient Rome come alive.

Thanks for starting this bookray, GoryDetails! 

Journal Entry 8 by wingmynttiwing from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Wednesday, August 06, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Mailed to senorag today. 

Journal Entry 9 by SenoraG from -- Wild released somewhere in the state, New Jersey USA on Saturday, August 23, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Received today all the way from Finland! I have two other rays I am reading. I will get to this as fast as I can and pass it along. Thanks 

Journal Entry 10 by SenoraG at on Wednesday, August 27, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Released on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at to fellow bookcrosser in postal release, postal release USA.

Moving on to the next person in line. Ardy in PA. Happy reading. 

Journal Entry 11 by Ardy from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania USA on Saturday, September 13, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Received in the mail during our move- Now that we are finally back online I can journal it. I'll write more after I have read it. thanks for sharing! 

Journal Entry 12 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, April 08, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Update on Blood Games bookring: since I haven't heard anything from Ardy in a very long time, I'm guessing the book's stalled indefinitely. I had found another copy of the book, but when I tried to contact the other participants they either didn't respond or had already read it, so I'm declaring this bookring officially ended. [Since this journal entry will fiddle with the status code, I'll just set it to "traveling". Ardy, if you're out there and still BookCrossing, just journal again to reclaim the status.] 

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