Night Pilgrims: A Saint-Germain Novel (St. Germain)
Once again, the estimable Yarbro administers a historical tour with the aid of her ethical vampire Saint Germaine, known herein as Sandjer’min. His kindly ghoul servant of millennia, Rogerio, has morphed linguistically as well, to Ruthier.
In her introductory author’s note, the author gives an overview of the geography of Northern Africa, the relevant history of the crusades and their underlying motivations, and the linguistic and religious stew that was the setting of this book. Just having that note on the shelf would be reason enough to buy this title.
Having gone to earth with his servant in a Coptic monastery along the upper Nile, following their escape from Jenghis Khan’s forces, Sandjer’min is confronted with pressure to depart. The Caliph is expelling foreigners, and an Anglo-French leader of a band of pilgrims sends a rather imperious and arrogant letter “requesting” Sandjer’min’s services as medic and translator. The goal of the pilgrimage is the highlands of Ethiopia; the motivations of the pilgrims are convoluted.
There is always someone to be treated, for solar second degree burns, for epilepsy, for self-induced hysteria. The leader must be deferred to in a way to avoid disasters. Night bound, weary travelling, and hungers. Best enjoyed from the comfort of your armchair.
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