Each Thursday, inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ we have in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.
This week’s topic is VAMPIRES
VAMPIRES are increasingly rare on the TOUR. They have been attracted over to the Horror Tour by offers of better pay. Where they appear, you will find up to date Vampires wear expensive sunglasses and wish to drain you of energy rather than blood.
There is no shortage of examples this week. Had to limit myself.
Prudence Scott– Generation V by M L Brennan – Of course I am going to list my favorite bad ass vampire first. I know the series is about Fortitude, youngest son and complete beta male (at least at the start of the series). But by now anyone who has been around me knows where my true love lays.
Prudence is a bit older, presenting as a middle aged business woman but of course much, much older. All the vampires are pretty strong in this series, they run a supernatural mafia style protection ring on the strength of four family members after all (one of whom is the still inexperienced Fort). But it is Prudence who makes even the nastiest bogeyman shake in his boots. She is the nuclear option that no one wants to see. And when we see it?
Oh pure joy.
The Gatherers –The Killing Moon by N K Jemisin – A different type of vampire, one that is never called a vampire and indeed hardly play the part at all. But the Gatherers, priests of dream gods, harvest ‘dream blood’ from sleeping minds and use it. It gives them power, and it is a power they eventually come to crave. Acting as the cities protectors a gather who starts to crave can be quite dangerous.
While no bodily fluids are exchanged and everything is done in a different plane the similarities are clear. And the fact that it is called Dreamblood should have hit me over the head like a hammer yet I STILL didn’t realize I was reading an awesomely twisted vampire tale until well over the half way point of the first book.
Vampires – The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum – There were some named vampires in this series but specifics were not important. What I loved was how different the vampires in this story were to any others I had read. Still strong, fast, and with that nasty blood craving. But this is a rare instance where the vampires are not the top of the pecking order. A treaty and powerful overlords keep them from openly walking the streets and taking what they want. Instead they are fringe dwellers living underground and longing for a power they will most likely never attain.
Vampyrs – Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett – A more sophisticated vampire for a more modern time. Their count has a vision and it no longer includes giving anyone else a sporting change. No more fear of holy symbols, the count has flashcard to help his family get used to the idea that they are just squiggly lines. Sunlight? Good for the complexion. And garlic is actually quite tasty.
And when some minor king in a far off land decides to send invitations to everyone important? Even if vampyrs were afraid to go somewhere uninvited it wouldn’t matter. They could just move right in, couldn’t they? After all, who is going to stop them? A few old women that know some folk cures?
Quinn – Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tierney – Half vampire, half werewolf, all trouble. And quite possibly lying about every single thing in her memoirs. She does dirty jobs for a local man who has his hands just a bit too deep into the supernatural world. Helps do things like take down vampires, find unicorn horns carved in interesting shapes, maybe go toe-to-toe with some ghouls.
And I promise you, each of her tales ends with a very happy ending and lots of sunshine and rainbows. Scout’s honor.
Clockwork Vampires –Kell’s Legend by Andy Remic –Pure pulp. A clockwork army runs on blood oil, whatever the hell that is. Plus there were these twins that were powerful vampires of some kind as well. I think they needed blood oil too. In act blood oil is basically all I remember about the series. Lots of blood oil.
Join us next week as we look a FAE
Surprisingly not in the Tough Guide. How can this be? Fairies are a constant in the fantasy world and it is time they get their own week. Give us your Fae, be they sweet or nasty.
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As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at any time, and please check out my fellow travelers!