Mansions of Darkness: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain (St. Germain)

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9780312863821: Mansions of Darkness: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain (St. Germain)
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Ambitious in its scope and provocative in its content, the saga of Count Saint-Germain is a monumental feat of the imagination. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's powerful and evocative novels have captured Saint-Germain throughout his long existence, from the temples of ancient Eygpt to our present century.

Now the count's endless travels bring him to seventeenth-century Peru, where he finds solace for his loneliness in the arms of an Incan priestess. But mighty Spain has conquered the Incan people--and brought the dreaded attention of the Holy Inquisition to the New World.

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About the Author:

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's interests range from music--she composes and has studied seven different instruments as well as voice--to history, from horseback riding to needlepoint. Her writing is similarly wide-ranging; under her own name and pseudonyms, she has written everything from westerns to mysteries, from science fiction to nonfiction history.

Yarbro's critically-acclaimed historical horror novels featuring the Count Saint-Germain, including Hotel Transylvania, A Feast in Exile, Communion Blood, and Night Blooming, have a loyal readership. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro has always lived in California and currently makes her home in the Berkeley area.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1
 
It was a splendid afternoon for early September; spring was finally taking hold of the mountains, and flowers were everywhere, turning the slopes from green to a brightly mottled pattern of red and orange and sunset pink. From the market square to the mud-and-stone houses of the poor, to the new buildings of the Spanish, all of Cuzco was filled with color and perfume, and the promise of the ripening year.
Don Ezequias Pannefrio y Modestez tore his eyes away from the fragrant display on his balcony and gave his attention to his visitor. His servant, pausing to listen in the doorway, attracted no real attention from either man. “Yes, Conde, what may I do to be of service?” He was a mature man, of imposing stature and impeccable manners, with regular features, clever golden-brown eyes and an unexpected, quirky smile that turned his thin-lipped mouth from severe to wry in an instant; his hair was streaked with silver and cut somewhat shorter than current fashion so that it only brushed his soft, wide collar. Seated be-hind his writing table, he was not quite so impressive as when he was standing, but the breadth of his shoulder was still remarkable.
Francisco Ragoczy, el Conde de San Germanno, bowed slightly to the regional magistrate and said, “I regret I must impose upon the introduction of your cousin once again, but I fear it is necessary, Presi-dencia. I have been told I must apply to you for permission to employ natives as servants. I believe the license is called an encomienda, though I do not wish to be allotted any territory.”
“As a foreigner, you would need the permission of the Corregidor in any case. For employing servants in the household, I have the authority to grant the encomienda.” Don Ezequias hinted a bow.
“That is my understanding. Therefore, behold me and my petition.” His quick, ironic look belied the formality of his words. Like Don Ezequias, he wore black, but unlike Don Ezequias, it suited him, as did the Italian cut of his clothes and the ruby fixed in his white silk lace-edged collar bands. A pectoral in the form of a winged disk depended from the ruby-studded silver chain around his neck.
“Ah, yes,” said Don Ezequias. “Of course. I had not realized you would want to do that, or I should have issued the license before now. Your house must be almost ready to receive visitors, and servants are always required to serve one’s guests.” He drew a sheet of vellum toward him, then selected one of the sharpened quills and dipped it into his standish; the fragile plume seemed too small for his large hand, as did the moderate ruffles at his wrist. “These servants—how many do you think you will need?”
“Eight at first. To establish the household. If more are necessary, I will ask for them when the need arises, if that is acceptable to you,” said San Germanno, his left hand resting comfortably on the hilt of his sword in the same manner as most of the Spaniards affected.
“Suppose I authorize ten?” offered Don Ezequias. “That should be sufficient to your needs, Conde, don’t you think?”
“You are very understanding,” said San Germanno. He watched while Don Ezequias completed the brief document and sanded the ink. “If there is some appropriate way I might show my thanks for this?”
Don Ezequias was about to say no, but then his expression changed. “Yes. I think there may be something you can do for me.” He tapped his big hand twice at the edge of the page. “I will be giving a reception for the Incan nobility in ten days’ time. If you would be available to attend, I would appreciate it if you would be willing to escort the daughter of Quispe Titu. Her name is Acanna Tupac, she is a woman past youth but of some importance, and most of her relatives prefer not to recognize her. In spite of this, she must be included because of her birth. It would be less of an ordeal for all of us if you would do this for me.”
“Certainly,” said San Germanno at once, inwardly glad for the opportunity he was being presented; then he added, “I would consider it an honor to perform that office. But it might be easier for all of us if I knew the reason she is shunned by her kinsmen.”
“Ah, that is something of a difficult matter,” said Don Ezequias, fingering the point of his small beard. “But I suppose it would be best to tell you.” He leaned back in his chair and again let his gaze wander to the profusion of flowers on his balcony. “It is a question of family lines. She is the last of the senior branch of the royal family. We promoted the cadet branch; they were more willing to assist us than the senior was.”
“Hardly surprising that they would,” said San Germanno, recalling many other times when this ploy had succeeded where force of arms would not.
“I agree,” said Don Ezequias, his attention still on the flowers. “Still, the woman must have a suitable escort and I would be grateful if you would do this for me. It would spare me the necessity of asking one of the Dominicans to do it, and I would rather not. Acanna Tupac would be offended.”
“So might the Dominician,” San Germanno remarked, and repeated with an emotion which Don Ezequias could not read, “I would be honored.” He paused a moment, then went on. “Tell me more of this Acanna Tupac. Do I have her name right? If I am to be in her company, I should know more about her, so that I will not commit any gaffe while with her, or give offense to your guests.”
“You have her name right, Conde.” The Presidencia shrugged and began to prepare wax for his official seal on the encomienda. “I actually know very little about her, aside from her being the great-granddaughter of Quispe Tupac and the great-great granddaughter of Atahualpa Inca and his third wife Choque Suyo. Juan Enrique de Almansa Inca y Loyola explained the genealogy to me shortly after I arrived; such things are as important to these Incas as they are to Spaniards. I have met her only twice before. She keeps to her own society, in part because she has little money, and in part because the clergy have not been kind to her. She is probably nearer forty than thirty, unmarried, though whether she is a spinster or a widow, I cannot discover.”
“What company does she bring with her?” asked San Germanno. “Someone of so high a birth surely does not come alone.”
“Occasionally she brings another woman with her, but most often her only suite is her servants, and she does not have many of them.” He dropped a blob of hot wax onto the foot of the vellum sheet, then turned his ring to fix its impression in it.
“I take it she is not well-connected, then; I would have thought with such relations she would have been better provided for. Is there not an inheritance to support her?” There was no criticism in this observation; San Germanno waited for Don Ezequias’ answer with interest.
“No. She has nothing. None of the senior line have much left. My predecessors saw to that.” This last was admitted grimly. “It was a successful ploy, and it suited their purposes perfectly, keeping the senior branch in obscurity while raising the cadet branch to prominence for their own uses.” He stared at his fingers. “She is...striking, not beautiful, and most dignified.”
“And such treatment rankles with you, does it not? the elevation of the cadet branch as a way to control the senior branch by removing the privileges of the senior line,” said San Germanno, recalling the many times he had seen cadet relatives supplant their seniors. “You believe it is an unworthy way to gain control of the country.”
“I did not say so,” Don Ezequias responded promptly.
“No, you did not, but your implication was fairly clear; for what comfort it will bring you, I share your indignation,” San Germanno told him, and waited.
Don Ezequias answered carefully. “If I were indignant, I would be most unwise to admit it. And so would you. Indignation on behalf of these people will benefit neither you nor them. Obispo Punto y Sello is inclined to think such opinions are heresy, and though he may be in Lima, his power reaches from the southern tip of Audiencia de Charcas to the northern-most edge of Audiencia de Nueva Galicia. All other Obispos are afraid of him. And no one—not clergy, not officials—is promoted without his approval.” He inspected the impression of his seal and nodded twice before handing the license to San Germanno. “There, Conde: permission to employ up to ten natives in your household. No one will question it. If you have any interference from...anyone, show them this.”
“Thank you,” said San Germanno, taking the vellum and rolling it with care. “You have made my situation much less awkward with this single sheet.” He bowed again, this time formally.
“It pleases me to have men of your calibre here in Cuzco, where one cannot be too selective if one wishes any friends at all. You improve the society more than you know. If we had more like you, and fewer of those who seek—” Don Ezequias broke off, noticing the ironic lift of San Germanno’s fine brows. He cleaned the point of his quill on a small square of cotton and put it back in the stand. After a moment he added, “Too often those who come here are those who are not welcome in Europe, or those greedy for what they cannot have in the Old World. We are where all the misfits are sent. All of them. Only a few, like yourself, are here from choice that is not the product of zeal or greed.”
“So I have gathered,” said San Germanno, his tone level; this was not a matter he wanted to discuss, for it could be used to his detriment if Don Ezequias reported his opi...

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Ambitious in its scope and provocative in its content, the saga of the undying Count Saint-Germain is a monumental feat of the imagination that rivals the Vampire Chronicles of Anne Rice. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro s powerful and evocative novels have captured Saint-Germain throughout his long existence, from the temples of ancient Egypt to our present century. Now the Count s endless travels bring him to seventeenth-century Peru, where he finds passion, as well as solace for his loneliness, in the arms of Acanna Tupac, daughter of the vanquished Incan royalty. Mighty Spain has conquered Acanna s people and brought the dreaded attention of the Holy Inquisition to the New World, and both the vampire and the Incan noblewoman find themselves trapped in increasingly precarious times. But even greater torments await Saint-Germain when he is forced to flee Peru into the uncharted wilderness to the north. Far from civilization, he encounters a bizarre and enigmatic people who practice a strange and distorted form of Christianity. There, accompanied by his faithful servant and a superstitious native maiden, he must face the most agonizing ordeal he has ever endured. Seller Inventory # APC9780312863821

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Ambitious in its scope and provocative in its content, the saga of the undying Count Saint-Germain is a monumental feat of the imagination that rivals the Vampire Chronicles of Anne Rice. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro s powerful and evocative novels have captured Saint-Germain throughout his long existence, from the temples of ancient Egypt to our present century. Now the Count s endless travels bring him to seventeenth-century Peru, where he finds passion, as well as solace for his loneliness, in the arms of Acanna Tupac, daughter of the vanquished Incan royalty. Mighty Spain has conquered Acanna s people and brought the dreaded attention of the Holy Inquisition to the New World, and both the vampire and the Incan noblewoman find themselves trapped in increasingly precarious times. But even greater torments await Saint-Germain when he is forced to flee Peru into the uncharted wilderness to the north. Far from civilization, he encounters a bizarre and enigmatic people who practice a strange and distorted form of Christianity. There, accompanied by his faithful servant and a superstitious native maiden, he must face the most agonizing ordeal he has ever endured. Seller Inventory # APC9780312863821

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Book Description St. Martins Press-3pl. Paperback. Condition: New. 432 pages. Dimensions: 8.1in. x 5.5in. x 1.3in.Ambitious in its scope and provocative in its content, the saga of Count Saint-Germain is a monumental feat of the imagination. Chelsea Quinn Yarbros powerful and evocative novels have captured Saint-Germain throughout his long existence, from the temples of ancient Eygpt to our present century. Now the counts endless travels bring him to seventeenth-century Peru, where he finds solace for his loneliness in the arms of an Incan priestess. But mighty Spain has conquered the Incan people--and brought the dreaded attention of the Holy Inquisition to the New World. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780312863821

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