Darker Jewels: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain

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9780312890315: Darker Jewels: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's immortal vampire, the Comte de Saint-Germain, is one of the most popular characters of his kind ever created. Publishers Weekly has called him a "veritable Prince Charming of the darker arts."

In Darker Jewels the Count is sent by the King Of Poland to the court of Russia's Ivan IV, to use his alchemical skills to craft unearthly gems for the mad emperor. there he finds not only dark intrigue and heart-stopping danger, but a breathtakingly beautiful woman to whom he loses his heart.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

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
 
 
As he rubbed his face, Istvan Bathory tried to banish the fatigue that was consuming him; he had three more audiences to give before attending evening Mass. He concealed a sigh and smoothed his beard. What he longed for most was two hours to sleep; it was the one thing he could not grant himself. Not too many years ago he would have been pleased at so much activity, but that was before his successful start of the campaign against Russia. Now he felt the weight of hours more heavily even as time swept by more swiftly than ever. He attempted to sit more comfortably on the large carved chair his noble host had provided for him, but could discover no position that did not cause the scar of his year-old thigh wound to ache from knee to hip; it had bothered him less in the summer, but now that winter was near it took a toll on him. He was grateful for the fire that blazed in the hearth, for it provided some relief.
"Rakoczy is here," said the ambitious young Jesuit priest who served as his secretary as he returned from delivering Istvan's formal thanks to the nobleman whose estate they occupied. "He arrived an hour ago."
"Rakoczy," said Istvan, straightening up and ignoring the renewed pain it caused. "Already. He came quickly."
"Your summons said it was urgent. He acted promptly, which is fitting." The priest never smiled, but occasionally he showed an inner satisfaction; this was one such instant. "Hrabia, Prinz, or whatever he styles himself, you are King."
"Yes," agreed Istvan, his weathered eyes thoughtful. He righted the coronet he wore. "But he has complied immediately, unlike some others--"
"The Turks are swarming over his homeland," the priest reminded Istvan. Though he was only twenty-six there was already a deep vertical line between his brows and it grew more pronounced. "He was driven out, in spite of long resistance. It has been the fate of many Transylvanians. He must be very pleased to have any notice at all."
Istvan regarded his secretary with sharp attention. "Father Mietek, I depend on men like him. Without them we could not do the Pope's bidding. There would not be men enough to advance on Russia. We would have no hope of gaining Russian help to stem the Ottoman tide. That the Turk overwhelmed Rakoczy's land is not to his discredit. There are many more who have surrendered, joining their enemies, and that is the disgrace, not heroic resistance." He rarely gave such a stern reprimand to the priest, out of respect for his calling and for fear of the power the Church could wield in these times.
"They say the Rakoczys have fought valorously," said Father Mietek as a kind of peace offering to Istvan. "The name has long been honored."
"Yes," said Istvan, establishing a truce between them.
Father Mietek indicated the massive, closed doors that led to the corridor beyond. "And Rakoczy is waiting."
"In the corridor?" asked Istvan, scandalized that a noble would be given such poor treatment.
"In the antechamber," said Father Mietek. "I left him there with two of your guards. To show respect."
"I hope he sees it that way," said Istvan dryly. "Better bring him here. Hrabia Saint-Germain ought not to be kept waiting like a simple tradesman, guards or no guards." He made an impatient gesture to Father Mietek. "Where is my aide? Where is my Captain, that I must send a priest to escort Rakoczy."
"They are at supper, Majesty," said Father Mietek. "Where you sent them."
Istvan nodded. "And the rest are preparing for the inspection tomorrow. Yes. Of course." He glanced around the room, reminding himself of the size of the building itself. "Has my host arranged for any of my company to stay at other estates, or are we all to remain here?" There was great risk in remaining all in the same place, knotted together. If his enemies should discover where he was, with all his officers and aides, it would be a simple matter for them to fall upon him, secure in the knowledge that there were no reinforcements nearby to come to rescue or avenge him.
"There is a town not far away. Most of the soldiers have been sent there for the night," said Father Mietek. "The inspection is the most important matter facing them. We don't know what supplies are left to us, or what repair we have for our weapons. You were the one who insisted that--"
Istvan held up his hand. "Yes, I'm aware of that," he said. "Well, I trust that Hrabia Saint-Germain will understand my situation here."
"I will explain it to him," said Father Mietek as he started toward the door.
"No," said Istvan. "If there are explanations to be made, I will make them myself. There is no reason for you to provide any."
The priest lowered his head in a show of humility. "If that is your wish, Majesty."
Istvan Bathory made a warning gesture. "Prudence, Father Mietek. I need this Hrabia to assist me; he is the only man I know of who can achieve what I require. It is important."
"I am here to serve you, Majesty," said Father Mietek as he left the chamber that had become Istvan's headquarters for his stay.
With Father Mietek gone, Istvan got to his feet and paced, letting his rolling stride take the worst cramps out of his leg. Tired as he was, he was restless as well. He wanted to pray but there were no more supplications left in him to address to God. Instead he recalled the letter that had been brought to him by a cloth merchant who had sworn it had been given to him by one of the military officers in Moscovy. That letter--assuming it was genuine--was the one promise of hope he had to gain influence with Czar Ivan. What he had read had prompted him to send word to Rakoczy, for he was known to be a powerful alchemist, one who had the wisdom to make jewels; he was also noted for his good sense, and therefore would not be easily trapped or compromised.
Father Mietek appeared in the doorway. "Hrabia Saint-Germain," he announced, reluctantly stepping aside for Ferenc Rakoczy.
"Majesty," said Rakoczy, his accent clipped and old-fashioned, while bowing in the Italian manner instead of going down on one knee, his sable hat in his right hand. From his black velvet mente to the silver-embroidered black silk dolman with ruby buttons beneath it, Ferenc Rakoczy, Hrabia Saint-Germain, was elegant. His black leggings were finest-quality wool and his heeled boots on his small feet had been made by a master. His dark, loose curls were cut short, and contrary to fashion, he was clean-shaven. He wore a single ring on his small hands, a dark signet ruby with the sign of the eclipse cut into it. Although he was of average height, he occupied the room in a way much larger men would envy. There was something arresting in his dark eyes, an expression that was at once enigmatic and compassionate. His composure was formidable; most men fidgeted when Istvan perused them; Rakoczy did not.
Little though he revealed it, Istvan was impressed. "You present an excellent appearance. And a prompt one," he said at last.
"Majesty is gracious," said Rakoczy.
"I'm nothing of the sort," said Istvan. "Father Mietek, I am certain you have duties elsewhere."
The young priest glared at the King, but he accepted his dismissal with what grace he could muster. "Of course."
"You have my permission to tend to them." Istvan waited until the door was firmly closed before he paced around Rakoczy. "I understand you've traveled."
"With what has become of my native land, it's been necessary," Rakoczy said calmly.
"Yes; unfortunate. But perhaps you will consider what I offer: I wish you to travel for me," Istvan informed him.
"From Bohemia to Poland, at least," said Rakoczy, not quite smiling. "As swiftly as you ordered, Majesty." He had covered the distance on horseback accompanied only by his manservant because the roads were too poor to trust a carriage, and there were too many brigands to tempt them with a show of property and wealth a larger escort would imply.
"And you may travel farther than that," Istvan said in a tone that would not permit an argument. "If you are the man I think you are?"
Nothing of his expression changed, but there was a quick jolt of fear that went through Rakoczy, as disturbing as it was senseless. For more than forty years he had concealed his true nature; surely he had not been found out. He knew better than to demand that the King of Poland tell him what he meant. He steadied himself, and decided to risk disfavor. "What man is that, Majesty?"
"An astute one, at least, and one with a reputation for valor with a cool mind," said Istvan. "And perhaps something more."
This time the fear was stronger, but Rakoczy controlled it. "Whatever you believe me to possess, if it is truly mine to command, it is at your service."
Istvan laughed once, a harsh, ill-used sound. "Very pretty. Where did you learn courtesy? Certainly not in Transylvania. Or Poland."
Rakoczy shrugged. "Various places in my travels. Italy." Saying the word brought memories still less than a century old; they were painful. He banished the faces of Demetrice and Laurenzo, the burning paintings of Sandro Botticelli from his thoughts.
"Some trouble there, um?" Istvan asked, aware of the change in Rakoczy, a change that was gone even as Istvan remarked on it.
"There is often trouble in Italy, centuries and centuries of it," he answered smoothly.
The evasion was not lost on Istvan, but he ignored it. "Well, it is behind you. There are other tasks to concern you."
"Are there?" Rakoczy raised his fine dark brows.
"I think so," said Istvan, and reached into his sleeve to draw out the letter from the unknown Russian. "Read it." The command was also a test, and both men knew it.
Rakoczy went through the message quickly, frowning a little at the imprecise hand. "A…an interesting communication," he said carefully when he was through. "The writer has some understanding of Greek, but I suspect does not use it very often, not if this is an example of his comprehension. Is it authentic, do you think?"
"The very question I have been asking myself since I received it." Istvan clicked his tongue to express his doubts. "I...

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Le Comte de Saint-Germain is many things: alchemist, ambassador, lover - and the most seductive vampire since Dracula himself. Throughout countless centuries, he has brought passion and adventure to many exotic historical eras, as well as to an ever-growing following of devoted fans and readers. Darker Jewels reveals for the first time a dramatic and powerful chapter in the immortal existence of Saint-Germain. In the sixteenth century, the mysterious and isolated empire of the Russias is ruled by Ivan IV, better known as Ivan the Terrible. In a violent fit of rage, he has just murdered his oldest son. Now driven nearly insane by guilt, Ivan is obsessed with the mystical properties of the jewels he prays can relieve his conscience. But while Ivan goes mad, the Russian court is in an uproar, and neighboring lands fear for their own security. Into this maelstrom of intrigue, treachery, fear, and superstition, King Stephan Bathory of Poland has sent as his personal envoy none other than the Count Saint-Germain. Only Saint-Germain s alchemical skills can provide Ivan with the unearthly jewels he craves, and only a being with Saint-Germain s infinite experience and wisdom can hope to negotiate the dangerous undercurrents running within Ivan s court. But the one thing this ageless vampire never expected to find in old Moscovy is love and passion with the beautiful Xenya Evgeneiva - the woman who would become his wife. Bookseller Inventory # BZE9780312890315

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Le Comte de Saint-Germain is many things: alchemist, ambassador, lover - and the most seductive vampire since Dracula himself. Throughout countless centuries, he has brought passion and adventure to many exotic historical eras, as well as to an ever-growing following of devoted fans and readers. Darker Jewels reveals for the first time a dramatic and powerful chapter in the immortal existence of Saint-Germain. In the sixteenth century, the mysterious and isolated empire of the Russias is ruled by Ivan IV, better known as Ivan the Terrible. In a violent fit of rage, he has just murdered his oldest son. Now driven nearly insane by guilt, Ivan is obsessed with the mystical properties of the jewels he prays can relieve his conscience. But while Ivan goes mad, the Russian court is in an uproar, and neighboring lands fear for their own security. Into this maelstrom of intrigue, treachery, fear, and superstition, King Stephan Bathory of Poland has sent as his personal envoy none other than the Count Saint-Germain. Only Saint-Germain s alchemical skills can provide Ivan with the unearthly jewels he craves, and only a being with Saint-Germain s infinite experience and wisdom can hope to negotiate the dangerous undercurrents running within Ivan s court. But the one thing this ageless vampire never expected to find in old Moscovy is love and passion with the beautiful Xenya Evgeneiva - the woman who would become his wife. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780312890315

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Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Le Comte de Saint-Germain is many things: alchemist, ambassador, lover - and the most seductive vampire since Dracula himself. Throughout countless centuries, he has brought passion and adventure to many exotic historical eras, as well as to an ever-growing following of devoted fans and readers. Darker Jewels reveals for the first time a dramatic and powerful chapter in the immortal existence of Saint-Germain. In the sixteenth century, the mysterious and isolated empire of the Russias is ruled by Ivan IV, better known as Ivan the Terrible. In a violent fit of rage, he has just murdered his oldest son. Now driven nearly insane by guilt, Ivan is obsessed with the mystical properties of the jewels he prays can relieve his conscience. But while Ivan goes mad, the Russian court is in an uproar, and neighboring lands fear for their own security. Into this maelstrom of intrigue, treachery, fear, and superstition, King Stephan Bathory of Poland has sent as his personal envoy none other than the Count Saint-Germain. Only Saint-Germain s alchemical skills can provide Ivan with the unearthly jewels he craves, and only a being with Saint-Germain s infinite experience and wisdom can hope to negotiate the dangerous undercurrents running within Ivan s court. But the one thing this ageless vampire never expected to find in old Moscovy is love and passion with the beautiful Xenya Evgeneiva - the woman who would become his wife. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780312890315

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Book Description Orb Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 400 pages. Dimensions: 8.3in. x 5.5in. x 1.0in.Chelsea Quinn Yarbros immortal vampire, the Comte de Saint-Germain, is one of the most popular characters of his kind ever created. Publishers Weekly has called him a veritable Prince Charming of the darker arts. In Darker Jewels the Count is sent by the King Of Poland to the court of Russias Ivan IV, to use his alchemical skills to craft unearthly gems for the mad emperor. there he finds not only dark intrigue and heart-stopping danger, but a breathtakingly beautiful woman to whom he loses his heart. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780312890315

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