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Synopsis: ...Some of the parchment pages were the color of cream, thick and substantial, made to last many, many lifetimes. Other pages were thin and desiccated, positively yellow from age, and crackled alarmingly as Van Richten turned them over. There were no ornate illuminations, no fussy borders, only lines of plain text in hard black ink. The flowing handwriting was a bit difficult to follow at first; the writer's style of calligraphy had not been in common use for three hundred years. No table of contents, but from the dates it looked to be some kind of history.

He turned to the first page and read:

I, Strahd, Lord of Barovia, well aware certain events of my reign have been desperately misunderstood by those who are better at garbling history than recording it, hereby set down an exact record of those events, that the truth may at last be known . . . .

He caught his breath. By all the good gods, a personal journal?

From Publishers Weekly: The third entry in TSR/Ravenloft's "open-ended series of Gothic horror tales," this is a chilling, dark fantasy again featuring powerful vampire Count Strahd Von Zarovich. Strahd relates how he conquered the realm of Barovia, and how he became a vampire to win the love of his brother's wife, Tatyana. He tells of fratricide, suicide, treachery and a horrible curse connected to his beloved Tatyana. While this volume follows Vampire of the Mists (by Christie Golden) and Knight of the Black Rose (by James Lowder), the narrative's events seem to pre-date those of Golden's story. Although certain events and characters are depicted differently in all three novels, this is not a failing, necessarily, if readers keep in mind that this book is part of TSR's Dungeons & Dragons gaming world, in which each session at the gameboard produces varying scenarios. Elrod's strong prose and excellent pacing are not diminished by being confined to the boundaries of a pre-established universe. Though this novel lacks the baroque sensuality of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire or the streetwise humor of the author's own The Vampire Files , it is an exciting and original vampire tale.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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