Vampires in fantasy literature
The vampire first made its appearance in print in the 18th century (Heinrich August Ossenfelder’s The Vampire, 1748) but it was in 1897, with the publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, that the creature from Western European mythology and folklore gained the popularity that it still holds to this very day. Throughout the 20th century the vampire appeared in books that established it as the one of the most fascinating and terrifying figures ever to be written about. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (1954), Salem's Lot by Stephen King (1975), Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles series (1976–2003) and Fevre Dream by George RR Martin (1982) are amongst the most popular works of vampire fiction. And the 21st century has found the vampire to be as popular as ever, with Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire Mysteries (2001–), Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (2004), the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer (2005–2008), Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain (2009 - ) and Jasper Kent's Danilov Quintet (2009–) showing the fanged blood-drinker to be ever bit as well-liked today as it was when it first appeared over two hundred and fifty years ago.
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client and his castle. Soon afterwards, a number of disturbing incidents unfold in England: an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck; and the inmate of a lunatic asylum raves about the imminent arrival of his 'Master'. In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count Dracula and a determined group of adversaries, Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre. Dracula has been attributed to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. Structurally it is an epistolary novel, that is, told as a series of diary entries and letters. Literary critics have examined many themes in the novel, such as the role of women in Victorian culture, conventional and conservative sexuality, immigration, colonialism, postcolonialism and folklore. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, the novel's influence on the popularity of vampires has been singularly responsible for many theatrical and film interpretations throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
- The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers
When Michael Crawford discovers his bride brutally murdered in their wedding bed, he is forced to flee not only to prove his innocence, but to avoid the deadly embrace of a vampire who has claimed him as her true bridegroom. Joining forces with Byron, Keats, and Shelley in a desperate journey that criss-crosses Europe, Crawford desperately seeks his freedom from this vengeful lover who haunts his dreams and will not rest until she destroys all that he cherishes. Told in the guise of a secret history, this long-awaited tale of passion and terror is finally back in print after over 20 years.
"This is an excellent novel and fully deserves the plaudits it already has, and it should enjoy new fans and a wider readership this second time around." Fantasy Book Review
- Anno Dracula series by Kim Newman
It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel tells the story of vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and Charles Beauregard of the Diogenes Club as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders.
"This edition not only comes with one of the best horror novels I have read but also extras such as an annotations section detailing Newmans influences, an alternate ending, an Anno Dracula screenplay as well as articles and ideas. This is essential reading for all fans of the genre. This is essential reading for all fans of the genre. As fellow horror aficionado and writer Neil Gaiman says this is compulsory reading... glorious." Fantasy Book Review
- Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth
I think that in Blood Oath Farnsworth has added a new theme within the vampire genre which I very much enjoyed. Instead of focusing on romance he instead took a popular present day theme, war on terrorism, and built a fantasy-thriller around it. I hope that Farnsworth can keep up the pace and keep the story as interesting. Blood Oath is suspenseful, thrilling and action-packed novel, an awesome book and a recommended read.
- The Passage by Justin Cronin
Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world. She is. Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row. He's wrong. FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming. It is. THE PASSAGE.
"The Passage is a story of truly epic proportions, a story that dares to span the entire globe over the course of one hundred years. A large scope comes with a large risk of creating something too big to handle, but Cronin keeps the core elements controlled and focused while giving his characters just enough information to be dangerous and unpredictable.The result is a deliberate yet gripping plot full of complex characters and terrifying monsters, all set in an isolated and empty post apocalyptic world." Fantasy Book Review
- The Radleys by Matt Haig
Life with the Radleys: Radio 4, dinner parties with the Bishopthorpe neighbours and self-denial. Loads of self-denial. But all hell is about to break loose. When teenage daughter Clara gets attacked on the way home from a party, she and her brother Rowan finally discover why they can't sleep, can't eat a Thai salad without fear of asphyxiation and can't go outside unless they're smothered in Factor 50. With a visit from their lethally louche uncle Will and an increasingly suspicious police force, life in Bishopthorpe is about to change. Drastically.
"Pointed, clever and witty." Independent
"The Radleys is a refreshing and original take on a vampire genre that has arguably become rather overworked of late, and the books main theme of abstinence is perfect for these debt-ridden times. Using short, sharp paragraphs and sprinkled with delightful asides from the fictional Abstainers Handbook, The Radleys is a coming of age story that will appeal to adults, both young and old." Fantasy Book Review
- Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman
There are monsters among us. There always have been and there always will be. I've know that since I can remember, just like I've always known that I was one... Well, half of one anyway. Cal Leandros is 19. He eats junk food, he doesn't clean up after himself and fights with his half brother Niko. It's a fairly normal life, but for the fact that Cal and Niko are constantly on the run. Cal's father has been after him for the last four years. And given that he's a monster whose dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares they really don't want him and his entire otherworldly race catching up with them. But Cal is about to learn why they want him, why they've always wanted him - he is the key to unleashing their hell on earth. Meanwhile the bright lights of the Big Apple shine on, oblivious to the fact that the fate of the human world will be decided in the fight of Cal and Niko's lives...
"This story worked for me because Cal and his brother Niko go through hell. They are spared nothing and have almost everything against them while still fighting on. There is a perfect balance between the chapters plus rapid action, fast paced sword-gun fights, humour, emotion and romance. This is a story that grasps you and compels you to read on late into the night." Fantasy Book Review
- Redlaw series by James Lovegrove
The Eastern Seaboard of the USA is experiencing the worst winter weather in living memory, and John Redlaw is in the cold white thick of it. He's come to America to investigate a series of vicious attacks on vampire immigrants targeted kills that can't simply be the work of amateur vigilantes. Dogging his footsteps is Tina 'Tick' Checkley, a wannabe TV journalist with an eye on the big time. The conspiracy Redlaw uncovers could give Tina the career break she s been looking for. It could also spell death for Redlaw.
- Bloodshot by Cherie Priest
When I picked up this book to review, I was an urban fantasy novice. The only vampires I had ever met were those in Terry Pratchett Discworld novels. I'm just not 'into' them. Having finished reading Bloodshot, I don't think I'm a vampire - or urban fantasy, for that matter - novice, and if not a fan of urban fantasy in general - or vampires in particular - I am a fan of Cherie Priest's writing and her characters.
- Hellbent by Cherie Priest
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a well-written urban fantasy, even if they dont like vampires much. One doesnt have to like vampires to love Raylenes take on life or is it the undead life? This fast-paced book will stop you from putting it down until its finished, and youll definitely be left wanting to know what happens next.
- The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
- Inheritance (Heir to the Blood Throne) by Tim Marquitz
- The Mall by SL Grey
- Anno Dracula series by Kim Newman
- Redlaw series by James Lovegrove
- Southern Vampire Series by Charlaine Harris
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