Twenty-five hundred years old vampire Count Saint-Germain
uses the name of Zangi-Ragozh in Yang Chou, China where he
heads a shipping and trading business. With him is loyal
ghoul five hundred years old Ro-Shei. Wen Emperor Yuan Bou-
Ju summons Zangi-Ragozh and other merchants to come to
Chong'en; none realize that half a world away Mount
Krakatoa erupted and will change the world for several
Zangi-Ragozh gets his first inkling of the change when the
sun fails to rise above the volcanic ash that seems to be
all over the atmosphere. Being out in daylight does not
bother the Count as much, but along with this benefit
comes the downside that travel to Chong'en is impossible.
Crops fail and famine becomes the norm. Zangi-Ragozh
returns to his place of birth by joining the caravan of
the Desert Cats. He earns passage by bartering his medical
skills, but is tossed out when the clan bans foreigners.
They meet again in Tak-Kala where a magician who he trusts
betrays him even as danger from the famished survivors
Never in the long running series has Saint-Germain come
closer to the True Death than he does in this time of the
DARK OF THE SUN. He has lost much of his native earth,
willing donors are rare, and has a potentially lethal
wound. The Krakatoa effect on the world adds depth and
turns the novel in many ways in spite of a vampiric
protagonist into more a historical than a supernatural
tale. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro provides another fantastic
reading experience for her fans.
Reviewed by Harriet Klausner
Posted November 15, 2004
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 22, 2007
It is the 6th century of the common era. The vampire Saint- Germain, known in this time as Sangi-Ragozh, is peacefully doing business in Asia when, unknown to him-or anyone else in most of the world-Krakatoa explodes in a massive volcanic eruption. The island is nearly completely destroyed; tidal waves swamp harbors hundreds of miles away, ravaging trade ships and their cargoes; tons of ash and dirt are flung into the air. In the months to come, the world grows colder and darker as the massive cloud of dust and ash spreads across the globe, blocking sunlight. Sea trade is ravaged. Crops fail. Livestock, and then people, begin to starve. Disease spreads. Panic rises. What has caused the sun to go dark? With his scientific bent, Sangi-Ragozh suspects a natural cause, but most people assume a supernatural explanation-and begin to seek supernatural remedies. As always in times of trouble, foreigners-and the vampire is always a foreigner, wherever he travels-become targets. Fleeing toward the West, where he hopes to find safety and sanity, the vampire travels with a nomadic tribe led by Dukkai, a female shaman who soon becomes Sangi-Ragozh's lover-and main source of sustenance. But Sangi-Ragozh's problems are far from over. His vampire nature is discovered by an enemy; he is separated from Dukkai and begins to starve; he has lost everything, including his last sack of his native soil. With death no longer a distant possibility, Sangi-Ragozh desperately tries to reach sanctuary in the one place he truly belongs-his homeland, the country he first left centuries earlier. A land we now call Transylvania.