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Bloodwars

Novel by Brian Lumley (England) 1994.

Third and last in his Vampire World trilogy, begun by Blood Brothers (1992).

Nathan Kiklu, exiled from his own world to ours, is trying to find his way home. But it seems many people are interested in stopping him, and the chase ends up with more Earth men than ever before finding themselves in the world of the wamphyri. Various members of the British E-Branch, together with a few cavers and a lot of powerful weaponry, go through with Nathan and find their way to Lardis Lidesci and his Szgany tribe. Turkur Tzonov finds himself driven through, with a group of heavily armed professional soldiers. And Geoffrey Paxton, the black sheep of British E-Branch, is searching for a way to retrieve his telepathy, taken from him by the Necroscope, Harry Keogh. And Zek F´┐Żener comes back to Sunside as well. In short, there are a lot of opportunities to see how the wamphyri stand up to rocket launchers. And there are now an awful lot of wamphyri - a huge army out of Turgosheim, led by Lord Vormulac Unsleep, is seeking revenge on Wratha. Nathan finds himself at the centre of a blood war; and, still learning how to master his various talents (and adding new ones), realises that the fate of two worlds rests on his shoulders.

As I've mentioned elsewhere in this book, Brian Lumley has a lot of scope. And that's a bit of an understatement. In his most ambitious work yet, the Necroscope/Vampire World series, he has already given us stunningly original theories on the afterlife and the origins of vampirism, lycanthropy and gypsies; and put new slants on the use of the mind, from teleportation to necromancy, and invented new talents: like deadspeak, the ability to converse with the dead; and ecopathy, the ability to feel the pain of a planet. He's created a complete world and populated it with imaginary and real people, from Mobius to Yuri Andropov, from Pythagoras to the Witch of Endor; and invented new races, the subhuman trogs and the mystic Thyre. In Bloodwars, Brian Lumley outdoes even himself. While neatly tying up the almost innumerable plot strands that unwind over the 2,200 pages of the Vampire World epic, he manages even to bring in new ideas: here we have a new meaning for the evil eye, the use of leprosy as a weapon against vampirism, and a neat method to correct the eccentricity of a planet! I don't want to heap too many superlatives on this book, series and author, but it's difficult not to: Vampire World contains more intrigue than most political novels, more imagination than most SF, more action and heroics than most adventure stories, and more horror than most horror. Need I say any more? Essential.


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