While working as spy in the year 1022, François was turned into a vampire. Since then, he has maintained a deep hatred for all humans. He finds jobs to keep a roof over his head, but lives a solitary life and never comes across any other vampires. In the year 1347, he finds himself falling in love with a human, a soldier named Giles. Giles betrays François when he divulges his vampire secret and François is blackmailed into becoming a spy once again. Many years later, François seeks revenge on Giles through the manipulation of his son.
Crossing the ocean, François comes to New Orleans in 1876. There he teams up with the vampire Vasile to fight off human vampire hunters. Vasile becomes the only friend François has had in centuries. When Vasile’s human lover dies, Vasile turns to François for physical comfort and affection. François has been alone for centuries and Vasile may just be able to save him from his loneliness.
I came away with mixed feelings on this story. There are a lot of interesting elements to it and for a short story it covers a lot in a short amount of time. François is a very unhappy vampire. Once he was turned, he left his family and tried to make a life for himself. He relies on the humans he despises for work and does not encounter another vampire for centuries. He thinks he has found something special with Giles. When Giles betrays him, François waits decades for revenge and his actions are calculating and wicked. Although cruel, what Francois is capable of as a vampire is illustrated well and adds to the paranormal experience.
Because the story covers so much, François emotions are not exposed in depth. His relationship with Giles is told more than seen. When he meets Vasile, it is to combat the vampire hunters. For centuries, François has barely come across another vampire and I did question how there were active vampire hunters when François could not even seem to find other vampires. The relationship between François and Vasile does not offer much on page romantic interaction between the two of them to balance or solidify the feelings François claims to have. The men have an affair, but can’t seem to have a conversation about their relationship within a century. François just remains unhappy for centuries. At times he seems to not do much at all, cannot seem to find anything to ease his existence, and at the end of it all, I was slightly apathetic toward him overall. And the ending. I will offer a warning that this story does not have an ending. This story is listed as book one and it basically cuts off mid thought which, as a reader, is quite unsettling.
The story is well written from a dialogue and narration aspect. Being a short story, it did move fast and some critical areas of the characters connecting were not shown. There is a bit of intrigue that piques my interest of what is to come for the next installment. So this is a short vampire story that moves through centuries, countries, revenge, and possibly finding a way to becoming settled after so many years.