Vampire of the Mists
Author: Christie Golden
For additional info on Mrs Goldenís current work,her web site is found here.
I found "Vampire of the Mists" by accident in athrift shop some time in 1999. Back then I was heavily into TSR'sForgotten Realms, and I wanted a slower change of pace. After reading thewhole book all I could say is I was hooked to Ravenloft, and my devotionto the Dread Realms has never wavered since.
Vampire of the Mists explores the early years of Ravenloft, back whenBarovia was the sole domain in the Land of Mists. Christie Golden pacesthe story with just the right "rhythm (for the lack of a better term)",from the moment Jander Sunstar sets eyes on Tatyana in Waterdeep down tohis final confrontation with Strahd von Zarovich. Reading the story youwouldn't help but relate with these two powerful beings, feeling the vicious tension that slowly builds between them as theyears lumber by.
The most gripping part of the story is when Jander enters Strahd's privatequarters, looking the Mists invited Jander into Ravenloft in the firstplace. All I could say here is that Golden indeed knows how to grip thereader through the actions of the personas within.
I could not find any down side to this book, and I recommend it to thosewho wish to explore the true essence of what Ravenloft should be. Fivestars out of 5!
I've been a fan of the setting since my group picked up the I6 Ravenloftmodule when it first came out. As soon as Vampire of the Mists waspublished I snatched it up immediately. Finally after all the Dragonlanceand Forgotten Realm series of books they were finally doing a D&D Realm Iloved. Sadly the book proved to be a complete let down. It wasn't as badan experience as seeing 'Star Trek V' or 'Armageddon' but it ranks upthere. At least a movie only wastes 2 hours of my life.
The writing itself was fine but through the entire read all I could thinkof was how the book was a transparent and very poor rip off of Anne Rice'sInterview with the Vampire. Read that instead, to be influenced. Louis isthe essence of Jander and let Louis' version/opinion of Lestat in thatfirst book be the fertile ground to nourish you if you want to get intothe mind of Strahd. Any siginificant events that happen in Vampire of theMists can be gleamed by reading the 2E game materials and John Margrum'stimeline.
I also picked up Knight of the Black Rose when it came out, got a fewpages into it and was still so disappointed with Vampire of the Mists thatI ended up putting the book down. At the time I had no idea who Soth wasor his Dragonlance background or I probably would have tried to readthrough it. My thoughts at the time were along the lines of- 'if the firstbook in a series is so bad then sequels can only get worse.' I didn't knowthe books would all be separate adventures. I figured they would be acontinuing story like they did in Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms. I didrecently read Van Ritchen's story in Tales of Ravenloft and that wasn'tbad.
I give Vampire of the Mists 2 black roses out of 5 only because thewriting itself was not bad. For the lack of any original ideas however Igive the book no black roses.
Christonikos "JanderSunstar" Zonafos
This one is my personalfavorite and itís possibly one of the main reasons I stuck with Ravenloftso much. Iíll try not to spoil the fun of reading it and uncoveringthe truth behind Sunstar, so Iíll just say that it provides a veryintriguing base for expanding Ravenloft beyond Barovian borders, combininghuman passions, needs, and wants with the unknown and corrupting DarkPowers.
I would give it 5 fingers outof a hand, but I believe it would be unfair. Both hands for a solid10 is the only option ;)
Paniayotis "Ravenharm" Kollias
Christie does an excellent job for me of portraying what an evil monster under the venire of a noble man skin strahd can be. if you read goldens portrayal of strahd then read elrods version, you can almost draw the line of youthful savagery of vampiric damnation and then tapering drop to elrods more complex and experienced strahd, thus complimenting each other well. the conflict in jander plays out well and i enjoyed that there was a flirt of a sexual theme within such as the victim strahd offers jander.
4.5 out of 5.
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