Blood Brothers

Rating: 
4
Blood Brothers
Review by The Mad Bibliographer, submitted on 28-Oct-2001

Adapted from "Vampires in Print" in The Vampire's Crypt #9 (Spring 1994).

Review by Cathy Krusberg

Brian Lumley. Blood Brothers (TOR, 1992; $21.95/$28.95; paperback $5.99/$6.99)

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the bookstores, with the Necroscope series having been brought to a smashing finale, what does Brian Lumley do? He starts another series where the earlier one left off! Set in the Sunside/Starside universe, Blood Brothers follows the adventures of twin sons that the Necroscope, Harry Keough, fathered on a Traveller woman, Nana Kiklu. Nathan and Nestor Kiklu are passed off as the sons of Nana's husband Hzak, who was killed in the last great war. That war ended the Wamphyri menace to the Szgany -- the Travellers -- on Sunside, so they could cease their endless wanderings and become town-dwellers. The Wamphyri were gone! Or so it had seemed....

But the world of Sunside/Starside holds another community of Wamphyri. In Turgosheim, on the other side of the Great Red Waste that splits Sunside/Starside, Wamphyri have subjugated their local Szgany; under a tithe system, the Wamphyri live on meat and grain and young men and women that the Szgany supply. Now this community of Wamphyri has grown so large that aeries are packed stiflingly tight and tithes spread impoverishingly thin. At last, a handful of the Wamphyri band together; led by indomitable Lady Wratha, they mount their flyers and travel westward, ultimately to settle in the last aerie that the Great War left standing. From there, they raid among the plentiful nearby Szgany -- including those of Nathan and Nestor's village.

In one such raid, Nestor is snatched up by a Wamphyri flyer and the young woman Misha, beloved of both brothers, vanishes. The flyer crashes and is killed by the sun; by the time Nathan catches up to Nestor, it appears he has drowned in a great river. Believing Misha dead also, Nathan continues his travels. He encounters a reclusive people, the Thyre, among whom he enhances his telepathic abilities. Like his father, Nathan is a necroscope, someone who can speak to the dead, but he can also hear the thoughts of the living. And his mind has yet another strange trait, a whirling vortex of numbers that is simply *there* -- surely it has some potential, but no one of the Sunside/ Starside universe can fathom it.

With the aid of the Thyre, Nathan crosses the Great Red Waste; among the Szgany on its other side, he is soon taken as part of the Turgosheim tithe. He falls to the Wamphyri Lord Maglore, who leaves Nathan's humanity intact and makes a pet of him, intrigued by his strange abilities. Secretly, Maglore harnesses Nathan's powers for his own purposes; Nathan thinks he is escaping when in fact he is released, for Maglore has made a link so he can use Nathan to spy on the Wamphyri who departed Turgosheim for Nathan's part of Sunside/Starside.

Nestor's path also leads to the Wamphyri. Since he opened his eyes to see a dying Wamphyri flyer at his side, Nestor has been convinced that he *is* Wamphyri, a Wamphyri Lord who has somehow lost his place among his kind. He is determined to recover his heritage, and in a chance encounter with two of the Last Aerie's inhabitants, Nestor *becomes* Wamphryi. Among his few memories of his human life is the recollection of a rival -- his brother Nathan, who *must* be destroyed, and by the most certain means Nestor knows: Nathan will be flung into The Gate, the glowing white thing that is said to lead to the hell-lands. None who have passed into it have ever emerged.

The events of Blood Brothers are followed up in its sequel, The Last Aerie. See my review of that title for further commentary on both books.

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From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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