They were physically perfect and free from the ravages of pain.
They could live for centuries and their empires spanned the world.
They drank the blood of their subjects and expected their love.
Common men called them
and dreamed of joining their ranks.
The Empire of Fear is a magnificent epic of alternative history, which spans three centuries and moves from England to the heart of Africa, to Malta and finally to the New World. It is sent in a brilliantly imagined world ruled by a powerful aristocracy of vampires: long-lived, extraordinarily handsome humans who are immune to pain but must drink the blood of their common subjects.
The story begins in 17th-century London. Edmund Cordery, Mechanician to the court of Richard Coeur-de-Lion, believes that the secret and supposedly magical process whereby vampires are made from common men must have a natural explanation. His knowledge becomes dangerous in the eyes of his masters when he learns how to build a microscope, and he brings his treasonous career to a swift and dramatic climax. He entrusts his secrets to his son, Noell, who must become a fugitive, living in a fear of discovery by the vampires of Europe.
Noell's adventures take him to Africa, where vampires are revered as holy men. Accompanied by other soldiers of fortune, and by the woman who loves him, he journeys into the interior to witness the strange and horrific rituals in which men receive the gifts of immortality and freedom from pain. But when he returns to Europe to use his discovery he must face the awesome might of a great armada sent to destroy his base in Malta, under the joint command of Coeur-de-Lion and the infamous Vlad the Impaler. Only in the final chapters of the book, set in the 1980s, are the ultimate effects of Noell's discovery made clear.
Combining elements of science fiction and fantasy, historical fiction and horror, The Empire of Fear is a fabulous adventure, which provides a fascinating picture of a society moving out of the shadow of superstition and feudalism into an age of science and reason.
Condition: Pre-loved book. Moderate yellowing of pages. Otherwise in good condition.
Year published: 1988
Sub-genre: Historical fantasy, supernatural
Imprint: Simon & Schuster