Each novel is told from the perspective of one of the thirteen clans, intertwining with the others, and filling in missing pieces artfully as we follow battle after battle, intrigue after intrigue—and the appearance of a strange artifact that falls into the hands of a solitary Toreador sculptor. Clan Novel Tzimisce is the second in the series. The Clan Novel series takes a sinister turn as the dread Tzimisce emerge from their macabre dungeons and laboratories to take a decidedly unhealthy interest in events. Amid the rising nightmare, charismatic Sascha Vykos—an Old World monster with a New World agenda—brings both scourge and velvet glove to rally the fractious Sabbat forces. A great reckoning awaits the complacent Camarilla—if only Vykos can preserve the volatile alliance and keep the Sabbat serpent from devouring its own tail. This series is a monumental, novel exploration of the forbidden world of the Kindred.
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Originally published in , it and the rest of the series have been reprinted for their 20th anniversary by Crossroad Press. I remember reading these back when I was 18 years old, a Goth kid in Kentucky, and so edgy that you could shave with me.
Sisters of Mercy was the coolest, ooo! So, do the books hold up two decades later? The premise of the Clan Novels is the evil Sabbat, vampire terrorists, have invaded Atlanta, Georgia in order to take it from their rivals in Camarilla. The Camarilla is only marginally better than the Sabbat in overall moral terms but are far less violent, sadistic, and gross. They plan to move on throughout Georgia, the Carolinas, and even into Washington D.
We see their Crusade from the grunts on the ground to the behind the scenes plotting of its leaders as well as bits from Tzimisce signature character Sascha Vykos. Sascha Vykos is a character who has undergone a series of revisions across her 20 year history. A member of the mortal House Tremere of magi years ago, she was a transwoman in the Dark Ages who was embraced by their rivals in the Tzimisce.
The clan of flesh-crafters allowed her to become the way she wanted to be and indulge her transhuman impulses but was somewhat troubled by the fact the Tzimisce clan was also the most inhuman, sadistic, and overtly evil vampires in the setting aside from the Baali.
Sascha was revealed to have been mind-controlled by a much-older and more evil Methuselah The Dracon and finally freed herself from its control. But how was Vykos treated in this book?
Surprisingly well. I suspect Eric may have picked up on the Unfortunate ImplicationsTM better than other writers and chose to make her a respectable villain. Sascha is always referred to as a woman, takes the form of Elizabeth Bathory for the entirety of the book, and is probably the most "respectable" Sabbat in the story.
So, kudos to you, Eric. She even manages to bring down Marcus Vitel, the most powerful Kindred in the New World, though that would prove to be a temporary victory.
I quite enjoyed the flirtacious letters between her and Vitel as the two ancient vampires enjoyed a duel of intellectual equals. The rest of the Tzimisce in the book are less impressive as it is shown the Sabbat are a crude, cultureless band vampires more at home in From Dusk til Dawn or Near Dark than Interview with a Vampire.
They even kill one of the Black Sisters from D. Strangely, my favorite character in this book is Victoria Ash rather than any of the Tzimisce. The poor Toreador Primogen of Atlanta has only a small role but she is struggling to keep her sanity while being tortured by a vampire who has adopted the appearance of a Picasso abstract. Vykos maintains her dignity throughout the book, though, and this is an important set up for future volumes.
As bad as the Camarilla is, we understand why they need to win along with the Anarchs. The Sabbat winning would be a complete disaster for humanity. Starting off a few days before the "Summer Solstice Party" thrown by Victoria Ash, the plot delves into the Sabbat a powerful sect that would rather enslave humanity than live in its shadows side of events. They are caught off guard and immediately suspicious when a European Cardinal Ambrosio Luis This review assumes the person has read the first book.
As far as plot, I found this book to be satisfactory. A major improvement was that, unlike the last book, there were no "tangent" perspectives that added nothing to the established plot i.
Any one-shot perspective provided by a chapter added to the overall worldbuilding and atmosphere, letting us know what is happening in smaller cities surrounding Atlanta. The book really starts to shine when Vykos begins to get her own perspective chapters, as she is very well written and interesting albeit depraved and monstrous. Characters from either side of the Atlantic have an interesting Old World VS New World dynamic among the Sabbat, but this dynamic falls off the radar frequently.
The story flowed, we touched base briefly with some characters from the last book, and we get to know the perspective of the attackers concerning the raid on the Camarilla. With the exception to Vykos and a certain character returning from last book, I felt like the characters were mostly flat and caricature-like. The level of violence in this novel is greater than the last. Also, the Sabbat treat humans and each other like objects rather than living things, so a few body pieces lying around here and there is to be expected.
Not really. After a while it really felt overly gratuitous. There are a couple of times we get to see Vicissitude "magic" in action, or, at least, the aftermath of it. Griffin made a really smart choice here in describing just enough to let us know a little about what is going on, augmented it further with dialogue, and then let our imaginations run wild with it.
At a couple of points I was confused about what a person had been "sculpted" into, figuring I would never know. But in every instance you always find out. The one glaring error with this novel among a sea of positives is the use of perspective.
In scenes with a lot of characters present the narrative switches from 3rd person omniscient to some kind of hybrid between 3rd person limited and omniscient. We read the thoughts of multiple people in the room, but not consistently at all. We hear nothing else from this character. It was just odd and awkward and prevalent in scenes with multiple characters.
I understand the thought that maybe broadening the narrative perspective allows the read to know more, but I would argue it lets you know less. One passing thought from a plethora of characters in a room is less informative than a single person observing all these people and forming his own thoughts. A suggestion to make this kind of thing work, though, would have been to focus on a vampire in the room with the ability to read minds such as one with high level Auspex In sum, this was an easy read and much more polished than the last book.
Lady Sascha Vykos shines and I hope we get to hear more from her in the future. The characterization is a bit weak, the level of carnage and violence ended up as unimpactful gratuity, and the Sabbat is essentially portrayed as Chaotic Evil. A little more gray on the morality scale would have done wonders for this novel.
To view it, click here. I thought this book was okay. When I realized it, it made so much more sense! After the book started making sense, I started liking it. My favorite character, now, has to be Vykos. Paremides SP? I actually am really enjoying the series. It happened to me at least.
Clan Novel: Tzimisce
It was written by Eric Griffin, who also wrote the Tremere novel. The vampire depicted is monstrous in countenance and action, enjoying a meal in debauched hedonism. Surrounding the primary figure are leering faces born of nightmare with just enough detail to suggest the worst in the shadows. This book follows the Sabbat vampire plans to attack Atlanta in order to depose the Camirilla vampires. And the Lasombra presented in this book were a pure delight, particularly the ones in Part 1. The opening letter is lush and delightful — full-throated Stoker fanfic. It made me glad I decided to make this excursion.
02 Clan Novel Tzimisce – Book 2 of the Clan Novel Saga
Each novel is told from the persepective of one of the thirteen clans, intertwining with the others, and filling in missing pieces artfully as we follow battle after battle, intrigue after intrigue-and the appearance of a strange artifact that falls into the hands of a solitary Toreador sculptor. Clan Novel Tzimisce is the second in the series. The Clan Novel series takes a sinister turn as the dread Tzimisce emerge from their macabre dungeons and laboratories to take a decidedly unhealthy interest in events. Amid the rising nightmare, charismatic Sascha Vykos-an Old World monster with a New World agenda-brings both scourge and velvet glove to rally the fractious Sabbat forces. A great reckoning awaits the complacent Camarilla-if only Vykos can preserve the volatile alliance and keep the Sabbat serpent from devouring its own tail.