In An Embarrassment of Riches, the vampire Count finds himself a virtual prisoner in the Court of Kunigunde in Bohemia in the 1200s. Rakoczy Ferncsi, as Saint-Germain is known, passes his days making jewels to delight Queen Kunigunde and trying not to become involved in the Court's intrigues. In this, the vampire fails. Handsome, apparently wealthy, and obviously unmarried, he soon finds himself being sexually blackmailed by Rozsa, an ambitious lady-in-waiting. If he does not satisfy her, she will denounce him to the priests and he'll be burned at the stake, resulting in his True Death. Despite his care, the vampire makes more than one enemy at the Bohemian Court, and by the end of An Embarrassment of Riches, the Count can see only one road to freedom...through death.
Yet another brilliant novel in the Saint Germain series! These books are meticulously researched and all the effort definitely shows with the many historical details that are included on every page. It's almost like walking into the given time period and observing a piece of the past come alive.
This was probably one of the most tragic chapters in Saint Germain's existence and it is extremely sad that after so many years he finds himself once again at the whim of others. Rakoczy Ferncsi, as he is known in this time, has many material riches but he lacks the one thing that sustains him...genuine intimacy. His life and circumstances make finding love practically impossible and those that already truly love him, like Olivia, must stay away. He does have Roger to act as his trusted companion, but I've always wished that he could find a way to be near Olivia for more than a few years at a time.
Kunigunde's court was filled with sneaky, selfish people, all willing to accept the gems Rakoczy could provide but unwilling to offer any sort of friendship. Most feared his foreigner status, many had their suspicions about his wealth, and some wanted him dead. The plot was further complicated by conniving women and a war that kept him prisoner. If he was any other type of man he might have simply fled from the miserable Bohemian court, but Rokoczy never shies from his responsibilities, and in this case he stayed in order to protect his land, holdings, and tenants back in his native country.
An Embarrassment of Riches is a must read for fans of Saint Germain but since the books are not told in chronological order they can be enjoyed by new readers as well. I highly recommend and encourage every reader to give these unique and creative novels a try. Yarbro is a pioneer in fiction and no character I've ever read can rival the everlasting quality of Saint-Germain. I started with Hotel Transylvania when I was a teen and I still buy each book as they are released, each one having a permanent place on my keeper shelves.
Click here for a complete reading list of other books in this series.
*Reviewed by Anna Dougherty for VampChix
*This book was sent by the publisher for review.