Saturday, June 15, 2019

Trouble in the Forest

Under the pen name "Trystam Kith," Chelsea Quinn Yarbro wrote a pair of vampire novels very different from her Saint-Germain series. In the "Trouble in the Forest" duology, set during the reign of King Richard the Lionhearted, while his brother Prince John ruled England in Richard's absence, Yarbro presents familiar legendary characters from a new and strange perspective. Prince John is portrayed as an intelligent, highly educated, just ruler instead of a villain, the Sheriff of Nottingham is the hero, and Robin Hood and his Merry Men are—vampires.

The first volume, A COLD SUMMER NIGHT (2004), begins as Hugh deSteny, Sheriff of Nottingham under the lordship of Sir Gui deGisbourne, receives a dreadful report from a forest warden. A family of humble crofters has been slaughtered. Upon viewing the crime scene, Hugh immediately suspects something worse than human murderers. A former Crusader, he saw strange things in the Holy Land, so he knows of the living dead who drink blood. From priests of the Greek church, he learned how to deal with those creatures. Further attacks convince him that his first assumption is true, and he strives to protect his people against the undead who haunt the forest. The outlaws are cunning as well as bloodthirsty and strong, however, and several groups of travelers fall to them, including even armed men forewarned of the danger. We see how Alan a Dale, Little John, and Friar Tuck (here called simply the Red Friar, for the color of his order's habit) get captured and converted. Although these vampires are diabolically evil in the traditional way, they have intelligence and personalities. The Friar tries to resist his change into a creature of the Devil, only to discover that he can no longer pray or handle holy objects and that the craving for blood is inexorable.

Matters become worse when Sir Gui insists on having his prospective bride, Marian, escorted to him through the forest by an inadequate contingent of guards. Once captured by "Hood" and his band, Marian takes to her new life with relish. She didn't have much enthusiasm for her arranged marriage to a man she'd never met anyway. Hugh struggles to make Sir Gui understand the true danger of the outlaws, while coping with other obstructions to carrying out his duty. The book ends as Sir Gui prepares to carry out his scheme of trapping Hood and his gang with an archery contest.

Book II, A BRIGHT WINTER SUN (2004), completes the tale. As one would expect from a veteran author of historical horror such as Yarbro, "Trystam Kith" vividly renders the environment and culture of early medieval England, with the ever-present threats that lurk in the wild forest lying in wait just outside the towns, monasteries, and citadels or off the well-traveled roads. Hugh deSteny is a believable, sympathetic character, and the other people in the story have credible goals and motives, including Robin Hood's undead band. The term "vampire" doesn't appear until about halfway through the book, perhaps anachronistically, since the word wasn't recorded in English until the 1730s; by the time it pops up, however, the reader has become immersed deeply enough in the story to allow the author this license.

Margaret L. Carter

Explore love among the monsters at Carter's Crypt.

6 comments:

Jerome Samson said...

Vampires is not at all like in the movies or books. Sure, I understand. You are young you have the whole world open to you. You can be anything that you choose if you apply yourself and try hard to work toward that goal. But being a Vampire is not what it seems like. It’s a life full of good, and amazing things. We are as human as you are.. It’s not what you are that counts, But how you choose to be. Do you want a life full of interesting things? Do you want to have power and influence over others? To be charming and desirable? To have wealth, health, and longevity? contact the Vampires Lord on his Email: Richvampirekindom@gmail.com

John Phillips said...


DO YOU WISH TO BE A VAMPIRE OR YOU WANT YOUR OWN POWERS AND PROTECTION COME AND BE AMONG THE VAMPIRES KINGDOM TODAY AND YOU GET WHAT EVER YOU DESIRE CONTACT LORD SHAKA AT ( lordshakavampirekingdom@gmail.com )
contact LORD SHAKA at( lordshakavampirekingdom@gmail.com ) to be a rich and powerful vampire!
Welcome to ( lordshakavampirekingdom@gmail.com). Do you want to be a vampire,still in human,having talented brain turning to a vampire in a good posture in ten mines time to a human again, with out delaying in a good human posture. A world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and we have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk, this is an opportunity to have the human vampire blood to perform in a good posture.if you are interested contact us on: lordshakavampirekingdom@gmail.com

Unknown said...

My Name is Kelly Williams from Canada, i turn to a vampire any time i want to, I become a real vampire because of how people treat me, This world is a wicked world and not fair to any body. At the snack of my finger things are made happened. Am now a powerful vampire and no one step on me without an apology goes free. I turn to human being also at any time i want to. And am one of the most dreaded and respected person in my country. i am now also very famous and rich with the help of the VAMPIRES EMPIRE. i get what ever a want. i become a vampire through the help of my friend who introduce me into a vampire Kingdom by given me their email: templeofsuccessandlove1@gmail.com, if you want to become a powerful and a real vampire kindly contact the vampire kingdom on their email: templeofsuccessandlove1@gmail.com for help. it is real. Contact them today. templeofsuccessandlove1@gmail.com

Lord Mark said...

Are you tired of being human, having talented brain turning to a vampire in a good posture in ten minutes, Do you want to have power and influence over others, To be charming and desirable, To have wealth, health, without delaying in a good human posture and becoming an immortal? If yes, these your chance. It's a world of vampire where life get easier,We have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich, You will assured long life and prosperity, You shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness, Stronger and also very fast, You will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk, This is an opportunity to have the human vampire virus to perform in a good posture. If you are interested contact us on Vampirelord7878@gmail.com

Angel Claudia said...

Are you a university, college, or high school student looking to hire Best Dissertation Writers? Then fret not, because we got you sorted. We offer the best online Nursing WRiting Services for all your essay needs.

Jerome Samson said...

Vampires is not at all like in the movies or books. Sure, I understand. You are young you have the whole world open to you. You can be anything that you choose if you apply yourself and try hard to work toward that goal. But being a Vampire is not what it seems like. It’s a life full of good, and amazing things. We are as human as you are.. It’s not what you are that counts, But how you choose to be. Do you want a life full of interesting things? Do you want to have power and influence over others? To be charming and desirable? To have wealth, health, and longevity, I can help you solve any problem you are having
(1) If you want your ex back.
(2) If you want to stop having bad dreams.
(3) You want to be promoted in your office.
(4) You want women/men to run after you.
(5) If you want a child.
(6) You want to be rich.
(7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
(8) If you need financial assistance.
(9) If you want to stop your divorce.
(10 If you want to divorce your husband.
(11) If you want your wishes to be granted.
contact the Vampires Lord on his Email: Richvampirekindom@gmail.com