by Nancy Baker
Becoming a vampire was easier than she had ever dreamed.
Ardeth Alexander surrendered her mortal life in a night of despair and desire—initiated into a new existence by the five-hundred-year-old vampire, Dimitri Rozokov.
Living as a vampire was more complicated than she had ever expected.
Fleeing Toronto, Ardeth and Rozokov settle in the tourist town of Banff, Alberta. While she tests her new strength against the mountains by climbing, Rozokov returns to astronomy, the science of his youth. Together they hunt the dark reaches of the park, preying on the animals they find there, upholding an unspoken agreement not to taste human blood.
Yet all their activity cannot disguise their restlessness and soon their fragile happiness is shattered by bitter conflict and inevitable betrayal. Angry and unhappy, Ardeth returns to Toronto to try to recatpure the life she believed she had left behind forever.
Understanding what it means to be a vampire would prove harder than she had ever imagined.
What Ardeth and Rozokov do not know is that they are being hunted. A member of the yakuza, the Japanese underworld, is on their trail, seeking the fulfillment of his most secret ambition.
So is his employer, Sademori Fujiwara—a vampire whose extraordinary history is revealed to Rozokov through his diary. From the seductive nights in the imperial court of the eleventh century to the horror and tragedy of the darkest days of the twentieth, Fujiwara’s story is a tale of poetry and violence, of delight and despair. In his life, Ardeth and Rozokov see the promise of the answers to the questions of love, mortality and morality that have torn them apart.
Fujiwara’s power draws them back together to face those questions again—but the price that they all have to pay for the answers will be higher than any of them expected.
Blood and Chrysanthemums is a tantalizing tale of modern horror, with a twist of Japanese gothic, certain to leave an indelible mark on the imagination.
| Introduction by Suzy McKee Charnas. |
Other CZP books by Nancy Baker:
Praise for Nancy Baker
“Baker’s style combines, or alternates between, traditional realism and fantasy; realism with its developed, motivated, complex characters; plots which attempt to reflect life as we live it; and straightforward, transparent prose—and fantasy, with its more stereotyped characterizations; stylized story lines; and formal, sometimes poetic language. The latter style is more prominent in the part of the novel which flash back to ancient Japan, where the prose lilts gracefully.”
“Nancy Baker writes about the vampires next door . . . they bicker over petty, everyday things. They are jealous when a partner flirts with someone. They worry about paying the rent . . . ‘They’re Canadian,’ she says.”
—The Vancouver Sun
“Baker evokes the various figures from Japanese culture familiar in the West—yakuza, samurai and medieval court ladies and their pillow books—but she goes beyond clichés and invests these characters with a solidity and poignancy that contrast sharply with the simpler Canadian horror of The Night Inside. This is a more contemplative offering, and while it is not always successful, it has moments of great effectiveness. Ardeth’s nocturnal cross-country hitchhiking trip is particularly noteworthy for its undercurrents of violence and loneliness.”