As much as I tried, the glory of the scariest clan among vampires, and in the Sabbat fraction itself, has ended in my hands. Vampire the Masquerade: Clan Novel #2 Tzimisce by Eric Griffin (ISBN 1565048024; 273p.; Goodreads) was by far the most gory book I have ever read of vampires, and the manner of deaths incline me to put a trigger warning here: this book is not for the light-hearted.
Camarilla and Sabbat are two opposing sects among the vampire clans. While Camarilla believes we can all coexist, and must do just so, with Masquerade there to protect vampires as well as humans, Sabbat believes that humanity must perish for the greater good. And after long planning, time for action is here. First strikes were made in a ball that took place in the previous books, with several high political figures right there at hand. And now it continues.
War rages across the whole of East Coast. Blood is running dry, heads of power are thrown around as trophies, and the worst nightmares are running around in the night. If you stand still and look up, at times it seems whole buildings are moving, enclosing upon this or that target in the dark of night, made ever thicker so with shadows of Lasombra clan, as they shed their physical forms to stand as one against the enemy. War ghouls, several great feet tall. Spidery creatures with more legs and arms than one should ever need. Beings with no sense, no mind, nothing but will to go on and destroy until they can no longer do so. And all that nightmare slowly engulfed in the flames, flames that cleanse the city of this carnage. Amidst it all stands Sasha Vykos, one of the most powerful Tzimisce still alive, her shape barely human by her own will. Tonight Sabbat will triumph, and Camarilla shall fall. Gehenna shall come, and clean the night of vermin.
It’s a beautiful book that juggles politics and torture via chapters as they go. Main protagonist is one of the “bad guys“, which is just more interesting to follow. They seem to reason it all out so well, at times leaving the reader rooting for the wrong team, that is, until someone gets their bones molded like warm wax, or skin polished into marble-shine. I admit, I wasn’t a great fan of Tzimisce before, even knowing that Dracula is apparently of this clan, but now I think they’re indeed one interesting bunch. On top of that, we learn more of the people at power on the Camarilla side too, witnessing some unions happening right there on the battlefield, for the need to survive is far greater than the hate one might feel for the other. I give this book 4 out of 5 for now, that is mostly because of the final chapters, the intro chapters to Gangrel clan book. They seemed just a little more intense, and therefor – interesting. But be assured, this one is very well among my favorites now.