As I have mentioned before, I adore vampire literature. I love books about things that go bump in the night, and I love even more when those things are preternatural and you don’t hear them until they’re right at your jugular. One hot summer’s day after work a few years ago, I went to my local Chapters to kill time while waiting for my parents to pick me up. While browsing the horror section, I came across Fevre Dream by GRRM. Being between GRRM books at the time because A Dance With Dragons hadn’t come out yet, I decided to get the book. I wasn’t expecting much, but his theory about vampires made me think deeply for a while – I think it’s one of my favourites so far. If you have any suggestions about books that might be similar, do let me know!
Fevre Dream‘s premise is that vampires are an entirely different creature from humans. While books like Interview With the Vampire and movies like Dracula Untold (2014) have written vampires as mortal beings who became vampires, GRRM makes the case that these bloodsuckers are of a different kind from their prey. Set in the era of the steamboats around 1857, GRRM’s main protagonist Joshua York, is trying to help the other vampires subdue the “red thirst” not with blood, but with a potion. His rival, Damon Julian, subscribes to the belief that blood is necessary and is a lot more powerful than he is, which makes the battle for supremacy that much more difficult.
Julian rang his finger along one soft, dark cheek, and the girl trembled and tried to stand still. He stroked her hair languidly, then raised her face towards his and let his eyes drink from her own. At that Emily shied and cried out with alarm, but Julian placed his hands on either side of her face and would not let her look away. “Lovely,” he said, “You are beautiful, child. We appreciate beauty here, all of us.” He released her face, took one of her small hands in his own, raised it, and turned it over and bowed to plant a soft kiss on the inside of her wrist.
(Excerpt: Fevre Dream, GRR Martin; he’s long-winded and his depictions of food make me hungry, but he’s great once you get that engine revved up – much like JRR Tolkien.)