Scan 6The world (including me) mostly knows George RR Martin for the Song of Ice and Fire sequence that is the basis of the Game of Thrones TV series. I will admit to  being a fan of the series but I’ve never read any of the cycle that underpins it, though the Book God and a couple of friends keep on telling me that I should. And I may very well do in the future but for now, and as my last read for Once Upon a Time VII, I decided to pick up an earlier volume that the Book God also recommended.

Fevre Dream is fairly high concept: vampires on riverboats. It tells the story of Abner Marsh, a steamboat captain who has fallen on hard times and is approached my a very distinctive person in the form of Joshua York who funds the building of the boat that will be known as the Fevre Dream, one of the finest of its kind ever to be built. But it becomes clear that Joshua is not only not what he appears but that he has a mission which brings them both face to face with others of Joshua’s kind who do not share his views, and a mighty struggle is inevitable.

I enjoyed this very much, and not just because vampires are my supernatural monster of choice. There is a verve and swagger and romance in the telling of the story which makes this more than vampires on a boat. A love of the ships and the lifestyle and the river really shines through, and the growing respect and friendship between two men who couldn’t be further apart adds a great deal to what could have been, in other hands, a bit of a potboiler. It also has a quite wonderfully aristocratic villain who makes a worthy opponent.

This would have been a brilliant Hammer film.

The conclusion was rather lovely and very satisfying, and I’m glad that my participation in this year’s challenge ended on such a high note.

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