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Extended Audio Sample A Taint in the Blood Audiobook, by S. M. Stirling Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.73 out of 52.73 out of 52.73 out of 52.73 out of 52.73 out of 5 2.73 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: S. M. Stirling Narrator: Todd McLaren Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Shadowspawn Series Release Date: May 2010 ISBN: 9781400184545
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Long ago, homo nocturnus ruled the Earth, able to manipulate the forces of nature at their most basic level. Before the dawn of recorded history they were overthrown, leaving behind them only legends-our legends of shapeshifters and blood-drinkers, of cruel gods and evil magicians, of ogres and goblins, succubi and incubi. But a strain of their blood lives on in humanity, the genes themselves bending the forces of probability to reunite. Secret clans used their half-understood abilities to hide from the witch-finders and the normal humans; occasionally one would be detected, a Giles de Rais or an Elizabeth Bathory. Then, in the nineteenth century, the discoveries of Mendel and Darwin enabled them to understand what they were and to breed back the full range of their dark powers. Now, in the twenty-first century, they rule the world again in secret; only the Brotherhood fights them, in a clandestine war of terror and assassination, of Wreaking and silver-inlaid knives. Adrian Breze was born into that war, but he defected to the side of humanity, and for decades he was the Brotherhood's most effective fighter, just as his twin sister Adrienne is the Council of Shadow's strongest. Now he has retired, weary of the endless struggle, but Adrienne has her own purposes, and they don't include letting her brother live quietly in his mountaintop retreat near Santa Fe. To force him out, she kidnaps his human lover, Ellen Tarnowski, and the war is on again-with the future of humanity at stake. For the Council of Shadows is ready to emerge into the light, with a plan that will reduce humans once again to the harried prey of the creatures of darkness. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Stirling] begins a new urban fantasy series featuring a variant version of werewolves, bringing to it an extraordinary eye for detail and a feel for characterizations.”

    Library Journal

  • [Stirling] begins a new urban fantasy series featuring a variant version of werewolves, bringing to it an extraordinary eye for detail and a feel for characterizations. Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jim | 2/20/2014

    " Normally I'd be ecstatic about a new Stirling book but this one came up drastically short. Action wasn't impressive and mostly the rest of the book was just plain creepy. Not a fan. Please write more change novels mr Stirling. Maybe a stand alone of a different nation from my state? (west TX btw. Plains Indians, ag communities, survivalists, great scenery). Think about it Stirling. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Darcy | 1/30/2014

    " This was one of those "maybe" books for me. Maybe it would be a good read for me and maybe not. Sadly this one turned to be the not. I had a hard time keeping my mind on the book, the characters not all that interesting. This one just wasn't for me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Music_lover3 | 1/26/2014

    " I'm not really sure what to say about this book. I couldn't finish it for one. It was dull and just overall weird. I love the cover, but the book...yeah not so much. This book was just...weird and from the little bit I read and skipped through, I see a lot of problems with it that I don't like or can really accept in the least. I'm extremely glad I borrowed this book from the library. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rex | 1/23/2014

    " It took me 3 days to make it through the first 50 pages. As I kept reading it, I would tell myself that I am going to stop reading this book if I have no interest 50 pages into it. By 50 pages, it had improved and I gave it another 50 pages. It improved enough to where I decided to finish reading the book. Nothing great, but it was an "OK" read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly Linzey | 1/19/2014

    " well worth the read... wasn't to sure about the ending.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lilah Chavez | 1/19/2014

    " I'm waffling on this one. I like the Shadowspawn characters, particularly Adrian and his evil twin sister Adrienne, but I just couldn't like Ellen for some reason. I'll probably read the next one in the series, just to see what's Hoo g to happen because I have a big feeling Adrienne didn't die, but I'll most likely borrow it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ankharet Verch meredudd | 1/16/2014

    " I am excited to read the second book and find out what happens. I like this twist on the "vampire" trend of books/bandwagon everyone is on. He does an ok job. I still like the Change books of his more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 1/14/2014

    " A Taint in the Blood is S.M. Stirling's first book in his Shadowspawn series. Pretty good book. Weird for me in that it's fairly grim and dark and not near enough interaction with the hero but good all the same. I'll read the next one and there is a third one due out later this year. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maxwell Heath | 8/19/2013

    " Fairly entertaining. Some of the world stuff reminds me of Vampire, though the Shadowspawn powers were an interesting variation on normal vampires. The book was probably a bit long for the amount of plot that happened, and the sex scenes seemed somewhat unnecessary, but the book overall was fun. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mike Stolfi | 2/15/2013

    " Utter dreck, couldn't even get through half of it. I hate it when the vampire does little but whine about being a vampire & most of the characters are stereotypical facades. This is what happens when your publisher says "make one of these". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nate | 1/11/2013

    " Derivative, but enjoyable. Probably good, mindless beach book. It reads a bit like Stirling just discovered dirty sex, which is annoying. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tim | 11/24/2012

    " If you like lesbian S&M and like to read food critic reviews (lots of comparing the taste of blood based on mood, fear ect to high scale food) you will love it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Freddie Lynch | 10/17/2012

    " Excellent take on the vampire mythos. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Rooker | 5/6/2012

    " Great, creepy vampire series! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beverly | 3/30/2012

    " Confirmed that I do not like vampire story lines. It was good writing - just not my thing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Artreads | 2/22/2012

    " I was a bit disappointed with this book. As another vampire book, it's only so-so, compared with others that I've of Stirling's. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Michelle | 11/5/2011

    " Couldn't even finish the book it was so awful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 9/1/2011

    " Very good new take on a very old concept. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cindi | 8/21/2011

    " I usually like S.M. Stirling's work, but this time I couldn't make it through. I have put this book down 3 times to read others because it just didn't stir me enough to finish it. I mean, I was over halfway done! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pickleman | 6/18/2011

    " Pretty wild stuff! I've enjoyed this author in previous books and this is very interesting indeed. Not for the faint of heart, however. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenn/Yana | 4/2/2011

    " Unfortunately, this book read like the author was trying to jump on the (late) train of vampire-popularity. Decidedly meh. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cindi | 9/30/2010

    " I usually like S.M. Stirling's work, but this time I couldn't make it through. I have put this book down 3 times to read others because it just didn't stir me enough to finish it. I mean, I was over halfway done!

    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gene | 9/27/2010

    " Good book, interesting world building. Likable characters, including the villain. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenn/Yana | 8/24/2010

    " Unfortunately, this book read like the author was trying to jump on the (late) train of vampire-popularity. Decidedly meh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Craig | 8/4/2010

    " Not a fan of vampire / romance genre. Do like Stirling so gave it a read, doubt that I will be interested in more of the same.
    "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Michael | 7/27/2010

    " This book is terrible. I really enjoy most of his other books including the Emberverse and Nantucket series. They where full of original ideas and fun concepts. This book was full of crap dialog and weird rape fantasies. Would not recommend to anyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Freddie | 7/26/2010

    " Excellent take on the vampire mythos. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Larry | 7/22/2010

    " The only "vampire" book I have the slightest inclination to read since Dracula. The premise is stonger than most and SM is a very accomplished storyteller. Must be the ex-lawyer thing. Won't change your world (I would hope) but a fun read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jonathan | 7/20/2010

    " I didn't care about the characters or the world they inhabit. This book felt like something put together from a role-playing game book rather than an original piece of fiction from a skilled writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tia | 6/27/2010

    " I was a little disappointed with SM Stirling decided to jump on the vampire bandwagon but I quickly changed my mind when I started reading. A very original take on an old subject. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the rest of this trilogy. "

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About the Author

S. M. Stirling was born in France but is Canadian by origin and American by naturalization. Stirling is the author of numerous science fiction and fantasy novels, including the popular Nantucket series that began with Island in the Sea of Time and, more recently, Dies the Fire and The Protector’s War. A former lawyer and an amateur historian, he lives in the Southwest with his wife, Jan.

About the Narrator

Todd McLaren was involved in radio for more than twenty years in cities on both coasts, including Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He left broadcasting for a full-time career in voice acting, where he has been heard on more than five thousand television and radio commercials, as well as television promos; narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E, Discovery, and the History Channel; and films, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit?