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Extended Audio Sample A Taint in the Blood, by S. M. Stirling Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (385 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:
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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, and of 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.

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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

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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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.