The Nosferatu Conspiracy: Book Two, The Sommelier
The Nosferatu Conspiracy: Book Two, The Sommelier is the follow up to Book One: The Sleepwalker. In Book One, we saw the “true” story of the end of the monarchy in Russia. It is a story about Rasputin, vampires, and the Tsarina. It’s a wonderful tale. My favorite aspects of Book One are the vampire hunters, the original characters that Gage creates. The settings offer significant geographical and historical detail, within the context of fantasy. Book Two begins with a recap of Book One, which I appreciated.
Book Two extends this world and offers the “real” reasons for the First World War. Kaiser Wilhelm II uses the Prussian secret police for a quest of his own- for immortality. The novel begins near the ruins of Hohenzollern Castle. Here again, we have vampires, but this world extends to a world of warlocks and witches and ustrels. There are missing people and as early as in chapter two, the scary scenes begin. The first scary scene is a well written witch attack. Some characters include Vago, who serves the witch, Radu who wants to protect the world from Vlad, and a quest for Dracula’s blood. There is still some humor, like in the first book, as well. Some of my favorite characters from Book One also return in Book Two.
I found myself researching the history of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the origins of WWI, the Thule Society, and Prussian history, in order to feel more of the punch that I felt in the first book. I just happen to have more of a solid background in Russian history than in Prussian history. Once I researched a little, I could see how clever Gage’s story is and was glad to have learned so much of Gage’s “history”. I also looked at maps to get a better sense of where Hohenzollern Castle is. There are pretend “primary source” documents that add to the plot, recovered after WWI, showing the failed operation notes. These also serve as a nice crash course to follow the plot, which is complicated at times. In fact, my criticism of Book Two is that there is a lot of new worldbuilding to take in at once. We learn about warlocks and witches at the Vatican, for example, in a few packed pages of “history” that feel like a lot to take in. But it’s an enjoyable story and it has a fantastic climax. There will be a Book Three, as well, which I look forward to.
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