The books of the Saint-Germain Cycle combine historic fiction, romance, and horror and feature the heroic vampire first introduced in Hôtel Transylvania as Le Comte de Saint-Germain. In this initial novel, the character -- cultured, well-traveled, articulate, elegant, and mysterious -- appears in the court of France's King Louis XV. In order to convince the naive but intelligent Madelaine de Montalia that she is in danger, Saint-Germain reveals he is thousands of years old and drinks the Elixir of Life, blood. He also introduces her to the sensual pleasures of his vampiric embrace.

Yarbro intentionally sought to get as far away as possible from the traditional vampire trope "and still have a recognizable vampire," to use the "vampire as a metaphor for humanism," and establish the vampire's erotic appeal as a shared, mutual intimacy. Yarbro was the first writer to revise the stereotype so completely and mesh it so fully with romance. She also filtered it through a feminist perspective that both the giving of sustenance and its taking were of equal erotic potency. Although romantic and historical fiction, Hôtel Transylvania and consequent novels also belong firmly within the canon of modern horror: the mortal inhabitants of the natural world are the forces of darkness and the supernatural "monster" is the defender of sanity and morality. As the author has noted, "history is horror." Sources about the "real" Saint-Germain:

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