Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blood Games (Saint-Germain, #3)” as Want to Read:
Blood Games (Saint-Germain, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blood Games (Saint-Germain #3)

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  753 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Blending the dark eroticism of the vampire with the suspenseful adventure in history's most exotic locales, Yarbro's Saint-Germain epic continues in this third book that takes place in the last chaotic days of Nero's Rome.
Paperback, 626 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Aspect (first published 1979)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blood Games, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Blood Games

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nenia *the flagrant liberal* Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Vampire novels actually used to be pretty difficult to find before TWILIGHT came out and renewed everyone's interest in vampires. I remember combing the shelves for them at various used bookstores and only coming across three in as many years of searching: PEEPS by Scott Westerfeld, MIDNIGHT PREDATOR by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, and WRIT IN BLOOD by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. All three are good books, but PEEPS and MIDNIGHT are both young adult boo
Everyone seems to love this one, but I'll volunteer an unpopular verdict. (Surprise, right? :P) IMO, this isn't as good as Hotel Transylvania. The flaws of HT -- molasses-paced first half, excessive historical conversations, too many faces without distinctive roles, villains that run unchecked until the last possible minute -- are all present here, but magnified due to this book's length. What is tolerable in a shorter novel becomes annoying in a longer one.

This has a decent storyline, but ever
Mar 27, 2007 Holly rated it it was ok
Repeatedly, I vow never again to read a book that:

A) Describes a main (male) character's clothing in minute, obsessive, effeminate detail. Every other page.
B) Uses words such as "anealing" and "esuriance" with regularity.
C) In every single sex scene, inevitably uses the phrase "brought her to her fullness."
D) Has a main character who is so cloyingly perfect that, if I knew him in real life, I would kill him, even if he is a 3000 year old vampire.

And yet, repeatedly, I go back to this terrible se
Jamie Collins
I enjoyed this well enough, but then I'm a sucker for an Ancient Rome setting and I like vampires. (Also the author gets points because like P.N. Elrod, she never actually uses the word "vampire".) If you're not very partial to these two elements then I don't recommend the book.

This is the third of many novels about the very long-lived Saint-Germain, a good-guy vampire. The story spans the period from the middle of Nero's reign, through the Year of the Four Emperors, and a few years into Vespas
Dec 30, 2011 TheFountainPenDiva rated it really liked it
Dear Vampire Affecianados,

When you've tired of sparkly emo disco-balls with fangs or hip-hop slinging, Escalade-driving posers with supposedly "edgy" names or utterly defanged lust objects, bring your weary self to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's delightfully historical Comte Saint Germain series.

There are over twenty books but thankfully, they are all stand-alone novels and can be read in any order. The Count Saint Germain is actually based on a real life historical figure (though not a vampire, he was
Ben Kane
Mar 02, 2012 Ben Kane rated it liked it
I have to start out by saying that I am in no way shape or form a fan of vampire novels. Twilight etc. etc. leave me absolutely cold. However, I was recommended this book by a member of staff in my local bookshop (where I couldn't get it) and he's the same chap who told me about the superlative Roman novel The Boat of Fate by Keith Roberts, so I took his recommendation at face value.

Yarbro has been writing vampire novels about the same character, Saint Germain, for 30 years now, and she has appa
The third in the Saint-Germain series, this book is set in Nero's Rome and explains the origins of several characters previously introduced in the first two books. Of the 3 I have read, this one is definitely my favorite, but I do have a soft spot for Roman history. That said, it's also the first time I've noticed some historical inaccuracies, which really irked me. As usual the letters at the beginning of the chapters are useless; anything learned from them will be repeated in the main body of ...more
Oct 29, 2014 Mark rated it it was amazing
Blood Games
Author: Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published In: New York City, NY
Date: 1979
Pgs: 458


The Games in the Circus Maximus are afoot. A mad emperor sits upon the throne. Political infighting is the rule of the day. Sadists, perverts, and the cream of Roman society flow through this book. Sometimes, all three are the same people. A foreign noble walks the streets taking in Rome, living her life. Ragoczy Sanct Germain, vampire, Dacian, h
Nov 05, 2011 Kathi rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I'm not a fan of vampire books in general. This book did nothing to change my mind.

I understand this is not the first book in the series and I have not read the previous books, so I expected to be missing some of the references to the past. Still, I found the backstory to be almost nonexistent, which means I was even more confused than I had expected to be. Adding to my sense of confusion was the lack of a map of the Roman Empire at the time of the story and a list of the Caesars and key Senator
Jul 31, 2009 Rich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Maybe I liked this book because I was so disappointed in Anne Rice's Lestat books. (I never got more than 1/3 of the way through the first book and have never gone back to Rice since then.) I'm not a huge horror reader. I usually indulge in one or tow because I need to review a couple for my annual Halloween book reviews. (The paper I write for is a monthly.)

The things I liked about this book were Yarbro's historical research into ancient Rome, bringing it vividly to life; her inventiveness at
A. E. S.
Pros: This is a great history read, especially if you love ancient Rome. The attention to period detail is unparalleled here - Yarbro is right next to period writers such as Elizabeth Chadwick (early medieval royalty) or Philippa Gregory (late medieval-Renaissance ibid). The carnage was the style of the time, and the scenes of the Blood Games so-called really brought it home for me. Olivia's husband is the most loathsome animal in the arena, and you'll soon see why.

Cons: Yarbro is a lot lighter
Matteo Pellegrini

Roma è un crogiolo di vizi e intrighi, dove è normale che perfino un imperatore venga assassinato. L'unica realtà immutabile è quella del Circo Massimo, l'arena dove coloro che non godono più dei favori di Nerone, siano essi gladiatori o ex senatori, vengono sbranati da leoni e coccodrilli. Uno dei pochissimi uomini d'affari di successo benché non romano, Saint Germain Ragoczy, è stato fino ad ora capace di tenersi fuori dalle pericolose sabbie mobili dell'alta società romana, ma il suo primo er

Geri Hoekzema
Sep 12, 2012 Geri Hoekzema rated it it was amazing
The problem with beginning your adventures in reading historical fiction with Anya Seton and Dorothy Dunnett is that they spoil you; everything else seems pallid in comparison. That's why I was delighted to realize that I don't remember reading the second book in Yarbro's long-running Count Saint-Germaine series. I've recommended this series to friends who haven't liked any of the vampire-themed titles in the pop fiction of the last decade. The Saint-Germaine series and its spinoffs should reall ...more
Nov 27, 2009 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: vampire, bc-05
I have now read three of the Saint-Germain series...(I am trying to read them in order, but that may or may not continue) -- I have liked 2 of the 3, (it was The Palace that I couldn't finish)

This one was quite entertaining. I think it could partly be because my husband and I just finished watching season two of Rome, and this (while later in years) has the same feel as the TV series did.

I like that Saint-Germain, while important to the story, was not THE story. We go off on many tangents. I am
The Saint-Germain series melds historical fiction, romance and horror into something quite unique. SG is an intriguing character. He’s kind, but in Blood Games, he’s living in Nero’s Rome—why? It’s sickening to know that atrocities happen—why would anyone want a front-row seat? Is he trying to lead by example? Is he inflicting some sort of penance on himself? If so, for what? How long has he been around anyway? I’m curious enough that I’m planning to check out the rest of the series. For a quick ...more
Aug 01, 2016 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will come back to give a proper review.
Strengths: good writer, immersed in historical subject matter; realistic story w/ fallible, true narrator; well paced, if circumspect and elliptical (I enjoy the length and typecast it w/ her StG oeuvre)
Weaknesses: logical gaps; confusing motives; old fashioned; I'm-not-the-target-audience and I felt it; formulaic, if you've read any of these before; a few historical social gaffs (I've been spoiled by Colleen McCullough)

Overall a good story and well writ
Apr 21, 2007 Wesa rated it really liked it
I read this book long before this edition came out. I wore the paperback out with re-reading it, and finally got a hardback copy when it was re-issued.

Yarbro's florid prose seems like the right way to describe the excesses of Imperial Rome, and the heroine's misfortune of being married to man with deviant sexual tastes makes this truly a horror novel. Add the dangers faced by Saint-Germain's slaves and then Saint-Germain himself in the arena, and you have an exciting as well as disturbing examin
Mar 27, 2008 Joy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vampire-werewolf
I regularly read at least one book about the Vampire Saint Germain every few months. The author really does her historical research so its almost more historical fantasy than a blood sucking vampire series. In fact St. Germain is a good guy always attempting to help people although he runs up against human ignorance and religious superstition more often before he can do any good. Some character you come to love always seems to die, so I can't read too many at once without getting depressed. Good ...more
Apr 15, 2014 Megan rated it liked it
This was a re-reading of this book. I like the Saint Germaine series a lot- the historical settings are well written, and the plots are fun to read, mostly. This is probably my least favorite of the series just due to the senseless violence associated with the arena, but that's more a product of the era than a fault of the author. I remembered what happened, but the settings are still fascinating. Good read if you like historical dramas set in the Roman era and vampire stories.
Aug 21, 2016 Jason rated it it was amazing
Masterfully written, though exhaustingly dense. But here I am looking for another... I feel I very much can relate to the Count and his sensibilities, and that bothers me; I'm no old soul. As the sun sets, I feel like stepping into the light.
Rosalind M
Sep 16, 2010 Rosalind M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
This was the first heavily historical novel I ever read, and it set my expectations for every one that followed. Yarbro's writing includes a heavy--sometimes overwhelming--amount of research, but that research is what makes her novels and characters come alive.
Jun 14, 2009 Lindig rated it really liked it
Set in Nero's Rome.
Rebecca Huston
One of the earlier, and better, Saint-Germain novels. Also introduces Olivia into the mix, and it's quite a tale, if rather blood thirsty.
Jan 24, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
I'm really getting to understand the Saint-Germain legacy, and it has sucked me in to the series. It's interesting how she weaves real history into the stories. Looking forward to more!
Apr 26, 2009 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: vampires
Aug 03, 2007 Janon marked it as to-read
Read this series years ago in publishing order - I'm now planning to re-read (and read some of the newer ones for the first time) in chronological order. I remember loving them!
Jun 27, 2007 Joseph added it
I've never been a big fan of the "sexy vampire" school of writing. But if you gotta go that way, this lady is the best. real history and vivid prose. Skip over the gushy parts if you must.
Michelle Cristiani
Aug 26, 2010 Michelle Cristiani rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal
Prequels rock!
Timothy Boyd
An ok historical fantasy story. I just don;t seem to be a fan of this writer's works. Recommended
Oct 26, 2014 Niece rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Liked vampire series!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Death and the Maiden (Jonathan Barrett, Gentleman Vampire, #2)
  • The Holmes-Dracula File (Dracula Series, #2)
  • Blood Alone (Austra Family, #2)
  • The Vampire Sextette
  • Bitter Blood
  • Cameo the Assassin (Trilogy of Shadows, #1)
  • A Dozen Black Roses (Sonja Blue, #4)
A professional writer for more than forty years, Yarbro has sold over eighty books, more than seventy works of short fiction, and more than three dozen essays, introductions, and reviews. She also composes serious music. Her first professional writing - in 1961-1962 - was as a playwright for a now long-defunct children's theater company. By the mid-60s she had switched to writing stories and hasn' ...more
More about Chelsea Quinn Yarbro...

Other Books in the Series

Saint-Germain (1 - 10 of 27 books)
  • Hôtel Transylvania (Saint-Germain, #1)
  • The Palace (Saint-Germain, #2)
  • Path of the Eclipse (Saint-Germain, #4)
  • Tempting Fate (Saint-Germain, #5)
  • The Saint-Germain Chronicles (Saint-Germain, #6)
  • Darker Jewels (Saint-Germain, #7)
  • Better in the Dark (Saint-Germain, #8)
  • Mansions of Darkness (Saint-Germain, #9)
  • Writ in Blood (Saint-Germain, #10)
  • Blood Roses (Saint-Germain, #11)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »