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Gifts of Blood
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Gifts of Blood

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  31 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
A Russian tribe called the Varkela is also known as Children of the Night--or vampires. But the Varkela are nothing like their hideous cousins who made Transylvania famous. They earn the blood they need to survive by trading traditional healing skills with others. But unless something changes, the Varkelans will soon become extinct.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by Baen (first published 1990)
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Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Seven stories from the Varkela series. My favorite has always been Leechcraft. Two other stories included, one of which is about a spider that lives in a lute

I love this book so much that I bought it. Actually, it was the only way I could find it. I had read most of the stories when they were published in magazines, but I love them so much I just had to OWN them. Did I mention how much I love these stories? I re-read this book about once a year.
Apr 12, 2013 rated it liked it
This was another take on the vampire legend, but not completely new to me. Years ago I watched a story on television set in a remote village in Russia. There the humans and vampires lived together. The vampires protected the villagers from the wolves in the dark cold winters, and I guess (it was some years ago since I saw this) the humans protected the vampires while they slept. A Soviet officer came to the village and at first thought the vampires were bad, but came to believe otherwise. In fac ...more
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I will admit I picked this book up because of the cover. I love older looking books with crazy things going on the front. Turns out this is an exceptional book of multiple stories set in the Steppes back in the mid 1800's and follows the lives of two brothers who are not-vampires, but similar enough. I loved the idea behind their race of people and how they've developed over the years and the trails set before them. The individual stories really let you get to know them and I wish there were ful ...more
Sep 15, 2013 rated it liked it
I rather enjoyed this short collection. The take on "vampires" is certainly unique and refreshing in contrast to the tropes of the genre. I liked the cultural setting as well as the scientific and medical aspects of the stories, informed by Petrey's own background in science. The last two stories, although not connected to the Varkela series, were equally enjoyable (especially Spidersong!). It's a bit tragic that her life was cut short so early, as this collection (her entire body of work) showe ...more
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I became interested in Susan Petrey's writing after reading "Leechcraft" in "Tomorrow Sucks". Wanting to read more, I found this anthology of her work. I enjoyed the other stories about the Varkela but feel the best one is still "Leechcraft". The last 2 stories left the "children of the night" behind and dove into how to make aliens rethink invading Earth (thanks to a venereal disease) and a spider that makes music. Recommended for anyone wanting a different take on vampires.
A collection of short stories. The subtitle is "Vampires on the Steppes." In this alternate world, the Varkela are non-human healers who accept blood as payment for their assistance. Well-written, thoughtful stories.

Also included is a novella about, I kid you not, extra-terrestrial venereal disease. Eeewww!
Rich Friedeman
Nov 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, vampires
I read this before the vampire tsunami, and even then it was refreshing. It's built on a different vampire mythology. There are obvious similarities, but enough differences in what being a vampire means that it didn't feel tired. The stories were solid.
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved these stories as they came out singly in SF magazines and was completely thrilled to find this collection. This is to date my most favoritist(yes that's a technical term) vampire stories ever. Don't believe me get the book and find out for yourself.
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the most original, intriguing takes on Vampires that I have ever read. I read this book more than 15 yrs ago and have re-read the stories many, many times since. Highly recommended!
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Sep 06, 2007
Kathy Connor
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Jul 28, 2012
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Sep 19, 2012
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Jul 14, 2008
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May 19, 2010
Sue Guerth
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Feb 23, 2010
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Bonnie Goodwin
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Nov 28, 2013
Asani Brewton
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Apr 26, 2009
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Feb 08, 2014
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Dec 27, 2011
Apr 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short stories. Most of them focus on two brothers who are members of the race stories of vampires may have come from. Nicely written.
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Sep 24, 2008
Alison C
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Feb 28, 2015
Sarah Rodgers
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Jan 28, 2012
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American fantasy writer, trained as a microbiologist. The first of her nine published stories, "Spareen Among the Tartars" (Fantasy & Science Fiction, September 1979), inaugurated a seven-story series featuring the Varkela, a vampiric race of healers who use herbal remedies and folk medicine as well as their supernormal skills to heal humans and animals. The Varkela - whose name translates as ...more
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