Thursday, June 7, 2018

Vykos's March to the Sea

Lesson learned, reading Eric Griffin's Tzimisce, the second of the Clan Novels, on lunch is a bad idea.

As a bit of explanation before we get into the actual review, the Tzimisce clan are one of the two founding clans of the Sabbat, and their signature power, Vicissitude, has such abilities as flesh craft, bone craft, etc. They have the nickname "Fiends" for a reason.

So, their Clan novel picks up about 2 days prior to the main events in Toreador, showing the planning involved in the Sabbat takeover of Atlanta, which means we're mostly concerned with a bunch of Lasombra from Miami, New York City, and Madrid backbiting for control along with the nomadic packs that are helping in the attack. Entering into this wretched hive of scum and villainy is the Tzimisce "signature character" Sascha Vykos. While her backstory gets covered in much greater detail outside of the Clan novels (she started off as Myca, a young man of African descent in the days of Constantinople, chose to become female sometime much later, and then became pretty much genderless in more modern eras. There's quite an extensive biography of her out there, if you really want to look. In later books, she starts using the neutral gender terms, or occcasionally "it".), here she's mainly presented at the outset as stirring up the various contenders for control of the raid before taking over events for herself.

Let's see, an Assamite she hired to take out Atlanta's Tremere regent kills her ghoul servant, so she uses Vicissitude to turn said Assamite assassin into a copy of the ghoul, all while turning him into her servant in other ways. It's really kind of creepy to read.

Anyrate, about halfway through, we catch up with the raid on the Camarilla of Atlanta that ended the first book. We get peaks into Prince Bennison's madness, as his power of Dementation transports both the Brujah Archon and the Sabbat pursuers into a battlefield hallucination around the time Sherman was getting ready to burn Atlanta to the ground. Which ends about as well for the Camarilla as it did for the Confederates.

Victoria Ash, winds up among the captured. She gets tortured and eventually gets rescued by Settites looking for Vegel, who died in the last book.

Vykos eventually supervises the fall of the Eastern seaboard as far north as DC, which is about where this volume ends, as the reason for her transformation of the Assamite becomes clear. He fails though, so Marcus Vital, Prince of DC becomes Prince in Exile. Vykos, on the other hand, becomes Archbishop of DC.

It's a well written, if mildly disturbing volume in the series. It does a good job of showing us what the Sabbat had been re-envisioned as in Revised. Unfortunately, the next volume, which I'll be reading after a detour into the Werewolf novels, is the one I kept throwing across a room because it annoyed me so much. Tune in in two entries to find out if history repeats itself. 

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