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A Taint in the Blood

S. M. Stirling

Long ago, homo nocturnus ruled the Earth, able to manipulate the forces of nature at their most basic level. Before the dawn of recorded history they were overthrown, leaving behind them only legends-our legends of shapeshifters and blood-drinkers, of cruel gods and evil magicians, of ogres and goblins, succubi and incubi. But a strain of their blood lives on in humanity, the genes themselves bending the forces of probability to reunite. Secret clans used their half-understood abilities to hide from the witch-finders and the normal humans; occasionally one would be detected, a Giles de Rais or an Elizabeth Bathory. Then, in the nineteenth century, the discoveries of Mendel and Darwin enabled them to understand what they were and to breed back the full range of their dark powers. Now, in the twenty-first century, they rule the world again in secret; only the Brotherhood fights them, in a clandestine war of terror and assassination, of Wreaking and silver-inlaid knives. Adrian Breze was born into that war, but he defected to the side of humanity, and for decades he was the Brotherhood's most effective fighter, just as his twin sister Adrienne is the Council of Shadow's strongest. Now he has retired, weary of the endless struggle, but Adrienne has her own purposes, and they don't include letting her brother live quietly in his mountaintop retreat near Santa Fe. To force him out, she kidnaps his human lover, Ellen Tarnowski, and the war is on again-with the future of humanity at stake. For the Council of Shadows is ready to emerge into the light, with a plan that will reduce humans once again to the harried prey of the creatures of darkness.

Long ago, homo nocturnus ruled the Earth, able to manipulate the forces of nature at their most basic level. Before the dawn of recorded history they were overthrown, leaving behind them only legends-our legends of shapeshifters and blood-drinkers, of cruel gods and evil magicians, of ogres and goblins, succubi and incubi. But a strain of their blood lives on in humanity, the genes themselves bending the forces of probability to reunite. Secret clans used their half-understood abilities to hide from the witch-finders and the normal humans; occasionally one would be detected, a Giles de Rais or an Elizabeth Bathory. Then, in the nineteenth century, the discoveries of Mendel and Darwin enabled them to understand what they were and to breed back the full range of their dark powers. Now, in the twenty-first century, they rule the world again in secret; only the Brotherhood fights them, in a clandestine war of terror and assassination, of Wreaking and silver-inlaid knives. Adrian Breze was born into that war, but he defected to the side of humanity, and for decades he was the Brotherhood's most effective fighter, just as his twin sister Adrienne is the Council of Shadow's strongest. Now he has retired, weary of the endless struggle, but Adrienne has her own purposes, and they don't include letting her brother live quietly in his mountaintop retreat near Santa Fe. To force him out, she kidnaps his human lover, Ellen Tarnowski, and the war is on again-with the future of humanity at stake. For the Council of Shadows is ready to emerge into the light, with a plan that will reduce humans once again to the harried prey of the creatures of darkness.
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Description:

Long ago, homo nocturnus ruled the Earth, able to manipulate the forces of nature at their most basic level. Before the dawn of recorded history they were overthrown, leaving behind them only legends-our legends of shapeshifters and blood-drinkers, of cruel gods and evil magicians, of ogres and goblins, succubi and incubi. But a strain of their blood lives on in humanity, the genes themselves bending the forces of probability to reunite. Secret clans used their half-understood abilities to hide from the witch-finders and the normal humans; occasionally one would be detected, a Giles de Rais or an Elizabeth Bathory. Then, in the nineteenth century, the discoveries of Mendel and Darwin enabled them to understand what they were and to breed back the full range of their dark powers. Now, in the twenty-first century, they rule the world again in secret; only the Brotherhood fights them, in a clandestine war of terror and assassination, of Wreaking and silver-inlaid knives. Adrian Breze was born into that war, but he defected to the side of humanity, and for decades he was the Brotherhood's most effective fighter, just as his twin sister Adrienne is the Council of Shadow's strongest. Now he has retired, weary of the endless struggle, but Adrienne has her own purposes, and they don't include letting her brother live quietly in his mountaintop retreat near Santa Fe. To force him out, she kidnaps his human lover, Ellen Tarnowski, and the war is on again-with the future of humanity at stake. For the Council of Shadows is ready to emerge into the light, with a plan that will reduce humans once again to the harried prey of the creatures of darkness.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Todd McLaren

Length:

13h 31m


Chapters

Introduction
Introduction

00:30


Chapter 1
Chapter 1

22:33


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

31:39


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

17:57


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

26:13


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

39:16


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

33:36


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

37:57


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

41:40


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

24:06


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

44:05


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

46:35


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

43:08


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

41:26


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

53:17


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

52:19


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

34:56


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

34:01


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

39:29


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

34:46


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

50:42


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

34:24


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

24:13


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

02:26


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

00:23