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MInireview: The Marriage of Virtue and Viciousness, by Greg Stolze

The Marriage of Virtue and Viciousness continues (in a way) the story begun in Hunger Like Fire, skipping much of the side events in Blood In, Blood Out. Persephone Moore and Solomon Birch are front and center, with much of the book focusing on the politics surrounding Birch – his Blood Bond to Prince Maxwell is largely seen by his “own people” (some elements in the Lancea Sanctum) as too big a liability, and the demands for him to step down escalate. At the same time, there is apparently a vampire hunter in town, a mortal who somehow manages to be dangerous to local Kindred.

There are two main threads running through the book. One is the vampire internal politics one, which is interesting enough since the status quo is threatened and various parties scramble to hold on to their positions (or grab someone else’s). The other thread concerns the vampire hunter, and it’s the best part here: it’s both exactly what it seems (an angry mortal out for blood) and not quite what it seems (I’ll avoid spoilers on that part). The whole book underlines many of the subtle schemes that underlie much of Kindred existence, and as such highlights much of what Requiem is supposed to be about as a game.

It’s probably the best book in this sort-of-trilogy. It’s not awesome by any means, but it’s competently written and serves as a nice intro to the game world. While it probably works as a standalone, reading Hunger Like Fire first is recommended.

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