THE KAISERINE'S CHAMPION - Reviewed by Elaine DeMicco
By Derek Paterson
Reviewed by Elaine DeMicco

A Jintsu Electronic Text
Published by Eggplant Literary Productions, Inc.
Alternative history/fantasy adventure
2001 ISBN: 0-9710176-3-8

I don't particularly like reading electronic books. However, Derek Paterson's THE KAISERINE"S CHAMPION was worth the effort.

The book opens the night before Manfred, a young swordsman, is to be hanged. His reprieve comes in the form of Otto Thenck, the evil head of the Ministry of State Security. Thenck offers Manfred the opportunity to gain his freedom by fighting in the arena for the amusement of the aiserine. Manfred accepts and so begins this 85-page novella.

Early in the story, Manfred is brought to Thenck's laboratory where Dr. Schmidt examines him and asks him some questions. Our hero is administered a potion that helps him remember that he was bitten by a vampyre and is himself turning into one. To prevent this transformation from occurring, our hero is told that all he has to do is win all of his combats in the arena. If he proves victorious, Manfred will receive an elixir that will halt his transformation into a vampyre.

In the meantime, our hero must feed as a vampyre feeds and is given young maidens to satiate his lust. Naturally, our hero doesn't kill them. He merely quenches his thirst and they have no memory of the feeding afterwards.

Other than feeding, our hero is fighting and fighting and fighting. As he faces one adversary after another, one can't help but hope he'll soon vanquish all his foes and gain his freedom.

THE KAISERINE'S CHAMPION is told in first person. It's a narrative style that I generally do not like, however, Paterson's easy style suited this story. THE KAISERINE'S CHAMPION is sure to please anyone who enjoys a swashbuckler fantasy. I highly recommend it.

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