The Priest of Blood

The Priest of Blood

4.5 30
by Douglas Clegg

View All Available Formats & Editions

A "stunning" (Publishers Weekly) epic from New York Times bestselling and Bram Stoker Award-winning author Douglas Clegg.

In a dark medieval age, Aleric the falconer meets his destiny in the bloody embrace of the seductive Pythia, sending him on a quest to unearth the mysteries of the ancient vampyre race.

Set in a dangerous


A "stunning" (Publishers Weekly) epic from New York Times bestselling and Bram Stoker Award-winning author Douglas Clegg.

In a dark medieval age, Aleric the falconer meets his destiny in the bloody embrace of the seductive Pythia, sending him on a quest to unearth the mysteries of the ancient vampyre race.

Set in a dangerous world of ancient forests and buried kingdoms, of dark magic, and vengeance beyond lifetimes, The Priest of Blood is an epic dark fantasy of sword, sorcery -- and vampires.

Be sure to get the rest of the Vampyricon trilogy:

The Lady of Serpents, Book Two

The Queen of Wolves, Book Three

"Astonishing. Douglas Clegg writes of...nightmares with such clarity and passion you don't end up reading his books; you end up drinking them in. The Priest of Blood is a bloody gem."

-- Christopher Rice, New York Times bestselling author of The Vines and Heaven's Rise.

"A dark tale of swords, sorcery, and vampires."

-- Christine Feehan, New York Times bestselling author.

"Douglas Clegg has accomplished a rarity in the horror vein...This book will sink its teeth into you"

-- The Kansas City Star

"Richly layered, beautifully rendered foray into a past filled with sorcery and mystery -- and a rousing good story."

-- Kelley Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author

" the iconic vampire a massive makeover."

-- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Discover All of Douglas Clegg's fiction:

Lights Out


The Children's Hour

The Halloween Man

You Come When I Call You

The Hour Before Dark

Nightmare House

Bad Karma

Goat Dance




Dark of the Eye

The Words

Wild Things

Red Angel

Night Cage


The Infinite

The Abandoned

The Necromancer



The Nightmare Chronicles

The Attraction

Night Asylum

The Priest of Blood

The Lady of Serpents

The Queen of Wolves

Mordred, Bastard Son

My Father's Mistress

Mr. Darkness

The Marriage of Figaro

The World on Butterfly

The Moonlit Dark

Coming of Age

Editorial Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Douglas Clegg's The Priest of Blood, the first installment in his much-anticipated Vampyricon saga, is an intense and grisly dark fantasy, set in the 12th century, that rivals Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Saint-Germain sequence in both sheer narrative scope and unbridled, violent eroticism.

Aleric Atheffelde is the son of an impoverished woman who was forced to prostitute herself to feed her children. His life in the woodlands of medieval Brittany is changed forever when he is hired on by a local baron to serve the hunt and train falcons. His talent with birds of prey offers Aleric a respite from the destitution and brutality around him -- that is, until his mother is arrested and executed for consorting with the Devil. Exiled to the Holy Land to fight -- and die -- in the wars, Aleric finds himself in a distant outpost face-to-face with a beautiful, demonic seductress who becomes his mother, his lover, his savior, and his murderer. When Aleric rises from his grave as one of the blood-drinking undead, he awakens into a shadowy realm of nightmarish legend: a world where he could be the prophesied messiah destined to return dominion to those of his kind…

Since the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1897, the vampire theme has been extensively explored and revised in literally thousands of short stories and novels; but in The Priest of Blood, Clegg completely reconstructs the legend of vampires from the ground up, creating a complex, ancient history with its own arcane and sadistic mythos. If The Priest of Blood is any indication, Clegg's Vampyricon saga will be a blood-sucking masterpiece of truly epic proportions: Two fangs up! Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
The stunning first volume of a new dark fantasy epic from Stoker-winner Clegg (Nightmare House) gives the iconic vampire a massive makeover and draws fresh possibilities from its most familiar aspects. Aleric Atheffelde, a low-born medieval Breton boy with a strange knack for training birds, gets snared while serving as an unwilling soldier in the Holy Land by arch-vampiress Pythia, who through a kiss inadvertently sparks a vision in him of his regal vampire destiny. From the moment of Aleric's conversion, the tale detours sharply from the well-plowed terrain of conventional vampire costume dramas into an undiscovered country entirely the author's own. Aleric and his new vampire tribe travel to the legendary vampire necropolis of Alkemara, a marvel of gothic creepiness. There they encounter the legendary Priest of Blood, who supplies an intricate and mesmerizing view of vampire culture and projects a tragic future whose outcome hinges on Aleric. This rich and symbol-laden blend of myth and history makes intense reading while it lays a solid foundation for later books in the series. Agent, Simon Lipskar at Writers House. (Oct.) **Starred Review**
Library Journal
Born a bastard child of an unknown father, Aleric finds a place as the Baron's falconer owing to his uncanny ability to communicate with birds of prey. When a forbidden love comes to light, Aleric is forced to join a Crusade to the Holy Land. There he meets the woman known as Pythia, whose fatal kiss curses him with the thirst for blood and sets him on the road to destiny. Clegg's series opener features a vampiric hero whose beginnings in the Middle Ages marks him as a warrior. Action and adventure combine with traditional vampire fiction to create a book that will appeal to fans of vampires and historical fantasy. For most libraries. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The opening of a historical fantasy series with a vampire as protagonist. Clegg (The Machinery of Knight, 2005, etc.) begins his story in the era of the Crusades; the opening chapters take place in Brittany, the protagonist's birthplace. The bastard son of a peasant woman who ekes out a living as a prostitute, Aleric grows up in the forest, tutored by his grandfather to know the ways of birds. This skill gains him a place in the baron's entourage as a falconer-a title that replaces his given name. Life in the castle exposes Falconer to new dangers, including bullying from another young servant and harsh discipline from the huntsman, his immediate superior. But it is also a huge step up in the world, and allows him to give some measure of support to his mother and her ever-growing brood. Two events precipitate his fall from this state of relative prosperity: an affair with the baron's beautiful daughter, and the arrest of Falconer's mother for witchcraft. Attempting to parlay the daughter's favor into a pardon for his mother, Falconer oversteps and is sold into slavery as a foot soldier in the crusades. After many battles, he enters a ruined city inhabited by a vampire, and becomes one of the undead, at which point the real action begins. Clegg invests his vampires with a long mythological history, in which Falconer finds himself a central figure: the long-awaited messiah-like figure of the vampires. In fulfillment of the prophecies, Falconer and his vampire companions undertake an arduous (and suitably bloody) quest through a vividly drawn fantastic landscape. Meanwhile, back in Brittany, we learn that Falconer's beloved, now a nun, has been seduced into the service of the evil forcesagainst which Falconer and his vampires are aligned. The conclusion sets the stage for further struggles. Well-paced fantasy adventure, and not just for hardcore vampire fans.

Product Details

Alkemara Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Christopher Rice
Christopher Rice, New York Times–bestselling author of A Density of Souls and Light Before Day:
Astonishing. Douglas Clegg writes of...nightmares with such clarity and passion you don't end up reading his books; you end up drinking them in. The Priest of Blood is a bloody gem.

Meet the Author

Douglas Clegg is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty books, including Neverland, The Hour Before Dark, and The Children's Hour. He is married and lives along the coast of New England.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Priest of Blood (Vampyricon Series #1) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW! Couldn't put it down and after reading I had to remind myself to take a breath. Sort of like when you finish watching a movie that has so enthralled you that when it is over you have to re-acqauint yourself with the actual world around you before you can stand up and leave the theatre. I started reading Douglas Clegg's stories a few years ago when in passing I read a comment from Stephen King endorsing Clegg's abilities as a novelist. Now I look forward to announcements of new encounters of Clegg's creativity to add to my collection - and Priest of Blood is a MUST for any reader or collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Douglas Clegg has shown what we his devoted readers already know. Priest of Blood is a best seller. Doug shows his amazing skills as a writer, that he can go from horror to a new genre and not loose readers that normally don't do 'Midevil Vamps'. Priest of Blood is a must read for everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been putting off reading The Priest of Blood since it arrived in December. I don't know why, but I just wasn't ready yet to crack the binding on such a special book. This Saturday I could stand it no longer...I started in the evening and had finished by this Sunday afternoon. My poor husband and children were neglected as I was drawn into the vibrant tapestry of both your words and Aleric's story. Not only was the story superbly told and written, but the settings were real for me. True, I've some background in medieval history, but others would have as easy a time picturing the locations as I did. It was vivid, real, dank, musty, dusty, sandy, hot, wet....and dark. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys a hisorical setting to their coming-of-age tales....It is most certainly NOT just for the horror or vampire fan!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Priest of Blood delivers every aspect that you look for in a great Horror Fantasy book. Well defined characters and settings have you immersed in the book so deeply that you do not want to leave!! I read this book in one delivers the goods. Defining a whole new vampire genre and putting Douglas Clegg in the ranks of Laymon, Little, Ketchum, Koontz and King!! Get this book today!!! You will not be disappointed.....
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hello from Germany.I love to read horror novels although I'm a little tired of vampire novels. It's mostly the same stuff. But this one here is different, althoug it contains classic elements it is wonderful written, thrilling and makes looking for more - can't wait to read the rest!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't think I've ever submitted an online review of any of the authors I read but this one was one that I had to do. I've been collecting Doug's works for years and have just started obtaining copies to read. This one grabbed right from the beginning and never let go. If a book gets me from the beginning then it's a winner!! This one did! I'm sure I'll love the older ones as I get a chance to read them too!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
in a word, this work is 'Fantastic!' - brooding, dark, with nightmarish elements that plunge the reader through layers of unknown dimensions and emotions. The plot is rich and meaty and satisfying, and it keeps you hooked. Clegg breaks every mold imaginable, and he does it with elan, and with an unabashed glee for the story he tells.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Aleric the Breton was born into poverty, but proves to the Baron¿s huntsman he can train all kinds of birds and moves into the manor. An older boy turns the huntsman against him making known that Aleric made love with the Baron¿s daughter in the church chapel. He is sent to the Holy Land to fight the Saracens as a servant-soldier. His brother, also fighting the infidels reunites with him but is soon killed. Aleric leaves the battle field heading for the city Hedammu inhabited by demons.................. In the city he is attacked by the vampire Pythyia who drains his blood each night for a month before changing him into a creature like her. He meets the other vampires of the city who believe he is their savior because he gave the Sacred Kiss to his friend and turned him into a vampire, which the others can¿t do. They want him to restore the powers that their ancestors had but to do that he must travel to the lost city of Alkemara. His journey, with five of his brethren, is successful but once in the lost city they face many dangers in their quest to restore to glory the vampire race................... Douglas Clegg is a horror writer who knows how to tell a great story with characters that any reader can empathize with, even vampires who kill mortals. The protagonist is a product of the times and readers get a glimpse of Breton where the old ways has not been wiped out by Christianity. The vampires are not the typical creatures of the night but have weaknesses that make them vulnerable objects of pity. It will be hard to wait for the next book in this blood curdling series............... Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's amazing to see the range of work that Clegg is able to write. The Priest of Blood is one that I got on an early preorder, and it was worth every bit of the money I paid and more. Do you like dark fantasy? Do you like knowing that once you love a book, there'll be more for you to read? That's how I felt with this one. I've always enjoyed reading this author's work, and this one proves to me why. Every book he writes shows his growth as a writer, and shows why he has such a solid fan base. Love it love it love it! Do yourself a favor and pick up this one (and some of his past work, too!) and you'll see what I mean.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hooked from the very beginning. The Vampyricon take you to it's world of darkness and keeps you there. All the best of supernatural and fantasy in one! One of those rare books you just hate to finish!!!! Mr Clegg keeps topping himself with every book he writes. Amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Douglas Clegg has re-invented the vampire. His book 'The Priest of Blood' is the most original approach to an ancient legend since Stoker devised 'Dracula.' Richly conceived and fully realized, this is a novel both truly frightening and deeply disturbing. Generally, the realization that a novel is the first of a series is cause for ennui at best. In this case, it is cause for celebration.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once again Mr. Clegg has managed to write another book that grabs you from the first page and won't let you go. In simple words, it's fantastic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Normally, I don't read any mideval stories, but having read this author before made me give it a try. And I am so glad I did. Not only does Mr. Clegg give new life to a tired genre, he creates an atmosphere that makes you think you are actually in that time period. It is almost like Mr. Clegg time travelled to do his research. Highly entertaining and highly recommended.
Anonymous 11 months ago
On part with Anne Rice
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A lot of historical references to ancient civilizations
Guest More than 1 year ago
In, The Priest of Blood Douglas Cleeg shows that he can hang with the greats. A fantastical blend of horror & fantasy that sets up a historical journey. Nothing he has done before will prepare you for this incredible saga. Highly reccomended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first became a fan of Douglas Clegg when I got a copy of his book Neverland at a library sale. Since then I've been hooked. I began collecting his hardcover novels and was extremely excited at the opportunity to get the beautiful limited edition hardcover of 'The Vampyricon Priest of Blood'. I am an avid fan of horror and vampire tales in particular. This was a book that I just could not put down until it was finished...yet I didn't want it to end, it was that good. Whether you are a fan of horror, vampires, or neither, you will find something to love in this book. Clegg tells a tale of an alternate history that is spellbinding and captivating. I am looking forward to the next book in the Vampyricon series. This is definitely a must read!