Post by dem bones on Jun 5, 2009 19:55:51 GMT
Les Daniels - The Silver Skull
Twenty four years after his self-immolation at the climax of The Black Castle
, Don Sebastian, or rather, his skull, resurfaces in Mexico tucked inside the rucksack of Alphonso Martinez, a rogue Spanish alchemist masquerading as a physician in Cortez's invading army.
Toci, virgin Priestess of the Aztec cult uses the skull to revive the vampire amidst awesome scenes of occult ritual and human sacrifice, but Martinez isn't prepared to let go of his treasure and, together with his devout, swashbuckling soldier friend Garcia, he steals it back. The pair now face the daunting prospect of fighting their way out of Tenochtitlan as it's besieged by the Mexican hordes. The Spanish army are massacred, the likable Garcia is killed when his arm is severed at the shoulder, but Martinez flukily escapes, only to all but drown when the skull he's repossessed threatens to drag him down as he's crossing the lake. Forced back to the Temple by Toci and her Priests, Martinez has little choice but to swear allegiance to Don Sebastian in the war against their native country."The Goddess and her withered handmaidens mounted the steps of their temple, and there the object of the Alchemist's desires began a frenzied dance. In an ecstasy she tore the blossoms from her body until she was half-naked, whirling on a carpet of yellow and white. Her torso gleamed with perspiration, her brown back arched, her pointed breasts thrust toward the sun. Martinez, who had often regretted the civilised garb of these savages, stared with undisguised delight. Not even the grave countenance of the Priestess beside him could dampen his enthusiasm.
He was still staring when the three old women dragged his Goddess down and hacked a hole in her chest with a blade of black obsidian. One of them held something up above her head, her hands dripping ....
Forgoing such round-the-clock entertainment, the ambitious Martinez defects from the Aztecs, poisoning the Jaguar men while the vampire and Toci are atop a pyramid attempting to summon forth the God Smoking Mirror to intervene on their behalf against the invaders. Don Sebastian gets so caught up in the ceremony/ shagging Toci that he loses all track of time. Dawn rises, and panic-stricken, burning the while, he's sent shrieking for his bed of earth, his leg withering to uselessness in the sunlight. Meanwhile, Martinez has convinced Cortez that Don Sebastian is the greatest threat to the Mexican conquest. The army march on Tenochtitlan for a grudge rematch.
While the vampire and Toci are holed up in the pyramid, those of their people who've not been struck down by smallpox are easily butchered by the Spaniards. Their one hope is to awaken Smoking Mirror who up until now has given every impression that he's a very sound sleeper. To this end Toci, having sacrificed her virginity, now prepares to offer up her life ....The Silver skull
is certainly a solid, blood-thirsty read and, God knows, it has its moments (Don Sebastian tearing a heart from a chest and gobbling it down: a scene-stealing performance from Quetzalcoatl aka Q, the Winged Serpent
, & Co), but I found it the least engaging of the five novels which is why it's taken me so long to write it up. Having done so, am itching for a reread, after which I'll doubtless contradict this bit and tell you it's the best
Don Sebastian bloodbath of all.