And I couldn’t resist. Although, actually I’ve read this one before I’ve read volume XV, so technically I didn’t break my promise. “Bloodnight” – yes, that’s the title, folks – is less a continuation of the franchise, but rather non-canon and elseworld, if you will. More on that later.
Andrej Delany and Abu Dun travel to Andrej’s birthtown, Borsa, where the series had begun all those years ago. On a stormy night, Abu Dun falls into the river and gets carried away. Andrej continues his journey and visits his son’s grave. There, he gets attacked by the mysterious black knight, who manages the unthinkable, and kills him. But rather than dying, inquisitor Domenicus arrives, and offers him a potion, that not only cures him, but also will allow him to travel through space and probably time. Naturally, he accepts, and so he visits known set pieces from various previous adventures, like London in 1666, Dracul’s castle, and the real castle of the blood countess. Always in pursuit of his beloved Maria, always followed by Loki, Meruhe, and the Black Knight.
“Bloodnight” could have been an epilogue to the “Chronicles“, and is partly handled that way. The problem is, that several characters, who we already know are one and the same person, are individual characters. We have got Marius, Frederic, and Dracul, Maria and the Countess, all individuals. People like Loki and Domenicus are still alive. Certain events did and or did not happen. You see, the story is all over the place.
This may be due to the fact, that the book is rather the novelization of the stage play/ musical of the franchise (Yes, this exists). I haven’t seen it, but I know that they used several characters and locations from the book, and merged them together in a single story. So, I could definitely live with it being a self-contained semi-elseworld story. But here is the problem: The book kind of ends on a cliffhanger! I’m pretty sure the stage version doesn’t shit over its audience and does have an ending. But the book takes the “we-may-do-a-sequel-approach“, which is just a big “f*** you” to the reader.
Apart from that, the book isn’t that bad. If it could have decided what it wanted to be, it could have been much better. I can only recommend it, if you are a hardcore fan of the series, because for everybody else it is just too confusing.