The Clan Novel Saga: A Revisitation


In 1999, White Wolf embarked on their most ambitious fiction project to tie in to their Vampire: the Masquerade game line. Over the course of a year, they released thirteen novels – each focusing on a different clan – that presented the events of a major war between the two primary vampire factions. The events coincided with the awakening of a great old vampire, for whom the stars had aligned. These 13 books in the Clan Novel Saga were followed by an anthology to help tie up some loose ends. All of this was repackaged in 2003 as a set of four chunkier books that followed the events in chronological order.

Should you be interested in reading along, the easiest place to pick these up is at DriveThruRPG, although for some reason, buying Volumes 1 thru 4 individually is cheaper than buying those in a bundle. Picking up these digital copies is competitive in price with grabbing the 14 books from used book vendors.

I am returning to this series since I own the whole damn thing and couldn’t recall a single detail about it. It takes up a significant part of a bookshelf at roughly a foot of paperbacks. I need to be sure it has earned that spot, or if it needs to be diablerized by a younger and meaner set of horror novels. On advice, I am attempting to read the books in chronological order rather than publication order, as was done in the 2003 repackaging. But I’m not working exceptionally hard to read each chapter in order. Instead, since each book is divided into three sections, I am hitting each of those sections roughly in order. So this will bring me to the first section of the Nosferatu book, followed by the first section of the Tzimisce book, and then on to the entire Toreador book.

I’m also reading this series to see the treatment of Atlanta. A modern Atlanta appears too infrequently in speculative fiction, and it could be rather nice to see it visited by writers who have actually spent time in the city. But this is also an Atlanta of 20 years ago, and one which lives in the World of Darkness, both of which are not near as shiny as the Atlanta of today. I will probably include some commentary as we go along about the treatment of Atlanta and whether or not I think it’s a fair representation.

My goal is to make a post about once a week on the run-up to this series’ 20th anniversary in February of 2019. I realized as I started this read-through that I had a lot of thoughts on these books that felt a little bigger than a Goodreads review. While the opening and closing blog will be kept spoiler free for those of you who may want to travel along, the individual book posts will include detailed discussion. I am looking to see what has held up and aged well, and what has not. I’m also interested to see what inspires memory and what details lingered in my subconscious, obfuscated and waiting for the right moment to reveal themselves. Also, turning this into a blog series will keep me accountable to finish this in a timely fashion. Also, if you appreciate content like this as a sort of Throwback Thursday thing, maybe we’ll keep it up.

The advice is solid to not start with Toreador, as that is one is not the strongest book.  If you are like me and have a stack of paperbacks, click through below to see the order I’m planning on reading them. My blog posts will cover each of the books, roughly in the order that I complete each individual book. This should also roughly track along with the folks who are reading the chronological version. I stuffed them behind a spoiler tag so this post would look a little cleaner.

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The next post: Toreador

The full series:

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