[[quoteright:225:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/FevreDreamComic_7409.JPG]]
[[caption-width-right:225:Cover art from the ComicBookAdaptation by Felipe Massafera.]]

''Fevre Dream'' is a 1982 fantasy/horror novel by Creator/GeorgeRRMartin, taking place on the Mississippi River during the golden age of steamboats.

The story begins with Abner Marsh, the owner of a small steamboat company, entering into a partnership with Joshua York, a mysterious stranger who helps him create the greatest steamboat on the Mississippi River, called the ''Fevre Dream''. After the pair set sail on their maiden voyage, Marsh becomes frustrated with York's eccentric behavior, such as only coming out at night and making unscheduled stops in places where people have recently gone missing. As Marsh investigates further, he discovers dark forces at work along the river.

The novel is notable for its unconventional take on traditional subject matter as well as the copious amount of detail put into the setting.

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!!This book provides examples of:

* AffablyEvil: Damon Julian, who always acts polite, and offers Marsh a meal.
* AmbiguouslyEvil: Joshua, whose motives and nature are kept a secret for the first third of the book.
* AncientEvil: Julian, who's several thousand years old.
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: The strongest vampire of a pack is acknowledged as the "bloodmaster," and [[spoiler:at least apparently]] holds complete dominion over his underlings.
* TheAtoner: Joshua York's raison d'etre.
* AuthorAppeal: Marsh is a BigEater, and the book includes a copious amounts of FoodPorn.
* BadassBookworm: Mr Jeffers, the ship's clerk, who sports gold-rimmed glasses, plays chess well, and is well read. He's also a formidable fencer.
* BadassCrew: The core crew of "Fevre Dream": [[TheCaptain Abner Marsh]], [[TheBrute Mike Dunn]], [[BadassBookworm Mr. Jeffers]], [[ChefOfIron Toby]]... [[spoiler: Sadly, they ain't badass enough to deal with the thousands years old vampire lord.]]
* BeautyIsBad: The vampires themselves, whose favoured victims are humans possessing youth and conventional beauty.
* BecomingTheMask: [[spoiler: Joshua York is a FriendlyNeighbourhoodVampire because he grew up around humans and started to see them as more than just "cattle". Damon Julian mocks him for this on several occasions.]]
* BigBad: Damon Julian.
* BigEater: Abner Marsh has a prodigious appetite and is constantly thinking about his next enormous meal.
* TheBigGuy: Hairy Mike, the enormous and not particularly bright enforcer on the ''Fevre Dream''.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: Within the vampies' circle, it's stressed that many of them are not inherently bad people, but more slaves to the red thirst who kill for strength and sustenance rather than to derive any real pleasure from the act of murder. On the other hand, Julian's approach -- which essentially boils down to KillEmAll ForTheEvulz -- has many eager followers.
* BlessedWithSuck: Vampires, or "the night people," are far more powerful than their daylight brethren. However, because of their strength, they never bothered to invent technology or culture, causing them to eventually fall behind humans as a species. Being a vampire also carries with it a number of drawbacks, such as being burned by daylight and thirsting for blood.
* BodyHorror: Vampires are not a pretty sight after having been out in the sun.
* BoomHeadshot: Abner Marsh finishes [[spoiler: Damon Julian]] with a point-blank headshot. From the ''both shotgun barrels''.
* ChekhovsGun: Jeffers is mentioned to have a swordcane early on. He uses it at about the halfway point of the novel.
* TheChosenOne: Joshua believes [[spoiler:he's the vampire destined to save his race, and lead them into a new era of peace, cooperation, and understanding with their human cousins. His followers also believe him to be this, referring to him as the "Pale King."]] Julian, on the other hand...
* ComicBookAdaptation: Published by Avatar comics.
* ConsummateLiar: Julian.
* CoolBoat: The ''Fevre Dream'' itself. Designed to be the fastest steamboat on the river, as well as one of the most luxurious for its wealthy passengers.
* CreepyBlueEyes: Sour Billy has distinctively malicious blue eyes.
* CruelMercy:
** Damon Julian loves this trope. He has a long history of abandoning his mortal thralls after their use evaporates, often in such a state that they simply cannot function without him, even if they're aware that they've been used and lied to.
** He also does this with [[spoiler:Joshua. Rather than kill his most treacherous underling, he bleeds and feeds upon him repeatedly to demean him, frequently defeats him in battles for the rank of bloodmaster, and was in the process of breaking his will through Marsh and Valerie too.]]
* CrushingHandshake: The burly Abner likes doing this as a show of strength and dominance, but finds himself on the loosing end when he attempts it on York.
* CulturedBadass:
** Joshua York, to the core. [[spoiler:His penchant for poetry even rubs on Marsh, of all people.]]
** Julian downplays this trope. While he's ungodly powerful, he cares very little for history, poetry, reading, and other finer things in life, using them more as a front to keep up appearances and [[spoiler:hide the primal, bloodthirsty monster resting within.]]
* CurbStompBattle: [[spoiler:Hairy Mike versus Sour Billy. For all of Mike's strength, Billy kills him with a single throw]].
* DarkIsEvil: Julian, who dresses in dark clothing and has black hair. By contrast, York has white hair and dresses in white.
* DeathByChildbirth: Vampire pregnancies are extraordinarily risky, which is how Joshua's mother died. Among his reasons for wanting to establish a truce between vampires and humans is his belief that modern medicine can remove some of that risk.
* DeathSeeker: [[spoiler: Joshua believes Damon is immensely bored with life, but [[ICannotSelfTerminate his inner beast won't let him die]]. Therefore, Damon amuses himself by taking big risks, like offering Sour Billy's job to Abner despite the probability of Abner trying to kill him when his guard is down.]]
* DefectorFromDecadence: [[spoiler:Valerie, who was living in fear of her bloodmaster, abandons Julian's cause and flees with Marsh and Joshua when the opportunity presents itself.]]
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: It takes place around the time of the American Civil War, so characters display the expected attitudes about race. In the beginning of the story, Marsh expresses distaste for slavery, but also for abolitionists. Various characters drop copious N-bombs.
* TheDeterminator: Marsh, Joshua, and Billy. Julian too, though only when [[spoiler:his beast has stirred.]]
* TheDogBitesBack: [[spoiler:The last act of Sour Billy Tipton, once he's [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness outlived his usefulness]] and finally accepted the truth, is to partially blind Damon during his final showdown with York.]]
* TheDragon: Sour Billy Tipton to Julian. He's a mix of TheIgor and a BattleButler, seeing to the day-to-day running of Julian's various fronts, venturing out into the world on his boss's behalf (mostly to abduct unsuspecting victims), and serving as Julian's guardian and protector during daylight hours.
* EmptyShell: [[spoiler:Joshua believes this to be Julian's true nature: an evil monster with no true goals or motives. He spends most of his free time simply sitting in the dark, staring into space. Joshua finds this more frightening than his sadism.]]
* EnemyWithin: All vampires suffer the onset of the red thirst, [[spoiler:except Damon Julian, who was old enough to outlive it.]]
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Joshua York was never what you could call evil, but he always viewed his feeding on humans as a regretful necessity. His hatred at humans that attempt to act like vampires is unbridled.
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: Vampires are often preceded by a chilling cold.
* EvilIsPetty: Billy and Julian are both guilty of this for different reasons.
* EvilOnlyHasToWinOnce: A complete inversion: [[spoiler:Julian repeatedly defeats and demeans Joshua, and enjoys several years of life unopposed after taking over the ''Fevre Dream''. However, the one time Joshua ''had'' defeated him in a bid for control haunts Julian, and the nature of this victory proves to be Julian's undoing when Marsh realizes ''why'' it had happened.]]
* EyeScream: [[spoiler:Sour Billy Tipton puts out one of Damon's eyes during the final battle, and after Joshua tears him apart, he rips out his other eye as an offering once his will breaks.]]
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler: Katherine, one of York's group, enthusiastically goes over to Julian's when she has a chance.]]
* FantasticSlurs: Vampires traditionally call humans "cattle." Joshua is embarrassed by this fact.
* FriendlyNeighbourhoodVampire: [[spoiler: Joshua York and his companions. They drink a potion invented by York that quenches their thirst for human blood.]]
* ForTheEvulz: Julian's entire motivation. He believes vampires exist to feed upon the "cattle," who should accept their role as the lesser species. Ironically, [[spoiler:Julian himself is not afflicted by the red thirst, and kills only for the pleasure of it.]]
* {{Gonk}}:
** Abner Marsh has warts, bad teeth, a pug nose, squinty eyes, and a scruffy beard. He's fat at the beginning of the book; later, he loses weight and ends up being all the uglier by virtue of being saggy-looking.
** Sour Billy Tipton, an ugly and unsavory man with malicious eyes.
* HeelFaceTurn: Valerie and Jean, two of Julian's group, join Joshua willingly and believe him to be some sort of vampire messiah.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Damon Julian may be have occasional flashes of brilliance, but Sour Billy Tipton runs all his affairs to such an extent that Julian would clearly be a sad sight without the aid of Billy or someone like him. On the GoodGuys' side, Mr Jeffers fills this role for Abner Marsh.
* IControlMyMinionsThrough: Damon controls his vampire entourage through a variety of methods. Some flock to him [[BirdsOfAFeather out of preference]], others obey him out of respect and/or fear for the [[AssKickingEqualsAuthority bloodmaster]], while others do so out of tradition: it's unheard of for a vampire to oppose the bloodmaster. He controls Billy through FalseReassurance, evoking UndyingLoyalty. It's implied he's done this to a long line of chosen human servants in the past.
* InsistentTerminology: Abner insists that Julian refer to the ''Fevre Dream'' as a "her" instead of an "it."
* KnifeNut: Sour Billy always carries a trademark knife with him. He's very good at throwing it.
* LeftHanging: [[spoiler:We never do find out how Joshua fared as the undisputed bloodmaster, and whether or not he succeeded in his goal to bridge the gap between humans and vampires. The "dark city" and such myths of a vampire paradise are not alluded to again either, and it's unknown what became of Joshua's child. All we know is that Joshua occasionally visits Marsh's grave decades after his death]].
* LifeOrLimbDecision: Once Joshua decides to kill himself and chains himself by the hands to be burned by the sunlight. But then he changes his mind and starts trying to break out of the manacles. One chain snaps... but the other holds, and so Joshua is forced to tear off his arm. [[HealingFactor He gets better]], though.
* ManipulativeBastard: Julian, very much so. Joshua himself too, with a tragic example in his backstory.
* MeaningfulName:
** Joshua is a Hebrew name associated with salvation.
** ''Fevre Dream'' is both ominous and hopeful. It's a homophone for "fever dream," a mad vision. York wants to use the boat to fulfill his vision of uniting his people, while Abner wants to fulfill his vision of defeating the fastest boat on the Mississippi.
** ''Eclipse'' is the name of the reigning champion riverboat. It's name deals with darkness and daylight, both of which pertain to vampires. Abner also dreams of "eclipsing" the boat with ''Fevre Dream''.
* MercyKill: [[spoiler:Joshua kills a mortally wounded Billy to end his suffering.]]
* MonstersAnonymous: Joshua wants to turn his group of vampires, and all of the species, into this.
* MoreThanMindControl: Vampires possess an innate personal intensity and magnetism (often described as being exercised through their eyes) that allows them to easily prey upon humans' minds and wills.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Discussed. York doesn't like the sound of "''Fevre Dream''," thinking that it brings to mind fever and madness. It's named for the Fevre River, which is itself named simply for the French word for beans.
* OddFriendship: HotBlooded, bluff Abner Marsh, and cultured, poetry-loving vampire Joshua York, [[spoiler:who are HeterosexualLifePartners by the end of the book.]]
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: They're living beings who reproduce sexually and drink on blood to slake an addiction rather than for food. They have none of the typical vampire weaknesses except for sunlight, which burns them and will kill them after a few hours. They have superhuman strength, speed and toughness, and can enforce their will through their gaze. If they are not completely immortal, they can at least remain youthful for thousands of years.
* Really700YearsOld: All of the vampires are OlderThanTheyLook, though Damon Julian is old enough to have seen the fall of Rome and [[spoiler:even outlived the red thirst.]]
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Valerie, who dies shortly after abandoning Julian's cause.]]
* RedOniBlueOni: Damon Julian and Joshua York. They even wear corresponding colors most of the time and paint the ''Fevre Dream'' accordingly.
* TheRenfield: Sour Billy Tipton, a human servant of Damon Julian who desperately wants to become a vampire and who is, unlike most Renfields, actually extremely useful to his master. Humans can't really be transformed into vampires, but Damon has told him they can to keep him as a servant. He's also amused by Tipton trying to drink blood and eating human flesh in an attempt to be more like them.
* SeriousBusiness: Steamboat racing. Abner's greatest goal in life is to race and defeat the ''Eclipse''. He's incredibly distraught when [[spoiler:he learns that the ''Eclipse'' has been junked. Even though he has no more boats to race, it's the final death knell of his dream. He has a picture of ''Fevre Dream'' defeating ''Eclipse'' on his tombstone]].
* ShroudedInMyth: Joshua [[InvokedTrope invokes]] this when speaking of the nature of his race. He also personally explored it at length in his backstory, in order to see which legends were true and which were false.
* SilkHidingSteel: Both Joshua and Julian.
* SpannerInTheWorks: Julian to Joshua, whose plans to [[spoiler:save his race are rendered moot by Julian -- the more powerful blood master -- conquering him and keeping the vampires firmly in the past.]] Also, [[spoiler:Billy to Julian at the very end.]]
* TheStarscream: [[spoiler:Joshua to Julian after being conquered.]]
* SuicideBySunlight: Joshua York tries this after his HorrorHunger gets the better of him. He chains himself up outside, throws the key out of reach, and waits for the sun to come up. It's an excruciating process that takes several hours. He changes his mind halfway through, severing one of his hands to get away in time. Despite being very badly burned, he recovers over the course of a week, and even regrows his hand, much to his surprise.
* TimeAbyss: [[spoiler: Damon Julian is ancient even by vampire standards. He's gone by countless names over the ages, but has no real name, because he was born before vampires had language.]]
* {{Timeskip}}: Most of the book takes place in 1857, but [[spoiler: the last quarter of the book takes place in 1870. The epilogue takes place decades later, after Abner's death.]]
* UglyHeroGoodLookingVillain: Abner Marsh and Damon Julian.
* UndyingLoyalty: Billy to Julian, whom he believes will turn him into a vampire for his faithful service. Also, Simon to Joshua.
* TheUnfavourite: Jean is Julian's least favoured underling, due in part to his inability to properly moderate his thirst for blood. [[spoiler:Julian implicitly sends him to his death, swapping cabins with him after suspecting Marsh would come to kill him.]]
* VampireVannabe: Sour Billy, the receiver of PretenderDiss from all sides.
* VerbalTic: Julian tends to preface his dialogue with an amused "Ah."
* VillainHasAPoint: Julian points out that dismissing his take on the food chain is hypocritical coming from humans, who enslave members of their own race for nothing more than a difference of skin colour.
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: Abner just shoots [[spoiler:Sour Billy mid-sentence before giving him a chance to snark or throw his knife]].
* WouldHurtAChild: Julian mutilates and murders a baby just to prove a point.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Billy lives at the mercy of this trope, but doesn't truly realize it until the end.

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