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Literature / Bloodline (2006)

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Bloodline is a 2006 novel by Kate Cary, continuing the story of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

It is 1916, and Quincey Harker - a character whose birth was briefly mentioned in Stoker's epilogue - has grown up and become the commander of a regiment fighting in World War I. One of Harker's men is John Shaw, who makes a terrifying discovery: Harker is a vampire.

Taken home with trench fever, Shaw is cared for by Mary Seward, the daughter of Stoker's Dr. Seward. As John's recovers, he and Mary fall in love. But things take a disasterous turn when Quincey Harker returns from the battlefield and wins the heart of John's sister Lily. It is up to John and Mary to save Lily, not just from Harker, but from the son of Dracula: Count Tepes.

In 2011 Bloodline received a sequel, entitled Reckoning.

This novel provides examples of:

  • All for Nothing: Count Tepes and Quincey’s Evil Plan in Bloodline results in some pretty horrific consequences for both the good and evil teams. Mina, Lily, Rosemary, and Tepes are all dead by the end, John has become evil, and Quincey and Mary have to deal with years of emotional aftermath. Reckoning doesn’t go quite to that extent, but the thrust of the novel- Quincey’s desire to abstain from human blood leads to him and Mary almost dying, and Quincey having to resume drinking human blood again- which Mary abhors.
  • All Women Are Delicate: Played straight for Lily, averted for Mary.
  • Bash Brothers: Quincey’s hope is that he and John will be this. At John’s wish, Quincey takes him out for a night raid on the German encampment, and they briefly become this. It doesn’t last long.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Subverted. This is definitely true of some of the vampires- namely Mina and Quincey. However many of the “lower-caste” vampires are described as being feral in appearance, and Count Tepes himself is old and decrepit.
  • Big Bad: Count Tepes. While Bloodline originally seems to set up Quincey Harker as the major villain, his role is ultimately The Dragon.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Happens to Mary in Reckoning.
  • The Corrupter: Quincey’s role in Bloodline is to perform this function for Lily and John. He succeeds for the latter, to disastrous effects. Mina also acts as this, albeit more gleefully than her son. In Reckoning, it is revealed that Rebecca was this for Quincey, although he was already eagerly expecting it.
  • Decadent Court: The House of Dracul, in spades.
  • Dhampyr: Averted. Children born to human/vampire couples are humans, and must be turned into vampires after birth.
  • Driven to Suicide: Lily. The ramifications of this set the stage for Reckoning.
  • For the Evulz: Mina’s philosophy in a nutshell. This attitude migrates to John in Reckoning.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: As John is being seduced by Mina, he observes her being intimate with a beautiful human girl, and becomes entranced by the display.
  • Happy Ending Override: For the original Dracula, which ended with Dracula destroyed and the characters moving on with their lives, including a cured Mina and Jonathan being Happily Married with a son they named after all their companions, though particularly Quincey Morris, who was killed in the climatic battle with Drac. Here, Mina is now evil, having willingly become a vampire and apparently cheated on Jonathan with Dracula's son, and Quincey himself is a cruel and manipulative vampire though he does have a Heel–Face Turn in the end.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Quincey has a Heel–Face Turn.
  • In Name Only: Viewed as a sequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula, Bloodline does rather fall into this trope, and would require only a few name changes to be a stand-alone work with a few Stoker homages. The characters lifted from the original novel are either limited to minor walk-on roles (Dr. Seward) or are almost totally changed (Mina, Stoker's chaste heroine, is revealed to have willingly become an evil vampire). The book also takes certain liberties when expanding Stoker's world: where did Dracula's son come from?
  • Kiss of the Vampire: Being bitten by a vampire is portrayed as being intensely pleasurable. Paired with Hemo Erotic, in that vampires seem to also gain sexual satisfaction from feeding.
  • Must Be Invited: Vampires need an invitation to enter a house. This becomes a plot point in Reckoning.
  • Parental Abandonment: Rosemary Shaw, Lily and John’s mother, is presumed dead but is actually alive and a vampire in reluctant service to Tepes. Neither Lily nor John take it well when they discover the truth.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Mary gives one to John in Reckoning. It doesn’t quite take.
  • Redemption Demotion: This trope is taken to the extreme for Quincey. Attempting to subsist on animal blood and refrain from drinking human blood leaves him weakened and vulnerable to John’s plot. Ultimately a doomed effort as Quincey is forced to start drinking human blood again.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A telltale sign that a vampire is hungry, or about to go on the offense.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Mary is the red oni to Lily’s blue. While Mary is hot-tempered and direct, Lily is shy and possesses a more gentle, obedient disposition.
  • Second Love: Quincey and Mary are this for each other.
  • Villainous Incest: The Bathorys in Reckoning.
  • Vampire Monarch: Count Tepes in Bloodline for at least a good portion of vampires. John tries to establish himself as this in Reckoning.
  • Villainous Legacy: This is a rare Dracula sequel that does not resurrect Dracula. Instead, he is presented as the sire to a terrible family, now headed by Count Tepes.
  • We Can Rule Together: Mina and Quincey both attempt to sway John to their side using this argument. It goes horribly right.