The Order of the Sanguines is the name of a series of horror-thriller novels co-written by James Rollins (of Sigma Force fame) and Rebecca Cantrell. The series is about a secret order within the Catholic Church, sworn to protect the world from a nasty breed of creatures called strigoi, better known to us civilians as vampires.
Three novels have been released so far:
- The Blood Gospel (2013)
- Innocent Blood (2014)
- Blood Infernal (2016)
Tropes found in this series include:
- Ancient Conspiracy
- Anti-Villain: Bathory has shades of this, especially since it's strongly implied that she is being forced to work for the Belial. And indeed, she is - as every generation of the Bathory line since Countess Elizabeth herself has been forced to give up one female to the Belial's service.
- The Atoner: Father Rhun Korza. You would be, too, if you had pledged yourself to God and then broken your vows to sleep with a beautiful woman, thus corrupting her soul and inadvertently turning her into one of the most infamous killers of all time.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy
- Jesus himself, according to the series' premise, wrote a gospel in his own blood, containing the secrets to his divinity.
- Rasputin used to be a Sanguinist, until he was expelled from the order due to his unconventional views (especially regarding sex). He's still alive, and he's developed a murderous reputation - and it's revealed at the end of the book that he's also kept Alexei, the young hemophiliac prince, alive as well.
- Big Bad: The Belial leader, revealed in the first book's very last word: Judas. Yes, that Judas.
- Christianity Is Catholic
- It's said that the vestments worn by Catholic priests, monks, etc. are all designed to be secret references to the Sanguinists.
- However, the first book also includes some scenes in a Russian Orthodox church, albeit not any kind of scenes you would want to see happen in a house of God.
- Dan Browned: As with all Rollins books, mercifully averted as he takes responsibility for any and all errors of fact he makes in his writing.
- Jordan's personality is a mild version of both Monk and Kowalski.
- Also from Sigma Force: the Belial is every inch a supernatural version of the Guild.
- Fiery Redhead: Bathory Darabont.
- Gratuitous Latin: Before she is revealed to be Countess Bathory, Rhun's lover was referred to by the Latin version of her first name - Elisabeta. The Hungarian equivalent is Erzsébet.
- Meaningful Name: Bathory is named after the infamous mass murderess (and her ancestor), Countess Elizabeth Bathory, she who would kill little girls and bathe in their blood to preserve her looks.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Again, Bathory.
- Our Vampires Are Different: They're called strigoi, and while they are murderous and nigh-invincible beasts, they are different in some ways. For instance, they don't turn into bats (although bats can be corrupted with strigoi blood; these are called "Icarops.")
- Also, the Order of the Sanguines is entirely composed of reformed strigoi, who drink the wine consecrated as the blood of Christ in order to preserve their otherwise damned souls.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: The grimwolves, or blasphemare. Bathory owns two, Hunor and Magor, and she can communicate with them telepathically.
- Readers Are Geniuses:
- Combine this with Genre Savvy and the reader may realize, as soon as Bathory Darabont is introduced, that not only is she a murderous bitch, but she is a descendant of the murderous bitch.
- Related, the names of people and places connected to Elisabeta are real, for instance her dead husband Ferenc and the town of Čachtice.