The Vampire's Violin
Authors: Michael Romkey

Review By: Gigs

     I jumped into this series at the tail end, basically because this book in particular 
was about a violin, and being a Music major myself, it piqued my interest.  I was not 
disappointed either.  Gone from this series is the overly-romanticized vampire whom quite 
a few of my colleagues fall at the feet of and worship with extravagant adoration.  In 
its stead was the cold, hard facts of vampirism including the ideals that eternal 
existence is immensely boring without something to occupy your time and most importantly, 
HUMANS ARE FOOD!  Not long-lost loves or bids for salvation from eternal damnation.  The 
vampires we meet here have lives that are centered around a great, consuming passion, but 
for once (Thank God) its not the same ol, same ol love or sex scenario. What a novel 
concept!  In this particular book, the overwhelming, undeniable siren is the fleeting, 
yet eternal beauty known as Music.  An obsession I can definitely identify with.  

In the Vampireís Violin, Mr. Romkey begins by introducing us to a luthier (maker of 
violins) living in the violin-making golden age of Cremona, Italy.  His simple faith, 
despite his loss of vision, blesses him and allows him to create the most rare and renown 
violins of all time, the Angel violins, of which there are only thirteen brought into 
existence.  We then follow these violins through time as one concert violinist, who 
happens to be a vampire, becomes enamored of the Angels, and seeks to own one for 
himself.   We become witnesses of how one personís life work can touch the world, 
blessing life after life.  We equally witness how those lives can also be destroyed if 
such blessings are taken for granted, manipulated, corroded, or twisted to be something 
they werenít meant to be.

A lot of the ideals portrayed in the book have spiritual or religious overtones.  Youíll 
recognize such questions as, do vampires have a soul?  Can that soul be saved? Does God 
recognize vampires?  Can he use them for the purpose of good even if they are by nature, 
evil?  And there are many others.  Towards the end of the book, he also lightly touches 
on whether love is the sole center of the universe worth striving for to gain happiness 
or if happiness, fulfillment in life can be gained by another means such as the pursuit 
of music.  This is definitely an excellent book for anyone who enjoys having their 
philosophical fancies tickled.  

I personally enjoyed the book because I had written a thesis while in college about the 
Amantiís, who were a family of luthiers around the same time for my Baroque Music History 
class.  They were the ones responsible for tutoring the famous Stradivarius in the art.  
Thus, a lot of the history and terminology used in the book was enjoyably familiar to 
me.  Who says you donít use a lot of what you learn?   Though the plot line itself is 
simple in conception, the characters are rich in intrigue and the main themes can be 
intriguingly complex.  I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to give their 
hormones a break and pursue an intellectual workout.  Enjoy folks!