Broody, sarcastic Courtney Crumrin travels with her uncle Aloysius to Germany in the latest Courtney Crumrin installment by Ted Naifeh. It picks up where The Fire Thief's Tale ended, with relations between the two of them rather strained. Which makes for a depressed Courtney, making her vulnerable to the creatures of the night that creep around Castle Krumrhein, whispering promises in her ear of eternal life and everlasting love. It's nice to see vampires depicted in a different light in this book with all of the vampire buzz in popular culture presently, but truth be told, this made for a disappointing book. A mopey Courtney just isn't as fun as the feisty girl readers are used to reading, and while I like that she went through this dark trial in her life, it wasn't very fun to read. And the story itself was a little boring: there wasn't much to it, and while it's nice to see the Gothic elements of old-school vampires mesmerizing young women and drinking from their blood in their rooms at night, that aspect is a little stale, especially given how cool the vampires are depicted visually, and the creepy legends surrounding the former queen. As usual, Naifeh's art is great - dark and fitting for the story, claw hands and all. And some of the later images of the monsters are really neat. But overall - a letdown.