As some of you know, the Lady of the Manners likes vampire fiction. Really likes vampire fiction, to the point of having a very large bookcase to house her collection, and really does need to get another bookcase, but that would involve opening an inter-dimensional portal or something.
So, after years and years of
threatening promising to write titles down, the Lady of the Manners presents to you her “by-no-means comprehensive, but I like them” list of vampire fiction, in alphabetical order. Are all of these brilliant works of genius? No. But they all, in some way, tickle the Lady of the Manners’ velvet-draped heart.
The Well-Known “Classics”
- Carmilla – by Sheridan Le Fanu
- Dracula – by Bram Stoker
- ‘Salem’s Lot – by Stephen King
- The Vampire Chronicles Trilogy: Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and Queen of the Damned- by Anne Rice
Those with a Vaguely “Historical” Setting
- A Delicate Dependency – by Michael Talbot
- Anno Dracula – by Kim Newman
- Beguiled by Night – by Nicole Eigener
- Blood to Blood (original published title: Mina)- by Elaine Bergstrom
- Claudia’s Story (graphic novel, a retelling of Interview with the Vampire from Claudia’s point of view) – by Anne Rice and Ashley Marie Witter
- Covenant with the Vampire – by Jeanne Kalogridis
- Daughter of the Night by Elaine Bergstrom
- Dowry of Blood – by S.T. Gibson
- HÃ´tel Transylvania – by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
- Lord of the Dead: The Secret History of Byron – by Tom Holland
- Renfield: Slave of Dracula – by Barbara Hambly
- The Blood Wine series: A Taste of Blood Wine, A Dance In Blood Velvet, The Dark Blood of Poppies, The Dark Arts of the Blood, Nights of Blood Wine – byFreda Warrington
- The Parasol Protectorate series: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, Timeless – by Gail Carriger
- The Stress of Her Regard – by Tim Powers
- Those Who Hunt the Night and Traveling with the Dead – by Barbara Hambly
Those with a Vaguely “Modern” Setting
- Blood 20: 20 Tales of Vampire Horror – by Tanith Lee
- Blood is the New Black – by Valerie Stivers
- Gothique – by Kyle Marffin (Caveat: the writing in this is a bit clunky in places, but I read it for the rush of 90s goth nostalgia it always gives me.)
- In the Blood – by Miranda Luna (Caveat: the writing in this is also a bit clunky, but I read it for the rush of 90s goth nostalgia around what all of us imagined the goth scene in San Francisco was like.)
- Lost Souls – Poppy Z. Brite
- Pretty Dead – by Francesca Lia Block
- Prince Lestat – by Anne Rice (Caveats: This book reads like Lestat decided to write MarySue fanfic of his own life. You don’t need to have read any of the books between Queen of the Damned and this one, Lestat will explain everything. This is the book that led me to invent the game of “Who said it? Lestat or Fall Out Boy?” It is gloriously cracky, and I love it.)
- Still Life – by Michael Montoure
- Suckers – by Anne Billson
- Sunshine – by Robin McKinley
- The Blood Opera Trilogy: Dark Dance, Personal Darkness, Darkness I – by Tanith Lee
- The Hollows Series: Dead Witch Walking, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, Every Which Way But Dead, A Fistful of Charms, For a Few Demons More, The Outlaw Demon Wails – by Kim Harrison (Caveat: the series actually runs 15 books, but I drifted away after book six.)
- Tourniquet – by Kim Lakin-Smith
- Vampires Don’t Sleep Alone – by Elizabeth Barrial and D.H. Altair
- Voice of the Blood – by Jemiah Jefferson
Those from the “YA” Side of Vampire Fiction
- Bunnicula – by Deborah and James Howe
- The Den of Shadows Series: In the Forests of the Night, Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator – by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
- The Morganville Vampires Series: Glass Houses, The Dead Girls’ Dance, Midnight Alley, Feast of Fools, Lord of Misrule, Carpe Corpus, Fade Out, Kiss of Death, Ghost Town – by Rachel Caine (Caveat: I feel the first five of the series are the strongest, and it goes downhill from there.)
- Tantalize – Cynthia Leitich Smith
- The Vampire Kisses Series: Vampire Kisses, Kissing Coffins, Vampireville, Dance with a Vampire, The Coffin Club, Royal Blood, Love Bites, Cryptic Cravings, Immortal Hearts – by Ellen Schrieber (Caveat: This series is adorable, cotton-candy vampire fluff, and may not be to everyone’s tastes.)
- Blood Is Not Enough: 17 Stories of Vampirism – edited by Ellen Datlow
- Dracula’s Guest: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories – edited by Michael Sims
- Love in Vein – edited by Poppy Z. Brite
- The Best of Dreams of Decadence: Vampire Stories and Poems to Keep You Up Till Dawn – edited by Angela Kessler
- Visions of the Vampire: Two Centuries of Blood-Sucking Tales – edited by Sorcha Ni Fhlainn and Xavier Aldana Reyes
If you decide to read any of these, remember to read the descriptions. Many of these works include and explore dark themes and dubious or reprehensible morals. There is nothing wrong with curating the media you choose to engage with, and not everything is for everyone.
Go forth, Snarklings! Read about vampires. And if your particular favorite vampire book isn’t on this list, please mention it in the comments!
Ooo, The Hunger by Whitley Strieber is worth adding to either classics or vaguely modern setting, tho’ what I enjoy is the historical backstory bits.
While it’s not really a ~~fun and sexy~~ sort of vampire book, I was really impressed by The Southern Bookclub’s Guide to Slaying Vampires — genuinely scary, great sense of place, and a fantastically grotesque denouement.
(Also, I love the concept of “Lestat or Fall Out Boy” as a game. Truly inspired.)
Great list! Now to hunt them all down… ðŸ™‚ May I suggest a few more?
l loved The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas. It’s written in a peculiar format, but stole my heart.
Maggie Shayne has a great series called Wings in the Night. It’s more romance, and pretty old, but good.
I’m normally not a fan of ”natural vampires”, but I really recommend Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches.
I’m also a huge fan of Hoel Transylvania, and I understand it’s part of a series about the vampire St. Germain. Haven’t read any of the others yet, though.
Crikey, I forgot MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead & Unwed. Genuinely one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Unfortunately, the rest of the series doesn’t hold up.
Also, I must recommend the Vampire Academy series. The first few books are a little simplistic, but it gets super serious really fast.
No list of vampire books is complete without “Certain Dark Things” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
I can’t believe I forgot to list it! It’s a great book.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is my favourite vampire novel. Part travel writing, part love note to the process of research, part family intrigue with the shadow of Dracula over everything.
Yeah, vampires are the ultimate Byronic heroes. But these are strange times. Starting ca. 2015 the Naughts (2000-2010) “bounce” had definitely faded and all things magical, mystical, lovely-dark seemed to go into dormancy. Still, I think something will come along soon and start it up again, better than ever.
I will readily admit to squeaking happily when I saw Bunnicula on the list. Loved that series growing up. Now, to see if my local independent book store can order them.
Good to see Sunshine on the list as it was the first to send me into the dark reaches of the night. I liked Vampirates too, because I was pirate obsessed as well as vampire obsessed as a kid.
If you’re a fan of Southern Gothic vampire stuff, Kami Garcia’s Beautiful Creatures books are worth a read!
I am very fond of the Blood series by Tanya Huff, and the companion series to it, the Smoke Series. Blood Lite is an anthology of funny horror stories, one of which features Elvis Presley.
This is a really excellent list! I’ll definitely have to add some of these to my tbr pile.
I love Blood Hunt by Lee Killough.
In fact In looking it up on Amazon I just found out there are 2 sequels. Of course I found the first book in a second hand book store over 20 years ago. Looking forwards to reading the whole series.
Oh, if you’d like something delightful and, in my opinion, fresh in the vampire genre, check out “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” by Holly Black. For a beautiful tragedy read “The Silver Kiss”, and for a twist in world and perspective read “the House of Comarre” series by Kristen Painter
Extremely happy for this list, since I have yet to do my own research and have simply been watching the Hotel Transylvania movies instead
For a tinge of darkly dreaming without immediately putting the wind up the ‘rents: I reccomend anything by the late, great Tanith Lee, especially her Flat Earth. her ‘Red as Blood’ and ‘Redder than Blood’ dark fairytale anthologies, and her Paradys series. Though really, a Goth sensibility suffuses her entire body of work. Even when the scene glitters, darkness pools beneath..
The Silver Kiss by Annette Kurtis
Clause & Soulmate by L.J. Smith
The Vampyre by John William Polidori
Fledgling by Octavia Butler
The Last Vampire series by Christopher Pike
The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein
Vampires are a bit peripheral to most of the series, but from Seanan Macguire’s Wayward Children books:
– Every Heart a Doorway
– Down Among the Sticks and Bones
– Come Tumbling Down
all feature a pair of twins who have entered a portal to a world that basically feels like a classic horror movie. One twin becomes apprenticed to a vampire. To tell more would spoil the endings of some of those books…