Fevre Dream tells how Joshua York conquers the “red thirst” that dominates his people and how he forges an alliance with Abner Marsh to accomplish his dream. York, a vampire, has defeated his own need for blood. He seeks other people of the night to convince them that life without killing is a good thing. All works well until York is defeated by Damon Julian, the dominant power among the vampires. York tries to be loyal to his people and to the good but cannot do both. He finally calls for help from his friend Marsh. They join forces to defeat Julians insane blood lust.
Marsh and York have dinner late one night in April of 1857. At the end of the evening, each has his hearts desire. Despite the setback of having all but one of his boats destroyed by ice, Marsh will be able to build his advanced steamboat and York will have the freedom of the river. Marsh recognizes the presence and power in York but does not quite recognize York’s truly alien nature.
Their steamboat is christened the Fevre Dream in honor of it being Marsh’s dream boat and his company being the Fevre River Packet Company. The Fevre Dream sets out on its maiden voyage down the Mississippi River in July of 1857. The boat itself is everything Marsh could hope for, but York’s odd nighttime habits and the odd and prolonged delays that he causes produce frictions that ultimately lead to Marsh learning York’s secret.
(The entire section is 483 words.)