Blood and Gold (Vampire Chronicles)
Knopf, Oct., 2001.
Hardcover, 460 pages.
The ancient and scholarly vampire Marius has figured prominently in other Vampire Chronicles, but we have never heard his full story from his own lips until now. Marius befriends a vampire, Thorne, who has lain asleep beneath the ice in the frozen North for hundreds of years. After giving Thorne clothing, food and a place to stay, he acquiesces to his guest's request to hear his life story. And what a story it is. Made a vampire against his will when he was a respected Roman senator, Marius is bitterly angry and disillusioned by what happened to him. After he was made a vampire, he was sent to Egypt to guard the "Parents," the eldest vampires in whom rests the soul of the "Blood Gods." Marius' story takes us through some familiar ground seen before in other Vampire Chronicles, but brings a new perspective to some old events. Marius is an introspective and yet emotional storyteller. He shares with us his fury at being taken from his life as a human, his passion for Pandora and his despair for losing her, his years as mentor for the Vampire Lestat and his continual run-ins with the vampires who have dedicated their lives to worshipping Satan (Marius himself only feeds upon criminals).
Through his eyes, we see the fall of Rome, the rise of Christianity, the beauty of the Renaissance, and the rise of technology. Anne Rice is quite a scholar, spending months in research on a particular period or subject, and her love for history is evident in her books. Her skill at painting a lush and sensual vision of times long passed is in full force here. There is passion, love and great loss in Marius' moving and compelling story. Rice's devoted fans are in for a special treat with this one. Highly recommended.
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This review was published in the Dec. - Jan., 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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