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A pensive fable of Lunar vampyres

  • May 31, 2001
Rating:
+5
Meredith Ann Pierce published "The Darkangel" in 1982, well before the current 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' craze. Pierce's heroine, Aeriel is kidnapped by a darkangel to spin and weave for his twelve-and-one bride-wraiths, whose blood he has drained and whose souls he has imprisoned in his necklace. He needs to find a fourteenth bride and go through a final blood-sucking, soul-stealing marriage ceremony before he can become a true vampyre.

Luckily, Aeriel doesn't strike him as bride-material: "'You?' he cried, and Aeriel's heart shrank, tightened like a knot beneath the bone of her breast. 'You be my bride? By the Fair Witch, no. You're much too ugly."

The darkangel himself is quite something to look at:

"Then he opened his wings, and Aeriel found she could not move for wonder. Before her stood the most beautiful youth ever she had seen. His skin was pale and white as lightning, with a radiance that faintly lit the air. His eyes were clear and colorless as ice. His hair was long and silver, and about his throat he wore a chain: on fourteen of the links hung little vials of lead."

To continue with the story, the beautiful darkangel flew forth from his castle to find a princess, and instead found Aeriel, the mud-bud (an appellation borrowed from Carol Burnett's retelling of "The Princess and the Pea").

"The Darkangel" resembles "The Princess and the Pea" in that Aeriel is a sort of 'bride-in-disguise.' The aspiring vampyre doesn't realize that he wants to marry her until after she has made friends with his previous thirteen wives, suborned his vicious gargoyles, escaped from his castle, and almost got him killed by a Lunar lion.

I can't give away any more of the plot, but I'd like to add that you need to be in the right frame-of-mind to truly appreciate the beauty of "The Darkangel"---pensive, perhaps and willing to believe in the magical power of love. (You also need to believe that someday it will be possible to terraform the Moon).

"The Darkangel" has two sequels: "A Gathering of Gargoyles"; and "The Pearl of the Soul of the World."

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About the reviewer
Elaine Lovitt ()
I'm a retired geek whose goal is to move to Discworld and apprentice myself to Granny Weatherwax. I have degrees in Astronomy and Computer Science, but was seduced by the Dark Side a few years before … more
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Wiki

The servant girl Aeriel must choose between destroying her vampire master for his evil deeds or saving him for the sake of his beauty and the spark of goodness she has seen in him.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0152017682
ISBN-13: 978-0152017682
Author: Meredith Ann Pierce
Publisher: Magic Carpet Books

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