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Blood and Gold (2001)
door Anne Rice
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Asediado por los recuerdos, Marius siente que ha llegado el momento de revelar los secretos de su milenaria existencia. Este ser solitario e inmortal evoca sus experiencias de senador romano, entre druidas y como protector de Akasha y Enkil, reyes de los vampiros. Se detiene en su ampor por Pandora y en su tarea como mentor de Lestat. Rememora también la caída de Roma, su huida a Constantinopla, patria de la insaciable Eudoxia, y el regresto a la Italia renacentista.
Finally, the story of one of my very favorite of Anne Rice's characters!
A few years ago I got back into reading Anne Rice after having stopped with THE MUMMY a couple of decades ago. Working my way through THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES and THE MAYFAIR WITCHES, I have finally arrived at BLOOD AND GOLD, which was written in 2000. Rice’s most enduring and popular character will always be Lestat, the young 18th Century French nobleman turned blood drinker whom she introduced in INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE. But after giving her readers a half dozen books with their favorite at the center of the action, she began expanding her literary vampire universe by putting out books telling the stories of secondary characters such as Armand, Vittorio, and Pandora. In BLOOD AND GOLD, Rice tells the story of Marius, the Roman aristocrat turned creature of the night, and keeper of Those Who Must Be Kept.
Or, retelling the story, as much of Marius’s saga, from his origin as a vampire in Druid worshiping ancient Britain, his becoming the keeper of Akasha and Enkil, the original vampires, his time in Venice where he meets and becomes infatuated with the boy, Amadeo, to Akasha’s awakening in modern times have been covered in other books. BLOOD AND GOLD seeks to fill in the blank spots from other narratives, and tell things from Marius’ point of view. The book is framed by one of Rice’s tried and true tropes, where one character sits with another, and tells a tale. The story begins with the awakening of Thorne, a vampire Viking (that’s a book right there) who has slumbered under the ice for many centuries. Thorne has been awakened by the events of THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED, and goes looking for Maheret, his maker, and one of the most ancient of vampires. Thorne meets Marius instead, who then proceeds for 500 pages to tell Thorne his story. At the end, Thorne does meet his maker, and some old conflicts are resolved. But this is Marius’ book, and his story encompasses ancient Rome and its fall to Barbarians, the newly rising Constantinople, Renaissance Venice, and the city of Dresden in Saxony in the 1600s. There are side trips to medieval Paris, and the England of Henry the VIII, where we get a look at the early Talesmasca. The great part of the book covers Marius’ relationships with Pandora, a young woman he falls in love with in Roman times and whom he makes into a vampire; Amadeo (later known as Armand), a beautiful boy he falls in love with in Venice, and makes into a vampire; and Bianca, a beautiful woman of Venice, whom Marius falls in love with and makes into a vampire when he is in desperate need of aide after running afoul of other blood drinkers. The fates of these relationships and why they come to such a state is the heart of the story. Along the way there are encounters with Mael, Avicus, Eudoxia, Zenobia, and Santino, other vampires who are friends, foes, and frenemies at different times. The great artist Botticelli makes an appearance, and there is a cameo by Daniel, the young man introduced in the first chapter of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, now a blood drinker himself, which in a small way ties everything back to the beginning.
Compared to some other books by Rice, I found BLOOD AND GOLD to be an easy read, the author seems to have forsaken her rampant use of adjectives that plagued other books, nor was there the tendency to gush over architecture and art in the extreme. Rice’s tremendous grasp of history is on full display, including a deep knowledge of fashion. Her books always create a world that feels much lived in; she always conveys a sense of place, and makes us believe that this is how people were at this point in time. The main character of Marius is well loved by some fans, not so much by others. In the early Lestat books, he is a knowing elder, with wisdom gained by centuries upon this earth. But the Marius we see in BLOOD AND GOLD is his own worst enemy by not taking threats seriously, practicing deceit with those who care for him, and foolishly overestimating himself. He comes across as being as guilty of letting his passions rule him as much as Lestat, a sin for which he often condemned the younger vampire. Then there are Marius’ relationships with young boys, and his expressed affection for them in the section set in Renaissance Venice. This comes uncomfortably close to pedophilia for some readers even though Rice makes it clear that her vampires do not have sexual relationships in the conventional way. I understand their concerns, and it is an issue with other books by her, especially in the Mayfair witches series, but what I think Rice is doing here is creating a character with a pre Christian and pagan sensability, one that he has not forsaken despite the passage of a thousand years. As I have stated in other reviews of Rice’s books, she is most definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, and those who have a problem most certainly have given up long before they would have gotten to BLOOD AND GOLD. If you are unfamiliar with Anne Rice, this book not a suitable entry point.
The finale of BLOOD AND GOLD, where some characters not seen since the end of THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED appear, felt like THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES were coming full circle, maybe an ending point. But Rice has continued to write in the years since, crossing over her witches and vampires, and adding werewolves to the mix. She had also written about Jesus Christ, a result of her returning (for a time) to the Catholic Church. And it looks as if we’re finally about to get that long delayed TV series adaptation of CHRONICLES, let’s hope AMC doesn’t botch it.
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Is opgenomen in
Complete Vampire Chronicles (Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned, Blood and Gold, Blackwood Farm, Merrick, Pandora, The Vampire Armand) door Anne Rice
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Wikipedia in het Engels (2)
Out of the pages of the Vampire Chronicles steps the golden-haired Marius, true Child of the Millenia, once mentor to the Vampire Lestat, always and forever the conscientious slayer of the evildoer, and now ready to reveal the secrets of his two-thousand-year-long existence in his own intense yet intimate voice. Born in Imperial Rome, imprisoned and made a "blood god" by the ancient Druids, Marius is the baffled yet powerful protector of Akasha and Enkil, Queen and King of the vampires, in whom the core of the race resides. We follow him through his tragic loss of the vampire Pandora, his lover and fledgling creation. Through him we see the fall of pagan Rome to the Christendom of Constantine, and the sack of the Eternal City by the Visigoths. We see him sailing to the glittering city of Constantinople. Worlds within worlds unfold as Marius, surviving the Dark Ages and the Black Death, emerges in the midst of the Italian Renaissance to create magnificent paintings and a vampire—the boy Armand. Moving from Florence, Venice, Dresden, Paris, and the English castle of the secret and scholarly order of the Talamasca, the novel reaches its dramatic finale in a jungle paradise where the oldest of the vampires reigns supreme.
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Dewey Decimale Classificatie (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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