I liked this alot After about 2 days of reading I am amazed I need volume 2 ASAP 5 5 Gorgeous Fantasy, Read It. I d been hearing lots and lots about Meredith Ann Pierce long before I ever picked up one of her books For the longest time I associated her in my head with a book called The Woman Who Loved Reindeer And neither the title nor the cover did anything for me But, as is so often the case, I had several friends who highly recommended her Darkangel trilogy And they were persistent enough and vociferous enough that I finally picked up the THE DARKANGEL much interesting title and premise to give a new author and a new series a go This was probably somewhere around ten years ago And I m still so glad I gave in and picked up the trilogy That way I didn t even have to wait before diving into the second book And this really is a series that builds upon each previous book until the final showdown is indeed something to behold This was Ms Pierce s first book, written when she was just 23 years old, but you would never be able to tell It s a treasure trove of creepy ambiance, layered characterization, and suspense First published in 1982, the entire trilogy was fairly recently rejacketed nicely and released to hopefully a new crop of readers.Ariel is a slave Accompanying her mistress on a flower gathering expedition, Ariel is dismayed when her mistress is abducted by the terrifying Darkangel a vampyre who is destined to only come into his full power when he acquires his fourteenth and final bride Yes, you read that right He s got twelve of em locked away in his fortress and Ariel s mistress gets to be unlucky thirteen But not if Ariel has anything to do with it Somewhat taciturn by nature and life status , she sets off in pursuit of her mistress, determined to fetch her back before the Darkangel drains her all but dry of life like his other wives, finds a fourteenth, and ascends to the dizzying heights of power of a seventh son and a full vampyre Then he will be immortal and have truly left the last of his humanity behind Unfortunately, Ariel herself is captured on her journey, and the Darkangel forces her into servitude to his bevy of wraith wives Soon Ariel begins to form a plan to kill the Darkangel and set the wives free.His hair was long and silver, and about his throat he wore a chain on fourteen of the links hung little vials of lead.I remember reading that line and feeling chilled, wondering just exactly what he carried inside those little vials This is a vampyre novel of a different kind from the sort you may be used to The mythology is woven very densely here, as the title character himself is of a icarus vampire hybrid than your typical broody night dweller Everything about this dark fantasy scifi is slightly left of what you expect it to be, and I love it for that very reason Ariel is at times shy, furious, fearful, and bold Her captor is coldly indifferent, with his black wings and his all but dead heart, but with a multitude of reasons lurking behind his violent search And once Ariel discovers the truth of his history, his family, and his existence, she becomes determined to go on her own quest to recover the one object that might release him from his terrible fate She makes this decision on her own, in the face of his certain disapproval and the possibility of her own annihilation She is strong and sympathetic and her motivations never struck me as weak or dubious The world these characters inhabit is as frigid as the Darkangel himself Craggy and desolate, it provides an excellent backdrop for each character s isolation Plus, it has friendly gargoyles, crafty dwarves, and one incredibly terrifying Lorelei And this is only the beginning It gets endlessly complicated through the course of the next two books as the reader grows fonder of both Ariel and the Icarus I adore the entire trilogy and highly recommend it to anyone tired of the same old paranormal rigmarole This one is different A keeper. Almost 4 stars I first came upon this story when I was looking at books under the GRs tag Villains As Romantic Love Interests I had never heard of this author and the thing that came to mind when I began reading the story was THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA It contained an alternate reality, the theme of light versus dark , and a hidden meaning waiting for the reader to discover I also thought Ms Pierce might have been a pseudonym of the New Zealand author Sherryl Jordan Their writing styles were similar and they both wrote young adult fantasy adventures with strong like able females But I discovered they were two separate individuals.THE DARKANGEL was beautiful in appearance but hollow and evil on the inside Referred to as a vampyre, he murdered his brides and forced Aeriel, a plain looking maid, to attend to his wives wraith like bodies and perform other duties in his castle She knew he would kill her if she displeased him and learned never to take his wishes for granted It boiled down to Aeriel exploring the real truth versus what had been imagined with the help of a mage like little man named Talb, the duarough Get use to Ms Pierce s particular vocabulary On than one occasion, she took the common spelling of a word and twisted it around or would add a hyphen to give it new meaning She also made up some new words that added dimension to the plot You were expected to figure out the definition on your own At first I had issues with this but once I got use to it, I felt these words added a richness and substance not found in other fantasies.The story started out a little slowly for me because I did not understand Aeriel s importance I wouldn t classify this book as scary, paranormal or even a romance though it brushes each area Some words of warning if you find yourself enjoying this fantasy, be prepared to have the second story on hand once you near the finish There is closure with THE DARKANGEL but the ending leaves you asking questions that are pursued in A GATHERING OF GARGOYLES. Negative, negative stars Quite possibly the worst book I have read, ever Or, rather, pseudo read I read, with great torture, the first 100 pages In these, I found there was much monotony Much, much monotony Very little contact with the icarus, no character formation there Basically, accept for appearing at the beginning and again at the end, he was a nonentity Aeriel was barely formed, and there is no connection with her I only know she had feelings because the author said so There was no display of these feelings, no connection to how she felt, how, or if, she suffered I then skipped the next 100 pages and picked up as if I had missed nothing In 3 pages I gathered that in the previous 100, Aeriel had left, got what she needed, and returned The ending was non conclusional Not just leading off into the next story, it was totally and completely without closure I totally don t get the awards this book recieved It is entirely too dark for children. Simply put, The Darkangel is one of the very best of vampire fantasy novels I had read in the recent years Yes it s a YA book but so what, it is well written, it s one hell of magical and fascinating book to read anyway.The Darkangel is a story of fantasy and supernatural mixed with a hint of sci fi The tale begins when a slave girl Aeriel, went to confront the fearsome darkangel winged vampyer created by the evil water witch after her young mistress and friend was kidnapped to be the darkangel s 13th bride However, being stunned by the darkangel s unearthly beauty and terrifying power, Aeriel was spellbound, not able to avenge her friend, instead she ended up being the vampyer s maid since the darkangel thought she wasn t pretty enough to be a bride and forced to serve his thirteen wives, whose hearts were eaten, their souls and blood sucked out and they ended up a group of living corpses called the wraiths.In the darkangel s castle, Aeriel befriended a duarough little people who might be a mage The duarough told her that the darkangel had not yet lost his soul until he found his 14th bride and consumed her, before that they would have to kill the vampyer in order to ruin the water witch s plan to complete her army of seven powerful darkangels and enslaved the human kingdoms with their forces Caught between her affection and pity toward the darkangel whom she sensed still had some goodness in him and the responsibility to her lost friend and the rest of the human race, Aeriel must find a way to save her own life, the wraiths and even the darkangel himself before it was too late It dosen t sound like the most unique kind of plot, isn t it but what is fascinating about Pierce s writing is that she could make up imaginative details and plot twists to make her text rich In the alternative world she created, she had winged vampires, brides who are living corpses, talking beasts, wedding sari made of charity and love, etc Pierce even managed to make something as simple as a rainfall look magical There re magic in her writing that is able to put simple, ordinary things under different light to make them shine brightly Ah, that s what skill and talent are for The Darkangel series is also a good example that vampire story doesn t really need typical formula of love triangle, nor does it need to be a boring, predictable mixture with a bunch of witches, werewolves and shapeshifters The characters are good too, colorful and believable, even though the true identity of the darkangel becomes kind of obvious in the middle of the story We can watch the lead character Aeriel develops from the courageous yet confused slave to a true heroine in the end, and how she formed friendship with the people around her I also like how Pierce delivered the ending even though it really isn t the ending that I d prefer I wish the author would somehow develop a sequel to tie the loose ends for good And I also strongly wish that someday, some talented film makers would make the books into motion picture or a tv series I mean, The Darkangel is the kind of books that deserve such treatment.To sum up, it s an amazing trilogy, even though the first book came out as early as 1982 still it doesn t look outdated Read it if you still haven t 1.5 starsWhen it comes right down to it, this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling Sure there is a quest in there but it is, essentially, Beauty and the Beast I suppose I was hoping for something interesting than I found, the author was clearly trying to be interesting but I found it largely dull.First of all there is little to no character development The vampyre was the most interesting character and that is largely only because he had a variety of moods which is saying a lot that he was the most interesting since the bastard tortured animals at one point Speaking of the vampyre, why the hell did he need so many names The author chose to refer to him at a whim by vampyre, icarus, darkangel and perhaps one or two I am forgetting Seriously, just pick one and stick with it.The quest Aeriel takes I must say was rather uninteresting and felt out of place for the rest of the story Magical lions I m sorry, lyon apparently and horses and a random desert tribe aaaaaaand I was left nonplussed Of the magical elements I did enjoy the gargoyles, although they were largely characterized as dogs.I did not like the focus on appearances The vampyre is always commenting on this woman being ugly, this woman being beautiful, Aeriel can t imagine killing the vampyre because of his beauty sigh And why the hell are we supposed to buy the love Aeriel has for the vampyre Where was this character plot development exactly And the heart scene, as I will call it, near the end Are you kidding me Aside from these issues I am still confounded as to what day month means in this world Sometimes it seemed to be a day, other times it seemed to be a month Is that what I was supposed to take from it Also, the world itself is odd and the planetary star sun movement was confusing I felt like I needed to diagram the movements myself to figure it out Unfortunately I question whether this would even make it wholly clear.Overall there were elements of the story that were decent but it was largely uninteresting and tedious I do not know if I will be continuing in the series. I picked this book up at BarnesNoble last night because it stands out in my memory as a book I loved when I first read it in the seventh grade Indeed, ten years later, it is still an enjoyable read.Surprisingly, what I most enjoyed about this book is the author s detailed and beautiful description of the landscape and creatures of Solstar, the fantasy world in which this story takes place The land and the beings that reside in it are familiar, and yet different and quite unique I found the customs, folklore, and mythology of the various tribes to be intriguing, as well.It was interesting to watch the gradual development of the main character from a timid, self conscious servant to a determined, courageous young woman And to me, the change was subtle enough to be believable.I did have a few minor issues with this book that I can recall One, there were several typos Each time I saw one, it made me pause and think,.What Come on Poor editing Secondly, I found the ending to be slightly disappointing Although this is a fantasy book and certain things that seem implausible could be accounted for by magic, the resolution to the conflict nevertheless seemed to be a bit too easy and convenient I m probably just being picky, though.Mentioning the last issue would spoil the ending, so I ll refrain It was also a bit short at 238 pages, but I suppose longer isn t always better All in all, it was an inventive and memorable fantasy, and I will most certainly read the second in the trilogy soon. I am so happy that I found this book I read this book at least twice growing up and it touched my heart It was a very good love story in a very unusual way It was about the power of love and sacrifice, and all that sappy stuff that I just love I searched for this book for many years because I didn t remember the title and it was one of the books I read from the library and habitually checked out This is supposed to be a vampire story, but I always thought of it as a fallen angel story I can t wait to reread this and the sequels. Aeriel was bought at the slave markets as a baby and raised alongside her young mistress, Eoduin, the beautiful daughter of the town syndic Now nearly a woman grown, she accompanies Eoduin in the climb up the mountain to collect hornbloom nectar for Eoduin s cousin s wedding the tradition being that you are not married until the bride and groom have shared the bridal cup, and the bride s cousin must collect it on the day But when they reach the mountaintop, the Darkangel flies down, all pale luminescent beauty and a dozen black wings, and snatches Eoduin, carrying her off to make her his bride No one in the town believes Aeriel the Darkangel is just a story, after all and some even accuse her of causing her mistress death Knowing that Eoduin s father means to sell her, she goes back to the mountain, hoping the Darkangel comes again so that she can kill him.When he comes, the Darkangel is too strong and beautiful to kill, as cruel and selfish as he is Instead he takes Aeriel back to his home, an abandoned palace carved out of the side of a mountain, to spin clothes for his thirteen brides His brides are all indistinguishable, fragile wraiths, their hearts cut out, their blood drunk, their souls collected into little vials that hang from a necklace around the Darkangel s neck.When the Darkangel has acquired his fourteenth wife in a year s time and collected her soul, Aeriel learns, he will take all the souls to his mother, a water witch, and become a full fledged vampyre with his six brothers Together the vampyres will carve up the world and rule absolute Only Aeriel can stop him, but to do so she will have to escape the palace and find the starhorse, one of the wardens of the land created by the Ancients, those who first arrived and made the air and atmosphere, the plants and animals, before sealing themselves inside their domes, forgotten in all but name.Even though the vampyre is a monster who must be stopped, Aeriel doesn t want to kill him, doesn t want his beauty and majesty to leave the world But time is running out, and the stakes are high Soon Aeriel will have to make the hardest decision of her life in order to prevent the vampyres from taking over the world.The prose of this book reminded me of Alphabet of Thorn they both have that fairy tale quality, a slight distance between voice and character even though, especially here, you only get one perspective Aeriel s I don t know if there s a word for it, and it s hard to describe It creates a certain tone, a kind of mythological or biblical tone, a flavour that works especially well with Fantasy and works very well here.Aside from the sad fact that there was at least one typo on almost every single page surely, Little, Brown Co, when a book has been out for than two decades, you d have plenty of time to fix these glaring mistakes , it s well written, with a controlled, measured pace that only adds to that fairy tale quality Aeriel is a sweet girl, the Darkangel an almost sulky, petulant teen who whines about how ugly his wives are in one breath, and threatens to strangle Aeriel in the next He does have charisma, and even though Aeriel is in his thrall you can understand why she d want to save him.The other main character in the story is a duarough, a little man called Talb who turns to stone if he s caught in the sun He lives in the caves beneath the palace and helps Aeriel against the Darkangel Every fairy tale needs a fairy godmother and Talb fits that role There is the Lorelei, the water witch who steals little boys and turns them into vampyres, and a quest story that s pure Fantasy Then we have Narnia inspired beasts magnificent talking animals who guard their part of the land with wisdom and fierce pride and a dash of science fiction in the story of the Ancients There s plenty going on here but it never loses its quiet, patient tone or measured pacing Despite the variety of characters, the plot is simple and straight forward, with no real surprises.The only part I found lacking, which undermined the story, was Aeriel s love for the Darkangel Even though she qualifies it as love in a way , I thought she pitied him, felt compassion for him, and believed in the spark of good that still lay in him maybe that is love in a way , but there was so little interaction between the two that it was hard to see how she could develop these feelings for him, good girl or no I don t like it when stories take emotions like these for granted, and don t spend time on developing them for the reader it smacks of mere convenience for the plot s sake I never really understood the measures of time Solstar is both daylight and the sun I think the world might be a moon they refer to Oceanus, a planet they guide by, which might actually be Earth They say day month and I was never sure if they actually meant months or not It was so confusing it was distracting because I was trying to figure it out An author s note would have been helpful. Aeriel Is Kidnapped By The Darkangel, A Black Winged Vampyre Of Astounding Beauty And Youth In His Castle Keep, She Serves His Wives, Wraiths Whose Souls He Stole She Must Kill Him Before His Next Marriage And Comes Into Full Power, But Is Captivated By His Magnificent Beauty And Inner Spark Of Goodness Will She Choose To Save Humanity Or His Soul
Meredith Ann Pierce is a fantasy writer and librarian Her books deal in fantasy worlds with mythic settings and yet overturn standard expectations, frequently featuring young women who first wish only to love and be loved, yet who must face hazard and danger to save their way of life, their world, and so on, usually without being respected for their efforts until the end of the story.
- 223 pages
- The Darkangel
- Meredith Ann Pierce
- 09 January 2019 Meredith Ann Pierce