Monday, July 27, 2009

REVIEW: Darkangel

Pierce, M.A. (1982). The Darkangel. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company.


What-hoe, Twilight fangirls (and fanboys)! Vampire romance ahead.  (That is, if you're cool with the 'vampyre' spelling)

But first a warning. This ain't no sparkly, vegetarian, beautiful, stalker vamp. This vampYre, darkangel, is a winged, soul-sucking, dark cold soon to be full-fledged vamp.  Okay, so he's still "beautiful."  The one thing Meyer and Pierce can agree on about vamps is that they should be described as "beautiful" over and over and over and over again.

Aeriel has grown up hearing stories of the darkangels that steal away young and pretty girls. A slave to the richest girl in town, Aeriel and her mistress, Eoduin, must travel on the steppe to collect flowers for a wedding. While away from the village, a winged vampire, a darkangel, descends and steals away Eoduin.  Left behind, nobody in the village believes Aeriel's story that a vampire descended.  Her grieving owners, who blame her for the loss of Eoduin, plan to sell her.

Seeking vengeance, Aeriel returns to the steppe in the hopes of killing the vampire only to be abducted by him as well.  But instead of being chosen as the vampire's fourteenth and final wife, the one who will give him the power to become a REAL vampire, she is to serve the thirteen current wives, who have been drained of their souls.  As Aeriel serves the wives, or "wraiths" as she thinks of them, she must decide if and how she will save them and if there is a way to save the young vampire as well, who seems to have a small bit of goodness left in him.

This is the first book in the Darkangel trilogy that has been rereleased with a arguably less embarrassing cover:

Speaking as someone who wound up getting ahold of both editions, I'll take shadowy angsty man over blond angry toga-boy and hiked-up dress girl any day.

This fantasy is well structured.  It deals a lot with ideas of patience, love and sacrifice.

Activities to Do with the Book:

This book has been around for over a quarter of a century and has been long out of print. The only reason I got ahold of it is because my advisor said it was the best vampire romance she'd ever read. And, you know, she knows stuff. She'd recommended it after a class discussion of Twilight. And for Twilight fans of the world, there are subtle similarities. Although The Darkangel is set in a fantasy world different from our own, Aeriel does have one striking similarity to Bella: Both are clumsy. More so though, The Darkangle has more connections to the original story of Cupid and Psyche and other myths than Twilight.

Favorite Quotes:

“Aeriel rested the broad basket against her hip and adjust her kirtle. The steep climb she and her companion had been taking the last six hundred paces or so had caused the loose, flowing garment to twist around at the neck and fall askew” (p. 1).

“Cheer up, worry-wrinkle,” Eoduin cried over one shoulder. “What vampyre would want you?” (p. 6).

“They were jet, those wings, as deep as the sky, as black as Eoduin's hair—no, blacker, for they were dull, unoiled. They gave off no sheen in the light, no gleam to the eye. They drank up the light and diminished it: they were wings of pure shadow” (pp. 12-13).

"The darkangel looked at her then and laughed, a long, mocking laugh that sent the gargoyles into a screaming, chattering frenzy.  "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" (p. 35).

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