With Pandora, Anne Rice began a magnificent new series of vampire novels. Now, in the second of her New Tales of the Vampires, she tells the mesmerizing story of Vittorio, a vampire in the Italian Age of Gold.
Educated in the Florence of Cosimo de' Medici, trained in knighthood at his father's mountaintop castle, Vittorio inhabits a world of courtly splendor and country pleasures--a world suddenly threatened when his entire family is confronted by an unholy power.
In the midst of this upheaval, Vittorio is seduced by the vampire Ursula, the most beautiful of his supernatural enemies. As he sets out in pursuit of vengeance, entering the nightmarish Court of the Ruby Grail, increasingly more enchanted (and confused) by his love for the mysterious Ursula, he finds himself facing demonic adversaries, war and political intrigue.
Against a backdrop of the wonders--both sacred and profane--and the beauty and ferocity of Renaissance Italy, Anne Rice creates a passionate and tragic legend of doomed young love and lost innocence.
When I was a small boy I had a terrible dream. I dreamt I held in my arms the severed heads of my younger brother and sister. They were quick still, and mute, with big fluttering eyes, and reddened cheeks, and so horrified was I that I could make no more of a sound than they could.
The dream came true.
But no one will weep for me or for them. They have been buried, nameless, beneath five centuries of time.
I am a vampire.
My name is Vittorio, and I write this now in the tallest tower of the ruined mountaintop castle in which I was born, in the northernmost part of Tuscany, that most beautiful of lands in the very center of Italy.
By anyone's standards, I am a remarkable vampire, most powerful, having lived five hundred years from the great days of Cosimo de' Medici, and even the angels will attest to my powers, if you can get them to speak to you. Be cautious on that point.
I have, however, nothing whatsoever to do with the "Coven of the ...
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