In the latest installment of The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice summons up dazzling worlds to bring us the story of Armand - eternally young, with the face of a Botticelli angel. Armand, who first appeared in all his dark glory more than twenty years ago in the now-classic Interview with the Vampire, the first of The Vampire Chronicles, the novel that established its author worldwide as a magnificent storyteller and creator of magical realms.
Now, we go with Armand across the centuries to the Kiev Rus of his boyhood--a ruined city under Mongol dominion--and to ancient Constantinople, where Tartar raiders sell him into slavery. And in a magnificent palazzo in the Venice of the Renaissance we see him emotionally and intellectually in thrall to the great vampire Marius, who masquerades among humankind as a mysterious, reclusive painter and who will bestow upon Armand the gift of vampiric blood.
As the novel races to its climax, moving through scenes of luxury and elegance, of ambush, fire, and devil worship to nineteenth-century Paris and today's New Orleans, we see its eternally vulnerable and romantic hero forced to choose between his twilight immortality and the salvation of his immortal soul.
The Vampire Armand
If I had thought my transformation into a vampire meant the end of my tutelage or apprenticeship to Marius, I was quite wrong. I wasn't immediately set free to wallow in the joys of my new powers.
The night after my metamorphosis, my education began in earnest. I was to be prepared now not for a temporal life but for eternity.
My Master gave me to know that he had been created a vampire almost fifteen hundred years ago, and that there were members of our kind all over the world. Secretive, suspicious and often miserably lonely, the wanderers of the night, as my Master called them, were often ill prepared for immortality and made nothing of their existence but a string of dreary disasters until despair consumed them and they immolated themselves through some ghastly bonfire, or by going into the light of the sun.
As for the very old, those who like my Master had managed to withstand the passage of empires and epochs, they were for the most part...
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