Meredith Ann Pierce
This edition published 2007 238 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Aeriel is kidnapped by the darkangel, a black-winged vampire of astounding beauty and youth, and taken to his castle keep. There, she must serve his thirteen wives, wraiths whose souls he has stolen away.
Aeriel knows that she must kill the darkangel before he takes his fourteenth bride and comes into full power, but she is captivated by his magnificent beauty and intrigues by the spark of goodness she sees inside him.
Will Aeriel risk damning all of humanity to save the darkangel’s soul, or can she end his reign of beautiful terror before he finds his final bride?
First published in 1982 but re-released in 2007 by Little, Brown and Company, The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce is the first novel in The Darkangel Trilogy. The re-release of The Darkangel may have arisen as a direct result of the popularity currently enjoyed by Stephenie Meyer’s vampire novels written for the young adult market.
Although The Darkangel was written for the young adult market it is clear that in the twenty five years since it was penned a lot has changed in the way books for young adults are written. While it is a coming-of-age story and it covers Aeriel’s journey of self realization as she grows from girl to adult,it is not written in the same way that young adult fiction is today and in my view this actually gives The Darkangel a more universal appeal. As an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. I would also happily recommend this novel to preteens (as well as teenagers) - who I think would enjoy its fairy tale fantasy appeal.
The Darkangel isn’t a really romance. Even though Aeriel is captivated by the darkangel’s beauty, there is no romantic development between their characters. Essentially Aeriel’s quest to free the darkangel’s wives is undertaken because she is a good person not because she loves the darkangel.
The darkangel is no ordinary vampire either. Stolen away from his parents by an evil witch when he was a child he has been enchanted into the form of a vampire. Every year he captures a young woman and makes her his bride he then feeds on her blood and steals her soul. When he has harvested fourteen souls he can return to the witch with the souls for her to consume. At that time she will then turn the darkangel into a true vampire and he will become invincible. If the enchantment can be broken before the darkangel harvests the soul of his final bride than it might be possible to save the world and possibly save the darkangel too.
It is Aeriel’s quest to find the means to destroy the darkangel. On the way she grows to adulthood as well as meeting the creatures that will aid her in her endeavour to kill the vampire. Quest always means fantasy and The Darkangel is a fantasy novel but it has science fiction elements too. The world in which Aeriel lives is a different planet to our own and is filled with many different creatures – some are magical and some are alien.
The quality of the story telling in The Darkangel ensures that it offers reader of all ages a real treat, reminiscent of treasured childhood fairy tales this novel is a true classic.
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