The Vampire Chronicles continue with Anne Rice’s spellbinding new novel, in which the great vampire Marius returns.
The golden-haired Marius, true Child of the Millennia, once mentor to The Vampire Lestat, always and forever the conscientious foe of the Evil Doer, reveals in his own intense yet inti-
mate voice the secrets of his two-thousand-year existence.
Once a proud Senator in Imperial Rome, kidnapped and made a “blood god” by the Druids, Marius becomes the embittered protector of Akasha and Enkil, Queen and King of the vampires, in whom the core of the supernatural race resides.
We follow him through his heartbreaking abandonment of the vampire Pandora. Through him we see the fall of pagan Rome to the Emperor Constantine and the horrific sack of the Eternal City itself at the hands of the Visigoths.
Bravely, Marius seeks a new civilization in the midst of glittering Constantinople, only to meet with the blood drinker Eudoxia. We see him ultimately returning to his beloved Italy, where after the horrors of the Black Death, he is restored by the beauty of the Renaissance. We see him become a painter living dangerously
yet happily among mortals, giving his heart to the great Botticelli, to the bewitching courtesan Bianca, and to the mysterious young apprentice Armand.
Moving from Rome to Florence, Venice, and Dresden, and to the English castle of the secret scholarly order of the Talamasca, the novel reaches its dramatic finale in our own time, deep in the jungle where Marius, having told his life story, seeks some measure of justice from the oldest vampires in the world.
Maker of Lestat, lover of Pandora and drifter through time, Marius, one of Rice's most fascinating vampires, shares his side of the story in this latest intriguing yet rushed installment of the popular Vampire Chronicles. The intellectual and artistic "Child of the Millennia" meets ice-age Thorne, another vampire, who's just waking up after a very long sleep and is eager to hear his history. Marius grants Thorne's wish, taking him and the reader on a rollicking vampire adventure through time. Marius was born in Imperial Rome, made a vampire by Druids and has visited ancient Egypt, where he became the protector of the Divine Parents (Akasha, later the Queen of the Damned), and watched the fall of ancient Rome. The best segment covers Marius's stay in Venice and Florence, as well as his "making" of Amadeo (later the Vampire Armand) and his unrequited school-boy infatuation with the artist Sandro Botticelli. He describes his erotic "Perfect Time," when he was in love with the teen Amadeo and with Bianca, who eventually shared the Blood Kiss with Marius after he was almost destroyed by Santino, a Satan-worshipping vampire. How the centuries devoted to the protection of Those Who Must Be Kept are finally brought to an end is told in a story framed by Thorne's lesser developed viewpoint. This device only satisfies partially, as the book speeds to a jarring and gory finale, suggesting that these Vampire Chronicles might well be as endless as world-weary Marius's sojourns through time.