Monday, April 4, 2011

Blood and Gold

Ah, Marius de Romanus. During the course of The Vampire Chronicles we have heard of Marius over and over again. He’s an important figure and near and dear to many characters. He tells his story to Lestat and much of Armand’s own story is about Marius. He cares for Those Who Must Be Kept, we know this from the previous Vampire Chronicles, and he’s a prominent role in Queen of the Damned. Pandora’s book follows much of her relationship with Marius as well. All of this news and stories of this character and yet it took so long for Marius’ own book to be developed.

So. Marius. You’re not necessarily my most favorite character. I don’t really know why I disliked him so much when I first read the Vampire Chronicles and even now as I’ve been reading through the Chronicles again I was like “Sigh, here we go, Marius’ book is next.” And yet… AND YET… reading Blood and Gold this time around (the second time I ever read it since it was first published when I was in High School) I really grew to like Marius.

He is an intelligent, headstrong type of character. He’s totally someone you already know, that stubborn person who wants everything to go his way and tries very hard to make things good and yet somehow or other, manages to mess everything up in the process. He’s a scholar and forever looking for something. Whether it’s happiness, looking to keep his loved ones safe, looking to keep Those Who Must Be Kept safe.

I’m sure I’ve blabbered about this before but the thing that fascinates me about vampires - no, not vampires - the idea of being immortal sounds so fantastic to me because I am a complete nerd. Live forever and see history be made? Ok! Meet worlds of people and watch as they pass into legend? Yes, please. Travel the world? Learn every language? Read every book? Oh my goodness, it sounds like the best thing ever. All of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicle books hint at such an existence but, aside from Pandora, Marius’ book really displays the changing of time as this character, (who is over 2,000 years old) exists through the growing and downfall of many a nation. I love it; it’s fascinating to read.

One thing that bothers me about Anne Rice’s books is that she brings so many characters into her stories that you never hear from again. This is a personal issue that a few of my friends will understand but darn it, I want to know what happens to these characters who appear to be so interesting and yet as soon as they leave the characters life there is little mention of them.

The vampires of the original Theatre des Vampires? What happened to them? Laurent, one of it’s members, is brought up in the book Queen of the Damned but only to display his death, the same goes for another of the male members. But what about the women? Eleni? She was featured so much more than Laurent and yet there was never a mention of her after the 2nd novel in the Chronicles. Now in Blood and Gold, there are so many characters that are mentioned and then forgotten. Avicus, Zenobia, Arjun, and Bianca where did these vampires go? Anne Rice, I want to know what happened to these awesome characters!

But, I can’t hate that she brought these characters in. Marius is so head strong and kind of a jerk at times, he wants things to go his way, he wants a sense of control, he wants to be the teacher in the situation and that doesn’t always pan out for him. And yet, you see his more gentle side with weaker more innocent characters. He has an outpouring of love for Avicus and Zenobia, two characters he comes in contact with.

All of this, his history filled with travel, love and loss, and the protection of Those Who Must Be Kept, and Marius tells it freely to a vampire named Thorne who has just woken from a long sleep with the intention of finding his maker and causing her great harm.

The relationship between Marius and the modern day is interesting as well. He sounds so regal, so mature in many ways, and yet when he sets loose to mingle with mortals and feed beside Thorne he sounds like he could appear to be any man at a club or bar. I appreciate that change in character because through all of the other books I saw Marius as this figure that was untouchable and complete separated from humans. It’s nice to see him associate with them.

The book has a lot of historical references, whether or not they’re accurate I don’t know, but I enjoyed traveling through time with this man. This character that you have forever heard of and associated with in one way or another but never had too much alone time with. The book goes from thousands of years before and brings you up to date to a more present time where Those Who Must Be Kept are no longer alive and there is a new reigning sovereign.

I have to say I enjoyed this book so much more than I did as a young High School student. I don’t know, maybe I appreciate the sense of time a little more than I did at the earlier age. Isn’t that what I’ve been discovering though? It’s all tied in with time. I read these books at such a young age, whether it’s The Vampire Chronicles or some other book, and I reread them at my age now- ten years or so having passed by- and I’m forever surprised at how much my opinion has changed. It’s the magic of literature and sort of proof of how powerful aging can be. It can alter your opinion, through life lessons or simply education, things change. I’ve been repeating this over and over again with each Vampire Chronicle that I read but I can’t say it enough because it amazes me each and every time.

Now I only have two books left to read of The Vampire Chronicles before I’ve fully read the series over again (it’s been nearly two years that I’ve been going through these books). We’ll see what my impression is of those upcoming books.

But here is the point of Blood and Gold. Marius is fascinating and this book travels through 2,000 years. The bonds he creates and breaks are worth the read and seeing that he is so often mentioned in the previous Vampire Chronicles the book is a must read just for those who are traveling through the series.

Oh, and PS: believe nothing that the horrible movie Queen of the Damned tells you about Marius. Just. Don't do it.

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