Blood and Gold (The Vampire Chronicles #8)

ISBN: 0679454497
ISBN 13: 9780679454496
By: Anne Rice

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Genres

Anne Rice Fantasy Favorites Fiction Horror Paranormal Supernatural To Read Vampire Vampires

About this book

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.

Reader's Thoughts

Wally

** spoiler alert ** As usual in her books, it would help if she would have a good editor to check it. There are several mistakes, or inconsistencies. Her ideas are as for most of her books really good, but always the more you read the more you feel it could have been done better. I have to say, for this one is really the case. It started quite good, but then there are so many parts that are truly hard to believe. Sure its fantasy and vampires, but still. Plus she gets some historical facts a bit wrong. The more I read the more disappointed I got.Many characters are hard to believe at many times during the book. - Marius claims its hard to be lonely, far away from anyone else, because he has to keep Those who must be kept as a secret, nevertheless he reveals the "secret" to every second character he meets. He also claims to love desperately everyone, even if he just met them. He loves Pandora more than anyone else, but spends much more time describing Venice and Armand, even though before this book there is another one dedicated entirely to Armand's life. - Bianca, was such a "cold blooded murderer" poisoning people all the time, but once she is a vampire, she cries everyday for no good reason. But she is strong enough to leave him, as soon as she sees he is willing to leave him for Pandora. - The part when they are living in Venice is just not believable. A guy that only arrives home by night,while he shares a home with tons of people, all his pupils. She should have looked for some explanation, like having a house somewhere else and this house just to teach his pupils for instance. But somehow, from all the people living there, no one ever wonders why he only appears at night. But even worse, this you could still kind of forgive. But suddenly one pupil gets sick, he treats him, he gets better and from now on, instead of living with the pupils, he also only appears at night...just not believable. - Maharet when she is imposing her will on Marius about Santino. But she cries like a baby when Santino explodes. What kind of leader is that?? Hard to believe she and her sister killed Akasha. - They spend decades in the alps, but the guy he met in Venice is still alive, just kind of old...again, its like she didnt check what she wrote. - She gets facts wrong, just as an example: To say that they visited the close by cities of Geneva and Prague. I am sorry but one should at least check a map before making such statements. - Some historical facts are also hard to believe for the years she claims things happen. Like wide distribution of books in 1400, or people freely traveling from Venice to England and back, I would rather thing it was not simple at that time.And this are just some examples, leaving out the grammatical mistakes.

Ulissae Efp

*possibili spoiler, anche se leggeri*Come le precedenti "biografie" della saga, questo è un libro per appassionati. La struttura dei libri è la stessa: apertura con un personaggio nuovo, che spinge uno dei "famosi" a raccontare la sua storia, e che non ha poi gran senso con il 99% del libro; un finale che si ricollega alla saga, ma che solitamente lascia a bocca aperta e con un'enorme domanda in testa "ma che cazz..." e uno stile che immediatamente identifica l'autrice.Sono rimasta stupita dal diverso modo in cui il rapporto Marius/Armand(Amadeo) sia stato trattato in questo libro, rispetto a come era stato descritto nel racconto di Armand. Qui sembra che l'unico pensiero fisso di Marius sia Pandora (non che la cosa mi spiaccia, visto che adoro quella vampira!), e che il rapporto con Armand sia totalmente spirituale o comunque incentrato molto sul concetto padre/figlio - tanto che il caro Marius passa ben oltre a quei racconti un po' più spinti a cui ci aveva abituato Armand.A differenza di Armand, però, la storia di Marius sembra svelare un personaggio completamente diverso rispetto a quello che era emerso dai precedenti libri - o per lo meno è questa la sensazione che io ho avuto.Mi rendo conto che a un pubblico italiano, che sin dalle elementari viene bombardato di informazioni sull'antica Roma e sul Rinascimento, le lunghe digressioni storiche possano sembrare oltre che un po' inutili (insomma, lo so cosa è la plebe!) anche generici, ma l'autrice si rivolge a un vasto numero di lettori che probabilmente hanno avuto un'educazione a questo tipo di storia molto meno dettagliata e quindi queste spiegazioni risultano necessarie per creare un minimo di background.Il libro è consigliatissimo per chi è appassionato della saga, ma se già i primi tre libri non vi hanno entusiasmato... bhe, non fa per voi. Sicuramente è meno brillante di The Vampire Lestat (che è sicuramente la biografia meglio riuscita), ma il personaggio di Marius merita cinque stelle a mio parere, nonostante le due note negative:1. Anche qui non si capisce come mai Pandora sia diventata così... "passiva", insomma, come mai sia cambiata così tanto.2. Il finale. Spero che nel prossimo libro si chiarisca qualcosa, perché tutto quello che ho capito è che Thorne ha ucciso Santino (e qui inseriamo un immenso CHE COSA?!) e che i suoi occhi ora li sta usando Maharet. Nonostante questo, però, mi è sembrato che i due, creatura e creatrice, ora siano felici e contenti (anche se lui cieco e incatenato), ma potrei sbagliare ò_______ò

Rachel

The primary question with this book, the sixth in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, is, why would we, the readers, want to read a book from the point of view of the self christened Marius de Romanus, the Roman vampire with a tendency towards pederasty and pompous pronouncements?This question becomes even more pressing as the book goes on and Marius proves himself entirely arrogant and obnoxious, applying a form of moral blindness that makes his own actions acceptable while everyone else's deserve to be punished harshly. It's like watching a train wreck, seeing all the relationships of his 2,000 year life fail almost entirely because of his faults. Neither do we have a redeemingly interesting frame story to carry us through - Marius tells his story of an equally irritating fellow vampire named Thorne, after the two new aquantainces have (listen to this) taken a bath together.There are a few entirely fascinating characters, such as the Greek vampire Eudoxia, who practically rules over the other vampires in Constaintinople, but Marius rather ends up destroying their lives, which merely serves to make us detest our protaganist further.Not recommended, unless you want to finish the series or really, really like Marius.

Jane

I'm quite surprised at how mixed the reviews are here as I thought this was yet another winner from Anne Rice! Blood and Gold follows the history of Marius and his long and troubled existence as he travels and strives to keep his secret of 'Those Who Must be Kept' and forges relationships to keep him sane and to stave off his loneliness; from the peculiar bond with Mael and Avicus to the love and devotion of Amadeo and Bianca. For someone so strong Marius does a lot of running to save his secrets and he never loses sight of what he has lost... the beautiful Pandora. Marius watches the rise and fall of human and vampiric civilisations and falls head first into artwork for his shrine to 'TWMbK' and to his mortal love. This novel nurtures the already well established character of Marius whilst upkeeping previous vampire chronicles in its wake and pleasingly adding the Talamasca for yet more interesting interaction with the supernatural. Marius' relationships between Amadeo, Bianca and Pandora are possibly the most intriguing with how he seemingly wishes to be the father figure to Amadeo and Bianca, stern yet loving whereas with Pandora a frenzy in which he must possess her overwhelms whatever love he may feel for her.Personally I would advise this book. I agree that as with most Anne Rice books there does not feel like there is a beginning, middle and an end but as it is essentially a biography of a fictional character I feel it is presented wonderfully as always. The patterns of the vampire chronicles are the same but the characters themselves and their stories are not. This book is worthy of audience in its own right and I suggest you try it if you haven't already!

Doriane

All I can say that I really loved this book. I finally knew all story of Marius and Bianca. I knew so much of characters I knew just names. I remember scene with Zenobia that made me cry. It was so beautiful. And Bianca who saved Marius. And poor Armand. But mostly I paid attention on Marius and Pandora. They remind me of myself and girl I dated. She was real Pandora, and I was like Marius- begged her to stay with me, looked for her...butwe still broke up. I could understand and Bianca's jealousy. Bianca is really femnine and knows that no man can betray her. Well, Marius looks "good-evil". He can be very gently and loving, but also very evil and cruel. So I don't know I like him or not. But probably I do. I was very sad when he lost his all books and paintings. I can imagine his pain. In any case all book was very interesting, I enjoyed it very much. Now when I finished it, I have many thoughts in my head and I think "What I could do if I was one or other character?". I think now what I could understand and what I could judge. The end of book was quite...strange. I was a little bit shocked and didn't expect such ending. (Maybe because I forgot to ask my friends who read this book more details, I asked my all friends who read every book of VC to tell me every single detail before I start reading). And I'm very sad about Santino's death.... I think Marius had to forgive him, because Santino helped him after all to repay for Armand. But how I can judge Marius of this revenge Thorne did for him, when I, myself, cannot forgive my enemies? In summary I think this book is very good to understand such emotions like anger, revenge, love, hate, solitude... I would never forget this book. It is locked in my heart forever. I bow for all Anne Rice works, because none of her books still didn't disappoint me. I loved all of them.

Max Ostrovsky

Another book-end story by Rice and no surprises. I'm determined to finish the series, but it is getting tedious. While this book seemed to have an easier prose than most of the Chronicle books (Body Thief aside), the lack of plot or tension or drama or really anything going on kept this book from a higher rating. That said, and despite all that said, it was a page turner. Rice's prose in this volume is engaging and forward driven. While not much is actually going on, I was interested in what nothing was going to happen next. Ultimately, it was a character piece (a long one) about how Marius learned how anger affects him and why he must keep his anger in check. Too many characters and themes are brought up in this volume that aren't resolved. Since I know there are a couple more to the Chronicles, I hope for some resolution. Without giving away the ending, the resolution of this book was lacking and while it should have been satisfying, it was missing the emotional build up that the book had many opportunities of developing, but never did.

Carrie Slager

If not for Pandora, Blood and Gold would be my favourite novel by Anne Rice. The story of Marius, a logical Roman man, kidnapped and turned into a vampire against his will. But what stands out for me is the amazing amount of detail Anne Rice puts into her historical fiction. The splendor of ancient Rome, the horror of the Black Death, the energy and creativity surrounding the Italian Renaissance…all of the settings come alive and you feel like you’re really there along with Marius.Marius himself is a very complex character. His traditional Roman upbringing and his naturally logical personality clash very well with Pandora’s free spirit and dreamy personality and it makes for a very interesting relationship. However, since Pandora mostly focused on their relationship, Anne Rice doesn’t spend nearly as much time on it. Instead, she focuses on the relationship between Marius and Armand, his student and the courtesan Bianca in Renaissance Italy. Blood and Gold certainly fills in a lot of the questions I had from reading The Vampire Armand. If nothing else, it paints Marius in a more sympathetic light!Blood and Gold isn’t for everyone. If you get annoyed by long, detailed descriptions of historical events and daily life, you won’t enjoy Blood and Gold. But for someone like me, who loves it when a writer showcases their knowledge of the era, Blood and Gold is perfect.I give this book 5/5 stars.

Jennifer

** spoiler alert ** I really liked this book. Marius has always been my favorite character in the Vampire Chronicles. Sure, most folks would go with Lestat, and I probably would have a few years ago too, but Marius' story is so large and lush and sad all at once. It was interesting to see his interactions with historical figures such as Botticelli, and to see his views on how civilization changed, from his beginnings in Gaul to 17th century life in Dresden. Thousands of years pass and he is ever the astute observer.The ending of the book was a bit dodgy for me. Thorne (another Child of the Millennia made by Maharet) seeks him out for his life story, and he gives it willingly. And in all this time, Marius' hatred for Santino has never wavered, even though it was Santino with Pandora who freed Marius after Akasha rose to begin her slaughter. So in the end, Maharet proclaims that Marius cannot seek vengeance against Santino, but Thorne does and isn't destroyed? I would have figured she or Mekare would have wiped him out in an instant. No, she takes his eyes and binds him forever in chains made from her hair. Why? Why does he want this?Other than that, it was a great read. Two thumbs up :)

Angrymog

Marius de Romanus is definitely one of the best characters of the Vampire Chronicles and, along with Louis, is my favorite. With that said, I was anxious to read this book, which details the life of this Child of the Millenia. However, the trip that I had anticipated was not what I got in the end. Contradictions between this book and The Vampire Armand are some of the things that annoy me the most, especially since both stories are deeply intertwined. Bianca as a character has no appeal to me, Thorne has no real purpose for being in the story outside of being Marius' confidant and (view spoiler)[ killing Santino for him, which spoils the entire tension that Rice built between them through the entire book (hide spoiler)].The ending is disappointing and so abrupt that I can't help but feel it's incomplete. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Synergy

I've read all the books beginning from the Vampire Lestat which is my favorite of the lot so far. But anyway, having read them, I kind of knew what to expect from this one but seriously, I think it's getting worse..The ending felt like, "oh yeah I forgot, I got to connect the story back to the present so lemme stretch the story a bit here, add a confounding element there and... voila! That's it. Thanks for taking time to read!" I mean come on... this was Marius... Marius. One of the more impeccable vampires to come to life in literature and what did I get really? Unlike others, I don't mind so much about vampires going retrospect about their lives (I liked the Vampire Armand's tale) but something was not so right about this one.. it felt like Marius' character was being stretched too far just a bit.I would have loved to have kept my image of Marius just the way he was. This book just tainted it a bit for me? Maybe it was trying to do just that but why? I could have understood why if there was a purpose but personally, I think that the story wasn't coherent enough to deliver something for the reader. I really did like the first few books. Most especially the Vampire Lestat which just.. blew me away and and just pushes me to continue on with the other books cause I'm hoping, really hoping that the elements present there would reappear again.

Lisa

A melancholy walk through ancient history in the company of Marius, the two thousand year old vampire known and loved by both Lestat and Armand.The history again is the main draw for me in this instalment (and what I felt was largely missing from Merrick), as we get to see the rise and fall of great civilizations as well as their cultures and art through the eyes of the more intellectual and learned of Rice's vampires.There were moments when I felt like we were revisiting old themes a little too much - scenes revolving around Marius' passions for painting and Amadeo lingered over long at times, thanks to having already seen quite a lot of them in The Vampire Armand - and although ancient and wise Marius could be quite infuriating at times due to his propensity to throw hissy fits and stomp off taking Those Who Must Be Kept with him like a kid going home with his football when the game doesn't go his way. I also didn't really care about Thorne for the ending to have much of an impact on me and, in fact, had kind of forgotten that he was 'listening' to Marius.All in all though, mostly my gripes come from missing Lestat, and this suffers only slightly from comparison.

Emma

If you have read any of the Vampire Chronicles then you will largely know what to expect from this addition to the series. A Blood Drinker tells the story of their long life, including all the mortals they have loved, Blood Drinker’s they’ve encountered and vibrant cities they’ve travelled to. In this instance the reader is introduced to Thorne, a Viking vampire who has been reawakened by the knowledge that his Maker, Maharet (of Queen of the Damned), still exists. He’s been buried in snow for many centuries and Marius, another vampire previously introduced in the Chronicles, takes him under his wing, gives him a bath, a coffin for the night and takes him out hunting. All of which is just a set-up for Thorne to plead with Marius to tell him his life story. I have to say I do wonder why Anne Rice bothers with this sort of sandwiching of first person tales. The story of Thorne barely takes up fifteen per cent of the novel and it would be more than plausible for Marius simply to be compiling his memoirs – indeed he mentions throughout the narrative that he took to writing a diary anyway. It doesn’t take much persuasion for Marius to begin talking and when he does the reader hears of how he lived in Ancient Rome and Constantinople, then Venice and Dresden, with intermittent periods of going to ground in the shrine of Those Who Must Be Kept. The mother and father are a burden to his existence but one he is too fearful to relinquish or expose (though he seems incapable of keeping the secret anyway). He is also plagued by the regret that he left his love, Pandora, in a fit of anger following an argument and, as Maker’s and their offspring cannot hear each other thoughts, he cannot find her. There is also a reoccurring cult of Vampires who believe they are there to serve the devil by doing evil – and therefore serving Christianity – and any vampire that doesn’t join them is a heretic and should be destroyed. Luckily Marius is very untouchable, he has great powers from getting to drink from the Queen and being so old in the Blood – or so he thinks. All of this should make for a rich and interesting tale and, as always with Anne Rice, she paints a wonderful picture of time and place. However, I found it very hard to care what happened to Marius because he is simply not very likeable. He is pompous, patronizing, arrogant, short-sighted and – for all his scholarly ways – stupid. He declares his love for practically everyone and this diminishes the impact of his longing for Pandora. (view spoiler)[ A character we don’t actually meet until the end. I felt no sympathy when she refused to join him and then Bianca left him – they were well shot in my opinion (hide spoiler)]I also found two of the characters strangely inconsistent. Mael appears as an irrationally angry and resentful character, then he mellows, then he gets angry again and finally he is kind of calm. This could be accounted for by the huge amount of time that passes between his appearances but it still feels strange. Even more confusing is the strong-willed, determined character of Bianca who crumbles into a weeping, passive mess(view spoiler)[ when Marius turns her into a vampire (hide spoiler)]. This is not one of the best in the series and I have to say I always get the sense Rice just wants to be writing about Lestat, though there were a couple of poignant images that stuck with me. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Titus Hjelm

Not the worst (see 'Memnoch' for that) but certainly the most boring of all the Chronicles so far. I pretty much gave up on the series after 'Queen', but since I bought the whole lot, I'm wading through it still. However, it took me this long to realise that the problem with Rice's writing is that there is no beginning, middle and end. Funnily enough, real life biographies have more sense of a dramatic arch than this book, for example. The 'exotic' settings have become old hat pretty much since the second book and even if Marius is Rice's most developed character as some here claim--although I'm not sure--his predicament is also pretty much a rehash of whatever the other characters in the series have gone through in their respective tales. Also, the secondary characters in this book become real mainly through the fact that the knowledgeable reader connects them with earlier books in the series. Not worth the 570 pages. And don't these vampires ever shut up?

Chelsea chan

This book is the most enriching when it comes to being lost in the vampire chronicles world. It is great for anyone that hasn't read the whole series because it explains everything about the supernatural world according to Anne Rice, unlike the previous books before this. it was a bit boring in some parts, but in all it was worth it and i enjoyed this book.

Rachel

My first step into the Vampire Chronicles... Blood and Gold also happens to be my favorite--pregnant with history, rich storytelling, and lovable murderers this book puts Anne Rice's other vampire books to shame. P.S.- It is kind of smutty, if you aren't into that kind of thing, then I would shy away from pre-epiphany Anne Rice. P.P.S.- I read this book in high school, so take this review with a grain of sea salt.

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