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Paperback Mal Occhio : The Underside of Vision Book

ISBN: B00142B8CM

ISBN13: 9780965271417

Mal Occhio : The Underside of Vision

(Book #8 in the The Vampire Chronicles Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good


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5 ratings

One of Rice's best yet!

I am a huge Marius fan, and I awaited this book for the longest time. I was not disappointed! Rice begins the tale slowly, a sometimes frustrating habit she tends to have with most of her books, but the writing soon picks up the pace as we go back in time over 2,000 years to the time of Marius de Romanus, a Roman scholar taken, by force, during the prime of his mortal life into the beginning of his immortal life.Marius, intent on finding the answers to his questions about his new lifestyle, heads from the barbarian lands to Egypt, where the horrible answers to his questions fall into his hands in the form of the statuesque Akasha and Enkil, the parents of all vampires. Thus Marius becomes their unwitting keeper.We follow Marius in his travels throughout the ancient world, and his rocky romance with his first and most prominent love throughout the entire tale, Pandora, a girl from his mortal days whom he is forced to bring into his world of vampirism. Rice, sadly, spends very little time on their 200-year life together in ancient Antioch, most likely because that was nearly the entire plotline of her earlier book "Pandora."After leaving Pandora, Marius travels once more about the ancient world, tortured with nightmares of his lost love, and ends up falling into a deep slumber, awakening again in Renaissance Italy where he meets his second love, a noblewoman by the name of Bianca, and creates his next child Amadeo (Armand). Perhaps the largest portion of the book is spent on Marius's life in Renaissance Italy, yet after a near brush with death and Amadeo's kidnapping by Christian cultist vampires, Marius and Bianca are forced to flee.The couple wander aimlessly about Europe, though Marius has a secret mission to find his first love Pandora who is rumored to be in Dresden. Though when he finally finds her, their reunion doesn't turn out the way he had hoped.Marius is perhaps one of the saddest vampires of Rice's creation, because the most disasterous and heartbreaking things continually happen to him, but he is extremely resiliant, and things work out for him at the end of the book, which has surprise twist even I did not see coming, with the return of the red-haired twins from "Queen of the Damned."

Phenomenal, one of Rice's best in years

Having read each and every book in the chronicles, I cruised along the last several. In fact, nothing since book #3, Queen of the Damned, grabbed me as did this one. Blood and Gold fills in the gaps of old stories, gives you different perspectives on the events that we've read. The tales of the vampires, seen through my favorite vampire, Marius, was compelling and a very exciting read. I've always preferred reading the ancient histories and this book contains all the familiar faces, Maharet and Mekare for a short while, Pandora, Armand, Mael, Santino and of course Those Who Must Be Kept. A short portion in the middle was all too similar to a recent novel, The Vampire Armand. While she spun her tale from the eyes of Marius, it felt all too familiar, and I spent several chapters saying, 'I KNOW!' However, this was brief, and I was soon thrust back into the story. Other tales are recounted with the familiarity one might have after reading the first half dozen or so novels, but all was done carefully and I found myself recalling so many little things from prior stories. Putting the pieces together, seeing it all as I had never seen it prior. Construcing an even larger, more complete world of these vampires!Perhaps this is only for those who have kept up with the series, or at least read the first 3 novels of the Vampire Chronicles. You needen't have read the later entries to get into this book. I would recommend the first 3 though, the classic tales! It might be confusing if you haven't read those, but everything since isn't necessary.If you've gotten through the recent books, Vampire Armand, Pandora, Vittorio and want more, then get this. If you were at all losing interest in these stories as I was, I still recommend Blood and Gold. I won't spoil the ending at all, but I was certainly moved and emotionally affected by the tale. Perhaps I've become too involved in Marius, as I said, he's my favorite vampire to read...but overall I think this is Rice's best work in many many years!

The Tale Of Marius - What I Expected and More!

Before you read any more from me, I will repeat what I say to anyone who wants to read any book in the Vampire Chronicles: You MUST read them all, in order, or the story can tend to have holes in it. Remember, this is a Chronicle, and reading from the end or middle first is not going to be helpful.Having said that, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It had everything in it that I expected, but it also had more. The story of Marius; everyone knew that was what this book was all about. A few more details to fill in the gaps from the previous books. Perhaps to make it all a little more clear. What we get is that and much more. Not only is his story told here, but we also learn about the man. His fears and doubts, the lies he has been telling himself for 2000 years and the fears that he still has trouble verbalizing. Marius is an immortal who is every bit the human he was before he was taken to the Druid grove and made a blood drinker. Even 2000 years hasn't been able to remove his humanity. This is what I always suspected of Marius, but there was never any way to confirm it in either deeds or words.This is not to say that this is all there is in this book. The details that were missing from the story of Marius and Pandora, and Marius and Armand, are filled in here. There is never a true story about a relationship when only one side is heard. We now have Marius' side of the story, which makes some of the things that were confusing much clearer. We also have the proof of Marius' need for others, be they mortal or immortal. And the answer to the biggest tease from "The Vampire Armand" is a twist that I did not expect, and thoroughly enjoyed.Yes, there is no Lestat, no Louis, no David, but there are others who do not appear until the end, but this is the only place they could have appeared.Though some may call him inconsequential, the character Thorne is anything but. He is a vital and necessary character from start to finish. This is a story told in the first person, and for that to happen, there needs to be a story teller and a listener. Thorne, as the listener, is a perfect character.Without Thorne, there is no way for Marius to tell his story. And, in the most surprising ending of any of the books in the Chronicles, Thorne plays a most dramatic and important role. In summation, this is not the best book in the Chronicles, but it is far from the worst. I would recommend this to any fan of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. But as I said at the beginning, if you haven't read the whole series, a lot of this may be confusing.

I could not put this book down

I know when a book by Anne Rice is good or not. If it is good, I am not able to stop reading her book. If it isn't like "Merrick" was, then I will stop reading it altogether. "Blood and Gold" was an irresistable read for me. I thoroughly enjoyed every single page in this new installment of the Vampire Chronicles. I was so disappinted in "Merrick" I didn't even bother finish reading it because the storyline was not very compelling for me to read. To see that Anne Rice picked up where she left off with Armand's story with Marius' story I did not hesitate to pick up "Blood and Gold".Most Anne Rice fans would know that we were given a brief glimpse of Marius' life in "The Vampire Lestat", the second book in the Vampire Chronicles series. "Blood and Gold" delves further into Marius' past which delighted me since he is one of my favorite characters. The reader is introduced to other vampires other than Mael, Pandora and Armand, like Bianca, Euxodia, and Avicus. "Blood and Glory" shows the anguish that Marius went through with his separation from Pandora. I didn't know that in "The Vampire Lestat" or "Queen of the Damned". In fact he was downright obsessive when he was finally reunited with his beloved Pandora. Unlike in the stories about Pandora and Armand, Marius wasn't talking to David Talbot, the former Talamasca leader which was interesting. Instead the reader is introduced to a new character by the name of Thorne who was just as old as Maharet and Mekare, the twin sisters from "Queen of the Damned". Thorne wakes up from his sleep in an icey cave and winds up in a tavern talking to Marius, and eventually moving to Marius' house where Marius tells Thorne his life story. I really enjoyed "Blood and Gold". I rank it as one of my all time favorite books in the Vampire Chronicles. After being disappointed with "Merrick" and somewhat bored (still entertained) with "The Vampire Armand", "Blood and Gold" rekindered my fascination with Anne Rice's popular vampire series. I couldn't put this book down when I first read it.

Passion is universal

Anne Rice is back, Anne Rice brings us one more volume of the Vampire Chronicles.Her multilayered style is just as good as, or even better than usual. A tale in the tale in the tale. We jump from the present to the past, and then to a distant past, and then to a recent past. We jump from Marius to Thorne, to Mael, to Avicus, to Pandora, to Makare and Maharet.She jumps into Marius as the main story teller and we recognize episodes that have already been told from here Pandora's point of view, there Armand's point of view, overthere Lestat's point of view. We recognize and yet rediscover them, since the story line is the same but the point of view is all poweful to give a completely different vision.The vision here is dominated by Marius and his immense sense of passion. He tells us his life of fabulous passion for mortals, for blood drinkers, for Akasha, the Queen, and the systematic loss it leads to every single time. He always creates and prompts his own loss out of his absolute passion by being extremely dominating and flying into anger and possessiveness all the time.Anne Rice reveals that loce is possible among blood drinkers, a love that finds its realization in blood sharing.Marius opens up our eyes to the painting and arts of the Italian Renaissance, first of all to Botticelli. This is a habit in her novels now. She skips though over the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages that she does not know enough, particularly the romanesque period and the very difficult and intelligent blending of the Christian faith into the old Celtic tradition. That makes her miss a point : the Renaissance is a movement back to ancient Roman and Greek mythology, because it is the only way to go beyond what has been achieved in the Middle Ages. To go beyond because it leaves the field of representations entirely grounded in the earth, the old Celtic earth, and it reaches for the vision of life that is entirely inspired and inhabited with light. But this obsession of light is contained in the Celtic faith, though marginally ; it is contained in the gothic style that shifts from the romanesque pilgrimage from worldly darkness to celestial light, to the elevation from dark earth to heavenly light, from an horizontal progress to a vertical ascension. The Renaissance just brings light into the artistic vision, as the core of this vision.Anne Rice finally is an enchanteress with her style. It is a real miracle to listen to that style where she uses some plain words or stuctures to create linguistic life. For more curious people I will just quote here the numerous postposed adjectives, the subtle use of to with look instead of at (giving dynamism to a very static look at), or the use of the preposition unto which is little common in our language. All this creates a prodigiously dynamic style and music. A masterpiece that should be read by everyone under the sun, or, if you prefer, under the stars.Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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