Monday, May 10, 2010

Review: The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce

The Darkangel
The servant girl Aeriel must choose between destroying her vampire master for his evil deeds or saving him for the sake of his beauty and the spark of goodness she has seen in him.

A Gathering of Gargoyles
Painfully aware that her husband Irrylath is still not free of the White Witch's spell, Aeriel sets out on a dangerous quest to gather the winged steeds that Irrylath and his brothers need to do battle against the powerful witch.

The Pearl of the Soul of the World
With the aid of a shimmering pearl, Aeriel battles the White Witch to free her husband Irrylath and discovers her own true destiny.

These books really surprised me. I borrowed them from the library without much prior knowledge of what they were about but since I've been on a YA kick lately, I thought I would give another YA series about a vampire a try. Imagine my puzzlement when I started The Darkangel and was introduced to Aerial, a slave girl who gets kidnapped by a "vampyre". "Vampyres" in this series appear as a cross between vampire and angel, black and sinister and horrible. Aerial's vampyre isn't quite there yet as he hasn't yet fulfilled the requirements needed to gain complete vampyre existence and she starts falling for him just a little bit at first sight. Aerial's quest begins several months after she's kidnapped and sets out on a journey across her world, meeting fantastical creatures much like those in the Narnia books. 

Aerial's quest continues throughout the first two books and into the third where she finds out her destiny. Here's where the books lost me somewhat though: Aerial fights and fights to save her husband, Irrylath, and the rest of the world and then yank! There goes the rug, right out from under me. These books combined are a true fairy tale in that the reader may not get their expected happy ending and I do love a good happily ever after ending. That aside, the Darkangel trilogy was exquisitely written, never losing the fairy tale feeling that is so enjoyable. They also hold up well having been published in the late '80s and I love the covers that are on the reissued copies. I hope soon to have time to continue with Meredith Ann Pierce's Firebringer trilogy since I very much enjoyed this one.

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