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By Anne Rice

“RICE WRITES along with her ordinary EROTIC AND traditionally EVOCATIVE FLAIR.”

Once a proud Senator in Imperial Rome, Marius is abducted and compelled into that darkish realm of blood, the place he's made a protector of the Queen and King of the vampires–in whom the middle of the supernatural race is living. via his eyes we see the autumn of pagan Rome to the Emperor Constantine, the bad sack of the everlasting urban by the hands of the Visigoths, and the vile aftermath of the Black dying. eventually restored through the great thing about the Renaissance, Marius turns into a painter, dwelling dangerously but fortunately between mortals, and giving his center to the nice grasp Botticelli, to the bewitching courtesan Bianca, and to the mysterious younger apprentice Armand. however it is at this time, deep within the jungle, while Marius will meet his destiny looking justice from the oldest vampires on the earth. . . .

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So I painted bad outdated Bacchus, the god of wine, together with his pleased fans, and the bright Apollo chasing the determined and beautiful Daphne who become a laurel tree instead of enable the godly rape. On and on I labored, proud of mortal corporation, pondering, Mael and Avicus, please don't seek my brain for secrets and techniques. yet honestly all in this time i may listen them very close to me. My mortal ceremonial dinner events questioned them and anxious them. i may listen them procedure my condominium after which leave each evening. eventually the inevitable evening got here. They stood at my gate. Mael was once for coming in with no permission, and Avicus stored him again, begging me with the brain present to confess them once again. i used to be in my library, portray it over for the 3rd time, and the banquet that evening, thank the gods, had now not spilled over into the room. I positioned down my brush. I stared at my unfinished paintings. It appeared one other Pandora had emerged within the unfinished Daphne and it struck a sad chord in my middle that Daphne had eluded her lover. What a idiot i would been to flee mine. yet for an extended self-indulgent second I checked out what I had painted—this unearthly creature along with her rippling brown hair. You understood my soul, i assumed, and now others are coming in basic terms to sack my middle of all its riches. What am I to do? We argued, definite, you and that i, however it was once with loving admire, used to be it now not? i will not undergo with out you. Please come to me, from anywhere you're. yet there has been no time for my solitude. It all of sudden appeared quite priceless, regardless of how a lot of it I had had long ago years. I closed off my satisfied human site visitors from the library, after which silently, I instructed the blood drinkers that they may are available. either have been richly dressed, and their swords and daggers have been encrusted with jewels. Their cloaks have been mounted on the shoulder with wealthy clasps or even their sandals have been ornamented. they may were getting ready to hitch the opulently clad voters of the recent capital, Constantinople, the place nice desires have been nonetheless being discovered notwithstanding Constantine was once now useless. sixty four Blood and Gold It was once with combined emotions that I gestured for them to take a seat. notwithstanding a lot i needed that I had allowed Mael to perish, i used to be interested in Avicus—to his prepared expression and the pleasant method within which he appeared me. I had time to monitor now that his epidermis used to be a lighter brown than it were, and that its darkish tone gave a slightly sculpted caliber to his powerful gains, specifically his mouth-As for his eyes they have been transparent and held no crafty or lie. either remained status. They regarded anxiously towards the mortal ceremonial dinner room. once more, I prompt them to be seated. Mael stood, relatively actually having a look down his hawk nostril at me, yet Avicus took the chair. Mael was once nonetheless vulnerable and his physique emaciated. relatively evidently, it's going to take many nights of ingesting from his sufferers sooner than the harm performed him will be thoroughly healed. "How have issues been with you? " I requested, out of courtesy. after which out of non-public desperation I enable my brain envision Pandora.

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