The Dark Angel by Meredith Ann Pierce

The Dark Angel book cover
Rating 8.9/10
A fairy tale with all the intrigue and excellent pacing of an adult novel.

When her mistress, Edouin is abducted by a mysterious vampire, Aeriel is blamed for this injustice, and made to feel as though it is her fault. This leads her to go after the vampire as she hopes he will lead her to her mistress. In doing so, she falls straight into the enemy’s trap and becomes Edouin's servant, though she has no idea where she is, and no way of finding her way out. She soon discovers Edouin has been the vampire’s bride, and become hated by the previous brides who have since turned into wraiths. Yet in their madness they tell Aeriel who she really is and why it is she is there.

The vampire is known by many names; the Dark Angel, and Icarus as he has huge black wings like a raven. He is supposed to be a dangerous yet beautiful young man, who has all the cruelty of someone who has been wronged at some point in his life, and who desires to get his own back on the one who wronged him. He taunts and teases Aeriel, although she grows to like him after a while as he seems to want to please her even if she does protest that he would not want to please anyone but himself. He is selfish yet lonely as he has no one. He doesn’t even talk to the wraiths so he finds her company refreshing. The vampire is however a very evil entity who she decides early on she has to destroy him as he has ruined her mistress’s life.

The Dark Angel is written like a fairy tale with all the intrigue and excellent pacing of an adult novel. There is always something happening in it, whether it is Aeriel standing up to the vampire, or her feeding the wraiths and gaining their eventual confidence. Her friendship with the Vampire is the key to the entire plot as without him she would not be able to solve all the riddles, and help save her own life. The vampire is beautifully wicked and flamboyant, vain and sensual; he has an agenda of his own wanting Aeriel there with him, but doesn't tell her his true feelings until later on. As a fantasy novel, one of a trilogy, it is a gripping read, but the only unbelievable part of the entire plot is of Aeriel's open heart surgery scene she performs on one of the characters. Not only is it vague, but it would be entirely impossible for the girl in question to remove her heart and replace it with another one in a medieval setting such as this.

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