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Vampire Armand/Rice, Anne/Paper/0099271478/S051-C2
In her latest bewitching volume of The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice summons up dazzling worlds to bring us the story of Armand - eternally young, with the face of a Botticelli angel - who appeared as the flamboyant leader of the Theatre des Vampires in Interview with the Vampire.
Armand begins his story against the dark, dramatic backdrop of the New Orleans convent where Lestat still lies in Endymion-like sleep. The first memories he can conjure up are brutal ones - of himself as a boy, filthy and degraded, on a slave ship bound from Constantinople for Renaissance Venice. There in a magnificent palazzo he becomes the catamite and pupil of a rich, reclusive artist - Marius, the greatest vampire of them all. Later, in a duel with an English lord, Armand receives a fatal wound, from which only Marius's dark gift can save him. Near death, he relives memories of an earlier, half-forgotten childhood in Kiev in Russia - a city under Mongol domination - and of Constantinople, where Tartar raiders sold him into slavery.
The novel rises in a glorious crescendo, moving through scenes of luxury and decadence, of ambush, fire and devil worship to nineteenth century Paris and finally to present-day New Orleans. Summoned there by the playing of impassioned music and visions of lost childhood, Armand, the eternally vulnerable and romantic hero, is forced to choose between his twilight immortality and the salvation of his immortal soul. Teeming with richness, sensuality and light, The Vampire Armand weaves an extraordinarily powerful spell, building to a climax and a thrilling moment of epiphany in the convent in New Orleans.