Ravenloft Books: Vampire of the Mists by Christie Golden

Posted on November 24, 2014

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vampire of the mists by Christie Golden - Artseblis - book review - gothic horror

 

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR — THE DARK POWERS OF RAVENLOFT MIGHT HEAR YOU.

Jander Sunstar is a gold elf, a native of magical Evermeet in the Forgotten Realms. He is also a five-hundred-year-old vampire.

Torn by rage and grief, Jander is transported into the nightmare realm of Ravenloft, where he gains the attention of the demiplane’s master, Count Strand Von Zarovich. But can Jander trust this elegant fellow vampire once he discovers that his own quest for revenge is linked to the dark heritage of the count’s domain?

 

It was with trepidation that I picked this book up. I was wary of taking up something that was part of a shared universe with multiple authors. If trying to complete series drives me crazy what more something more monstrous? Yet, I could not resist the premise of this story. Jander the vampire elf fell in love with a mad woman he found in an asylum. Despite her madness, she was beautiful and kind and all that was pure. He took care of her for decades. She eventually died, succumbing to insanity. Driven by grief, Jander found himself in another realm ruled by a cruel vampire, Count Strand.

I guess I’m a sucker for immortal and desperate love. Yet it was more than this that made me fall into this story. There is something so emotional and powerful about the clash of two archetypes, that of a tragic hero versus the ultimate villain. Jander hates what he has become, a creature that is the opposite of everything the life-loving elves embody. Whereas Strand embraces his evil, preying on villagers or perverting their innocence. Both profess love for the same woman, yet this love took widely different turns.

The conclusion of their battle was heartbreaking. Jander chose to let go, while Strand chose to rise again and again. I can’t decide what to think of this conclusion. I felt pity for the woman Strand pursued with his insane love through each of her reincarnations. It does made him a very interesting villain for me. And though I appreciated the nobility of Jander’s character, his last act doomed his loved one with no hope of salvation. He let go of his demons, but he gave up on her.

Dark. Gothic. Depressing. The story sucked me in, though. Very good, descriptive writing. Memorable characters.

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