Blood and Gold (Vampire Chronicles Series #8)

Blood and Gold (Vampire Chronicles Series #8)

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Once a proud Senator in Imperial Rome, Marius is kidnapped and forced into that dark realm of blood, where he is made a protector of the Queen and King of the vampires–in whom the core of the supernatural race resides. Through his eyes we see the fall of pagan Rome to the Emperor Constantine, the horrific sack of the Eternal City at the hands of the Visigoths, and the vile aftermath of the Black Death. Ultimately restored by the beauty of the Renaissance, Marius becomes a painter, living dangerously yet happily among mortals, and giving his heart to the great master Botticelli, to the bewitching courtesan Bianca, and to the mysterious young apprentice Armand. But it is in the present day, deep in the jungle, when Marius will meet his fate seeking justice from the oldest vampires in the world. . . .

Author Biography: Anne Rice is the author of twenty-four books. She lives in New Orleans with her husband, the poet and painter Stan Rice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375419454
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/16/2001
Series: The Vampire Chronicles Series , #8
Edition description: Unabridged, 11 Cassettes, 13 hrs.
Product dimensions: 4.15(w) x 6.15(h) x 2.64(d)

About the Author

Anne Rice lives in New Orleans with her husband, the poet and painter Stan Rice, and her son, the novelist Christopher Rice.


Rancho Mirage, California

Date of Birth:

October 4, 1941

Place of Birth:

Rancho Mirage, California


B.A., San Francisco State University, 1964; M.A., 1971

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from

Chapter 1

His name was Thorne. In the ancient language of the runes, it had been longer–Thornevald. But when he became a blood drinker, his name had been changed to Thorne. And Thorne he remained now, centuries later, as he lay in his cave in the ice, dreaming.

When he had first come to the frozen land, he had hoped he would sleep eternally. But now and then the thirst for blood awakened him, and using the Cloud Gift, he rose into the air, and went in search of the Snow Hunters.

He fed off them, careful never to take too much blood from any one so that none died on account of him. And when he needed furs and boots he took them as well, and returned to his hiding place.

These Snow Hunters were not his people. They were dark of skin and had slanted eyes, and they spoke a different tongue, but he had known them in the olden times when he had traveled with his uncle into the land to the East for trading. He had not liked trading. He had preferred war. But he'd learnt many things on those adventures.

In his sleep in the North, he dreamed. He could not help it. The Mind Gift let him hear the voices of other blood drinkers.

Unwillingly he saw through their eyes, and beheld the world as they beheld it. Sometimes he didn't mind. He liked it. Modern things amused him. He listened to far-away electric songs. With the Mind Gift he understood such things as steam engines and railroads; he even understood computers and automobiles. He felt he knew the cities he had left behind though it had been centuries since he'd forsaken them.

An awareness had come over him that hewasn't going to die. Loneliness in itself could not destroy him. Neglect was insufficient. And so he slept.

Then a strange thing happened. A catastrophe befell the world of the blood drinkers.

A young singer of sagas had come. His name was Lestat, and in his electric songs, Lestat broadcast old secrets, secrets which Thorne had never known.

Then a Queen had risen, an evil and ambitious being. She had claimed to have within her the Sacred Core of all blood drinkers, so that, should she die, all the race would perish with her.

Thorne had been amazed.

He had never heard these myths of his own kind. He did not know that he believed this thing.

But as he slept, as he dreamt, as he watched, this Queen began, with the Fire Gift, to destroy blood drinkers everywhere throughout the world. Thorne heard their cries as they tried to escape; he saw their deaths in so far as others saw such things.

As she roamed the earth, this Queen came close to Thorne but she passed over him. He was secretive and quiet in his cave. Perhaps she didn't sense his presence. But he had sensed hers and never had he encountered such age or strength except from the blood drinker who had given him the Blood.

And he found himself thinking of that one, the Maker, the red-haired witch with the bleeding eyes.

The catastrophe among his kind grew worse. More were slain; and out of hiding there came blood drinkers as old as the Queen herself, and Thorne saw these beings.

At last there came the red-haired one who had made him. He saw her as others saw her. And at first he could not believe that she still lived; it had been so long since he'd left her in the Far South that he hadn't dared to hope she was still alive. The eyes and ears of other blood drinkers gave him the infallible proof. And when he looked on her in his dreams, he was overwhelmed with a tender feeling and a rage.

She thrived, this creature who had given him the Blood, and she despised the Evil Queen and she wanted to stop her. Theirs was a hatred for each other which went back thousands of years.

At last there was a coming together of these beings–old ones from the First Brood of blood drinkers, and others whom the blood drinker Lestat loved and whom the Evil Queen did not choose to destroy.

Dimly, as he lay still in the ice, Thorne heard their strange talk, as round a table they sat, like so many powerful Knights, except that in this council, the women were equal to the men.

With the Queen they sought to reason, struggling to persuade her to end her reign of violence, to forsake her evil designs.

He listened, but he could not really understand all that was said among these blood drinkers. He knew only that the Queen must be stopped.

The Queen loved the blood drinker Lestat. But even he could not turn her from disasters, so reckless was her vision, so depraved her mind.

Did the Queen truly have the Sacred Core of all blood drinkers within herself? If so, how could she be destroyed?

Thorne wished the Mind Gift were stronger in him, or that he had used it more often. During his long centuries of sleep, his strength had grown, but now he felt his distance and that he was weak.

But as he watched, his eyes open, as though that might help him to see, there came into his vision another red-haired one, the twin sister of the woman who had loved him so long ago. It astonished him, as only a twin can do.

And Thorne came to understand that the Maker he had loved so much had lost this twin thousands of years ago.

The Evil Queen was the mistress of this disaster. She despised the red-haired twins. She had divided them. And the lost twin came now to fulfill an ancient curse she had laid on the Evil Queen.

As she drew closer and closer to the Queen, the lost twin thought only of destruction. She did not sit at the council table. She did not know reason or restraint.

"We shall all die," Thorne whispered in his sleep, drowsy in the snow and ice, the eternal arctic night coldly enclosing him. He did not move to join his immortal companions. But he watched. He listened. He would do so until the last moment. He could do no less.

Finally, the lost twin reached her destination. She rose against the Queen. The other blood drinkers around her looked on in horror. As the two female beings struggled, as they fought as two warriors upon a battlefield, a strange vision suddenly filled Thorne's mind utterly, as though he lay in the snow and he were looking at the heavens.

What he saw was a great intricate web stretching out in all directions, and caught within it many pulsing points of light. At the very center of this web was a single vibrant flame. He knew the flame was the Queen; and he knew that the other points of light were all the other blood drinkers. He himself was one of those tiny points of light. The tale of the Sacred Core was true. He could see it with his own eyes. And now came the moment for all to surrender to darkness and silence. Now came the end.

The far-flung complex web grew glistening and bright; the core appeared to explode; and then all went dim for a long moment, during which he felt a sweet vibration in his limbs as he often felt in simple sleep, and he thought to himself, Ah, so, now we are dying. And there is no pain.

Yet it was like Ragnarok for his old gods, when the great god, Heimdall, the World Brightener, would blow his horn summoning the gods of Aiser to their final battle.

"And we end with a war as well," Thorne whispered in his cave. But his thoughts did not end.

It seemed the best thing that he live no more, until he thought of her, his red-haired one, his Maker. He had wanted so badly to see her again.

Why had she never told him of her lost twin? Why had she never entrusted to him the myths of which the blood drinker Lestat sang? Surely she had known the secret of the Evil Queen with her Sacred Core.

He shifted; he stirred in his sleep. The great sprawling web had faded from his vision. But with uncommon clarity he could see the red-haired twins, spectacular women.

They stood side by side, these comely creatures, the one in rags, the other in splendor. And through the eyes of other blood drinkers he came to know that the stranger twin had slain the Queen, and had taken the Sacred Core within herself.

"Behold, the Queen of the Damned," said his Maker twin as she presented to the others her long-lost sister. Thorne understood her. Thorne saw the suffering in her face. But the face of the stranger twin, the Queen of the Damned, was blank.

In the nights that followed the survivors of the catastrophe remained together. They told their tales to one another. And their stories filled the air like so many songs from the bards of old, sung in the mead hall. And Lestat, leaving his electric instruments for music, became once more the chronicler, making a story of the battle that he would pass effortlessly into the mortal world.

Soon the red-haired sisters had moved away, seeking a hiding place where Thorne's distant eye could not find them.

Be still, he had told himself. Forget the things that you have seen. There is no reason for you to rise from the ice, any more than there ever was. Sleep is your friend. Dreams are your unwelcome guests.

Lie quiet and you will lapse back into peace again. Be like the god Heimdall before the battle call, so still that you can hear the wool grow on the backs of sheep, and the grass grow far away in the lands where the snow melts.

But more visions came to him.

The blood drinker Lestat brought about some new and confusing tumult in the mortal world. It was a marvelous secret from the Chris- tian past that he bore, which he had entrusted to a mortal girl.

There would never be any peace for this one called Lestat. He was like one of Thorne's people, like one of the warriors of Thorne's time.

Thorne watched as once again, his red-haired one appeared, his lovely Maker, her eyes red with mortal blood as always, and finely glad and full of authority and power, and this time come to bind the unhappy blood drinker Lestat in chains.

Chains that could bind such a powerful one?

Thorne pondered it. What chains could accomplish this, he wondered. It seemed that he had to know the answer to this question. And he saw his red-haired one sitting patiently by while the blood drinker Lestat, bound and helpless, fought and raved but could not get free.

What were they made of, these seemingly soft shaped links that held such a being? The question left Thorne no peace. And why did his red-haired Maker love Lestat and allow him to live? Why was she so quiet as the young one raved? What was it like to be bound in her chains, and close to her?

Memories came back to Thorne; troubling visions of his Maker when he, a mortal warrior, had first come upon her in a cave in the North land that had been his home. It had been night and he had seen her with her distaff and her spindle and her bleeding eyes.

From her long red locks she had taken one hair after another and spun it into thread, working with silent speed as he approached her.

It had been bitter winter, and the fire behind her seemed magical in its brightness as he had stood in the snow watching her as she spun the thread as he had seen a hundred mortal women do....

Table of Contents

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Blood and Gold (Vampire Chronicles Series #8) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 229 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Marius was very happy living as a patrician in Ancient Rome. However, he becomes disheartened when a Druid priest kidnaps him insisting that Marius will be the God of the Grove. He is turned into a vampire, but manages to escape. Marius journeys to Egypt to find the Divine Parents of the Vampires and bring them back to his hometown. For most of his life, he was the guardian of Those Who Must Be Kept, paying homage to them on a consistent basis.

Throughout his long life, Marius observed many world events including the fall of the Roman Empire. He found mortals that he loved and converted them, but none ever remained with him for long after changing. Marius made many enemies with one nearly killing him, causing centuries of healing before recovering. However, the ruler of the vampires stymies his efforts for vengeance by forbidding Marius vengeance.

Anne Rice has created another brilliant installment in her vampire chronicles that seem to have been running at a top quality level for as long as Marius¿ life span. Readers see the events of history through the eyes of the protagonist and understand what it is like to live in each era depicted in BLOOD AND GOLD. The characters are deep and complex and the tale is enhanced by action that occurs throughout the novel. Vampire lovers, paranormal fans, and Rice readers will enjoy this saga.

Harriet Klausner

SlowLeisureReader3 More than 1 year ago
This is a great add on to the Lestat story without focusing so much on Lestat. I enjoyed it very much.
Furry_drow More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of my favorites in the VC series! The storyline is compelling and it just sucks you into a world all it's own, it's just so easy to feel like you're part of the story yourself. I would definatly recomend this to anyone who loves a deep storyline!
Guest More than 1 year ago
ok I fall in love with Marius with Arman's book but now...God! Marius you have my heart and some more!!!I am simply crazy for you!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once again Rice will keep you on the edge with the long awaited tale of Marius. A true child of the millenia. I can't wait to see where she will take us next!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must say that I truley and deepley love this book. I mean it was just written so well. I loved all the detail. This was my second Anne Rice book, my first being 'Interveiw with the vampire' and while this may not be as good as that, this one still shines through. The only thing that holds thi back from being excellent is the slow beggining.
Bookmarque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well this was a little strange. So much detail in places where we didn¿t need it and so little in the places we did. It seems that Rice really knows the story of the ancient Egyptian origins of the story, and the birth and duty of Marius, but she knows precious little of the history in which Marius passed. The Reformation ¿ she gave it a sentence. The fall of Rome and the rise of Constantinople she gave a few paragraphs. The Renaissance got a few distracted chapters during which Marius fell under the spell of egg tempera.And the end ¿ rushed is too kind a word. As I read about his getting back together with Pandora and he hadn¿t even gotten to Lestat yet and there was only about ¼ of an inch of pages left ¿ I knew the end would be miserable. I wasn¿t disappointed. Marius comes across as a self-serving ego-maniac the whole time. Always going on about his responsibility to the Devine Parents. The children he creates all abandon him because he always has to be ¿on¿. He envisions himself as a great teacher and cannot stand it when his pupils actually begin to learn. That¿s why he and Mael don¿t get along ¿ Mael doesn¿t want to learn anything that Marius knows. But the times we don¿t know about aren¿t elaborated on much. What he was before he was captured by Mael. Bah.
mramos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Blood and Gold is the story of the Vampire Marius of Rome. It is the eight book of Ms Rice in the Vampire Chronicles. I found this book to be an easy read. I would rate it in the top four of the chronicles. We have an ancient Norse man waking up in the artic, where he went to sleep in darkness. We learn that he had learned of the world through the 'Mind Gift'. And he finally finds a reason to wake. He walks south back into civilization and into Marius' hands. I wanted to know more of this vampire...but this is a book about Marius. And he has what he needs in Throne, a student/listener hungrey to hear his words. So we have Marius teeling his story to Thorne...And we are in the shadows listening. We some some of th eother books story line through Marius eyes. Which I found interesting. The story starts after his creation as a blood drinker. He takes us from Ancient Rome to all the cities he made home. To his first love The Queen of the Dammend, Akasha. Pandora, his second, who he lost because of his anger. Then in Venice he falls in love with Bianca and Amadeo, one leaves because of a lie the other is taken. And eventually to our first book, Lestat, who he sends away. We see he loves to be in love, but his anger drives him to solitude. Marius learns he has been watched by the Talamasca, with who he develops a sort of realtionship. What appears to me to be the only honest relationship he had. For Marius saw himself as a scholar, and the Talamasca were true scholars. His life, though having moments of great pleasure, seemed to be filled with tragedy of his own making. Though if you like the Vampire Chronicles, I do recommend you read this.
hermit_9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rice returns to the Vampire Chronicles with elan. The character Thorne hooked me, and I wish there were more of him.
Flamika on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had felt for a while that Anne Rice's novels were declining in quality and enjoyment, but this novel was the one where I decided to stop reading anything by Rice. It's Marius' story, but the problem is that it's been told through the eyes of so many people that a lot of the stuff he has to add isn't particularly interesting. I was addicted for years to Rice's novels, but sorry, I'm now filing for divorce.
PigOfHappiness on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As Marius was always one of my favorite characters, I particularly enjoyed this book. Beautifully written and expressive, this is a must read for lovers of the vampire chronicles. Appropriate for high school and beyond.
DocWalt10 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love everything to do with Vampire stories. Anne Rice is one of the best at it.
EmScape on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm kind of glad I waited more than a year to read this book after having read the first eight, plus the Mayfair Witches book all pretty much right in a row. I think I would have found the parts where Marius is retelling things that Lestat told us in The Vampire Lestat and that Armand told us in The Vampire Armand rather boring and repetitive. As it was, it was a nice reminder of things I'd forgotten, and I was able to jump right back in without re-reading, which would have been quite the undertaking. I would really recommend, if you're reading straight through, to take a hiatus before jumping into this one, because it seems others who'd done so were quite disappointed by this. I've always really admired the wisdom and even temper of Marius, particularly in The Queen of the Damned and although we knew a little of him from the two previously mentioned books, it was a treat to have his story fleshed out even more and his perspective shown on things we already knew the other side of. It's unfortunate that the character of Thorne, who emerges from the ice apparently only to listen to Marius tell a 500-page story and then complete a couple of acts no other previously introduced character would have been able to. I would have liked to have known more about him; the climax of this tale might have meant more or had more feeling for me. As it was, it was a little bit of a let down. I was feeling like awarding this book three stars because of that feeling, but sitting down to write about it has induced me to add back the fourth star I was intending to give it right before I came to the end. Had the ending been more exciting or satisfying, I probably would've given 4.5 stars. As it stands, it's a good, full, tale of history and blood and a fascinating vampire with a rather lame last three chapters. I hope that's a set-up for something more interesting, but it seems the next book in this series takes an entirely different tack. I am looking forward to completing this author's vampire-related works in their entirety.
ragwaine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not as overwritten as some of the others, better than Merrick, Vittorio, and Pandora. Some rehash of already known stuff but enough new things to keep it interesting.
sdtaylor555 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the last really great Vampire Chronicle. After this book they go down hill fast. This one was brilliant though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the chronicles!
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It was ok. Not the best in her series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE Anne Rice. I've devoured all her books, reading most many times. I loved Marius until I read his story. Now free of the burden of Those Who Must Be Kept, he claims the boring role of caretaker of the now insane Daniel. Really? Marius, get a life!! In my opinion, by far the most interesting character in this story is the elusive stranger to which Marius imparts his history. If you want to know more about Marius, buy Pandora instead!
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