Review on: Vittorio the Vampire by Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles
Vittorio the Vampire is a creatively written story by Anne Rice, introducing to us Vittorio who is a very educated nobleman born in the mountains north of Tuscany. Before he became a vampire, Vittorio was a strapping educated young man who was gifted in physical attributes, but also gifted of mind. Learned because of his having traveled to places like Florence where he cultivated his love of literature and the arts. It is when he is 16years old that his quiet and peaceful world is destroyed by what he believes to be demons. All of his family members are attacked and killed when their compound is infiltrated, and he is spared by the kindness of one of these female monsters. It is then that he goes off to seek vengeance for his family’s death.
He soon learns that these demons are blood-sucking vampires who are creatures of the night, and that some towns actually pay them homage in return for their safety, by giving these vampires unwanted members of society like the sick, the dying, the misshapen, the old, and such. It is during his discovery that he is chanced upon by a creature of the night and taken to their abode, but not before having killed his abductor, and then having his life spared again by the same female creature that spared his life when Vittorio’s home was attacked.
The Court of the Ruby Grail – the Court of Vampires from long before men lived in that part of the world. Ursula, the female vampire who begs for Vittorio’s life, saves Vittorio from being killed by the Court for being impudent and unfailing in his philosophies. It is here though that he is poisoned and then left to wander in Florence, and this poison allows him later to see angels whom he is able to convince to aid him in taking revenge for his family. And it is later these angels that Vittorio disappoints and fails when in his quest to destroy the very things that killed his family, he is unable to kill the female vampire who saved him and who he has fallen in love with. Despite his revulsion of the vampires, he is tricked into becoming the very thing he loathes and goes on a blood-seeking adventure with Ursula.
It is only later that Vittorio is back in Florence and finds himself face to face with the angels he had faced, most especially the strongest of them, who grants Vittorio one last gift….a curse to what remains of his humanity.
Vittorio the Vampire is an interesting book with a very enthralling introduction. There are great expectations from the book as Anne Rice introduces a very strong-willed character who’s like a hero that can’t be defeated. His background, the setting, the movement of the story, it all seemed to be moving forward well. And then of course, there’s the reality of the story. Of how the story suddenly ended, the disappointment in the main character Vittorio and how I as a reader hoped that he would remain fervent in upholding his philosophy. The whole story takes place more or less in a span of one week, with most of the story focused on 4 days. Seeing as how Vittorio was introduced, despite the dilemma he is faced with because of the death of his family, I thought his revenge story would seem much more worthwhile as a read, especially since it is mentioned in the book how he is disturbed by his dream-turned-reality of holding his brother and sister’s severed head in his hands. Apparently, the decapitation of the vampires though interesting, didn’t garner much interest in me as a reader, in contrast to what I expected. Also, the resulting Vittorio (as a vampire) felt too much a disappointment since I half-hoped that Vittorio the human would have retained more of his human nature and would have more conflicting emotions within himself during his transformation. His gift-curse was appealing to me, though I would have loved to have that further expanded.
The thing I liked most out of the story was Anne Rice’s inclusion of the angels as Vittorio’s guides through his revenge-seeking adventure. The dialogue was thought-provoking, and reminded me a lot of the Philosophy classes I took back in university. There were parts of the story where Vittorio would quote from philosophers, and his having a stand against the angels as he was venting out his frustrations, and even the angels’ conversations with him, were really nice additions to the story.
I finished this book in about 3 sittings, over a span of 2 days, which is too say…you can go through the content of the story pretty fast. It’s not that hard of a read, and it has some biblical and philosophical references, which always makes for great debate topics later on.