The Mangadarth Trilogy by Merri Hiatt is a wonderful set of books about vampires, curses, and spells with an interesting twist: the pale ones, as they are called, lose their ability to have emotions once they are turned.
Eldrick and Marayah Banion have been together for about two thousand years (a pale one lives to be about three thousand years old). In that time, Marayah has escaped four times.
The first book in the trilogy, Marayah’s Return, begins with a prologue about the curse that created the pale ones, then chapter one introduces Marayah and Eldrick, followed by Marayah’s fourth escape from Mangadarth.
Lord Eldrick Banion finds her and brings her back to Banion Castle where she decides to bide her time until she can escape again by helping the people who live there by rebuilding their city and assisting them in regaining their sense of community.
The pale ones in The Mangadarth Trilogy have been altered by the healing man (who was paid by Lord Banion’s father, Kasimir Banion) to create an army of creatures who wreak havoc and vengeance. In his “experiments,” the healing man created a group of beings, called the new breed, that cannot be controlled. They escape and now live in the Valley of Pandor, killing all who dare to enter the valley.
Marayah’s long-time friend, Belinda, has been cursed by the crone who lives behind the waterfall. In her travels, Marayah learns of a spell that may be able to break the curse and free her friend. She, with the help of Eldrick and men from the city who are willing to risk their lives by traveling to the Valley of Pandor to find a feather from the death bird, finds the items needed and the curse is broken. Belinda is finally freed.
While Marayah was away, Lord Banion and the healing man created a red liquid that provided nourishment without the pale ones needing to drink blood. This red liquid is offered free to all the pale ones, so they no longer need to drain the people of Mangadarth’s blood. Lord Banion is poisoned by someone who lives inside the castle and Marayah rides the skies on the stallion Dakron to bring the healing woman from Braline to his aid.
Are you confused yet? There is a lot going on throughout the pages of The Mangadarth Trilogy. Plenty of twists and turns to keep you wondering what will happen next. So what happens next?
Marayah and Eldrick find out that Marayah is pregnant, much to their surprise. The healing man surmises that it has something to do with the red liquid Eldrick has been consuming. When Marayah gives birth, it is determined that the child, Harmony, is half pale one, half humankind. She grows to the age of 18 within twenty-four hours and carries with her the memories of Eldrick and Marayah.
Harmony becomes ruler of Mangadarth as Lord Banion’s father is banned from Mangadarth for offering Marayah as payment to the healing man. Lord Kasimir and Lord Abingdon join forces with Perceval Kensington to overthrow Banion Castle and return leadership of Mangadarth to the Abingdon family, as it was thousands of years ago. Harmony takes her place as ruler of Mangadarth and leads the people to a unified gathering as they rally against the lords who would bring them to ruin.
The castle is won back and the city of Mangadarth is rebuilt and their sense of community returned. The crone is called on for aid and realizes the curse should have ended years before. In the epilogue, the crone makes one last request of the darkness, to end the curse she cast thousands of years before. The skies over Mangadarth return to a brilliant blue and the pale ones are released from their curse, free to experience their emotions once again. If you get the chance, check out The Mangadarth Trilogy for yourself.
" How do we seem to you? Do you find us beautiful, magical? Our white skin, our fierce eyes? "Drink" you ask me, do you have any idea of the thing you will become?" -- Louis, Interview with A Vampire