Books That Would Make Great Movies: “Darkangel” by Meridith Ann Pierce
“The Darkangel, a vampire of astounding beauty and youth, can only summon his full power when he finds his 14th and final bride. But for Aeriel, whom he kidnaps to serve his brides, there is something about him- something beyond his obvious evil- that makes her want to save him rather than destroy him.”
— Unsurprisingly Uninformative Amazon Info
The back of the book is just as bad though, it doesn’t give you an idea of the story.
Aeriel is a young slave, ungainly and not particularly brave or attractive. One day she is helping her mistress pick rare flowers from a mountaintop when her mistress (who she grew up with) is kidnapped by the Darkangel (who, for simplicity, I’m going to call Icari from now on).
The Icari is kind of like a half-vampire, but with 12 black wings. Icari are created when an evil witch (or Lorelei) kidnaps a young boy, usually as a baby, but in the Darkangel’s case as a 5-6 year old (significant detail), kills him, drinks his blood, and basically spends the next decade mentally torturing him until he becomes as twisted and evil as she is. There is also some kind of sorcery she uses to make the boys evil.
The Darkangel is then sent away from the Lorelei for 14 years to take a bride, one a year, and contain the brides souls in little lead vials, which are then given to the Lorelei as tribute. Once this is done, the Lorelei sucks out whatever is left of the Darkangel’s soul, turning him into a full Vampire (but not a vampire like we know, this is more dangerous, more vicious, and drinks souls more than blood).
A prophecy exists saying if the Lorelei can turn 7 boys into Darkangels, then she will be able to take over the world and control it, plunging the inhabitants into a world of death and decay. Aeriel is unaware of most of this when she attempts to kill the Icari who took her mistress, and in return is kidnapped herself.
Aeriel is forced to weave for the wraiths- terrifyingly skeletal and addle-brained corpses who are all that remain of the Icari’s first 13 wives. Aeriel must take care of the women to avoid the wrath of the Icari, who hates the sight of his now horrific, but once beautiful, wives. All the while, Aeriel is working with the Duarough, a dwarf-like humanoid who lives in caves under the Icari’s castle and who possesses a prophecy detailing how to defeat him and stop the Lorelei in her tracks.
This isn’t like “Twilight”- it isn’t some shitty love story between Aeriel and the Icari, it’s about evil sorcery, dark secrets, murder, betrayal, and finding the strength to save your enemies rather than kill them.
Movie-Ability: High, but as a mini-series
There are 3 books in the Darkangel trilogy, each seems to have a pretty hard outline for a part 1 and part 2, so you could make a great 6-part mini series (hey, Sy-Fy (or whatever they’re calling themselves today) did it for “Children of Dune”, so it’s not unprecedented for a mini series to be that long). It’s fantastically engaging, has enough horror elements to keep viewers entertained, and the ending is exciting!
The series itself is a great read, I’m in the middle of going back through it now, and each book is maybe a day read, tops. So it’s quick, it’s fun, the story and characters are extremely well thought out, and there is no point where it feels abrupt or confusing, so I’d say it deserves mini-series transformation with little to no changes (maybe minor ones to clarify some stuff that is stated later on but not really explained earlier).