Faith in Books: The Darkangel Trilogy


The Darkangel Trilogy

By Meredith Ann Pierce

Pierce’s fantasy/science fiction trilogy had been out of print but is coming back as a vampire/teen set of novels. The first book, The Darkangel, was written long before the vampire craze of Buffy and Twilight. In this book, Aeriel tries to save her mistress from the awful fate of completely losing her soul to the icarus or dark angel that swept away Aeriel’s companion as his bride. Not only does she become the servant to this monstrosity but she also begins to have compassion on him as well. The book is well written and I highly recommend it.

But stop with the first book. Pierce published the second book, A Gathering of Gargoyles two years after the first book, in 1984. Then the final book, The Pearl of the Soul of the World was published in 1990. Not sure what took so long — perhaps those were the days before every writer wrote trilogies — but something changed in her writing. No longer were they about the vampire but about Aeriel and her search for purpose and love. I found the final ending to be depressing and a bit suggestive of homosexuality. The book had become less for teens and more for adults. 

What did these books have to do with my faith? The whole idea of redemption is a huge theme in these novels. What would it take to redeem someone who destroys the body and soul of others? What would it take to redeem someone who creates monsters and destruction? Love? Sacrifice? Knowledge? Pierce weaves these ideas into her stories. This made me think of God’s own redemptive act of Jesus. Not everyone will accept him. Not everyone thinks they are good enough to receive God’s forgiveness. Sometimes those who have hurt us the most can be redeemed — but do we really want them to be saved? Would we be willing to sacrifice ourselves in order for someone else to be redeemed? Some are saved but others are lost in Pierce’s novels, just like in real life.

I recommend the first book in this series.

Happy reading!


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