|Author||Meredith Ann Pierce|
|Publisher||Atlantic Monthly Press|
|Followed by||A Gathering of Gargoyles|
The Darkangel is the first book in The Darkangel Trilogy by American writer Meredith Ann Pierce. The book was released on 1982, as the first book of the series that ended in 1990 with the publication of The Pearl of the Soul of the World. The Darkangel was published in the United States by Atlantic Monthly Press. After its publication, it was nominated for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature.
Aeriel is gathering flowers with her mistress, Eoduin. The Darkangel, a winged vampyre, abducts Eoduin. Aeriel returns to the site and waits, hoping to avenge or rescue Eoduin. The vampyre returns. Aeriel cannot kill him because of his beauty and power. He abducts her and takes her to his castle in Avaric. Aeriel has to serve 13 wraiths, the Darkangel's former brides, including Eoduin. The Darkangel has taken the brides' hearts and souls.
In the castle garden, Aeriel meets a duarough, a wise creature who knows sorcery. He gives her a rhyme and sends her on a quest. If the icarus takes his fourteenth wife, he will become a full vampyre and his 'mother' the White Witch will gain power. Aeirel must stop this. Aeriel flees the castle and travels far into the desert to find the hoof of the starhorse, the guardian of Avaric. With this talisman, she can defeat the vampyre. As she travels, she gains confidence.
When Aeriel returns, the Darkangel decides to make her his fourteenth wife. She uses the hoof to serve him a wedding drink, which poisons him, but she cannot kill him because she still thinks he is beautiful and thinks there is good in him. Instead, she cuts out his heart, which the witch coated in lead, and replaces it with her own, restoring him to be a human prince, named Irrylath. She expects to die, but the duarough takes Irrylath's heart, removes the lead, and places the heart into Aeriel.