The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce
Description: Dreamlike Fantasy. Ariel was always small and little. A slave. Then she  is kidnapped by a vampire to serve his 12 desiccated brides and must find the strength within herself to prevent him from finding a 13th.

Some books have a color. Dark Angel has always been amber for me. That golden time of late afternoon when all colors seem richer, fuller and yet softer. A fantastic and yet realistic world in which vampires and gargoyles and magic creatures roam the landscape of the imagination.

I first read The Dark Angel when I was in Junior High, but it isn't really a young adult book. Except in that it is the story of becoming an adult. Becoming yourself.

Pierce has an uncanny way of weaving epic myth with believable people. Ariel perceives herself to be worth less than others. And because that is her perception, she is. Until she comes to the dark spaces in the vampires castle, high above the world. Until she wanders vasty plains. Until she comes to the mind blowingly cool end of the book.

I should mention that this is the first of three books, each of which is incredible. However, the end of the third book is incredibly bittersweet. Like honeywine, golden amber in the later afternoon sun.

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