===About the Book=== Time heals all wounds, unless, of course, you're a vampire. Cuts may heal, burns vanish, limbs reattach, but for the "blood god," the wounds of the heart sometimes stay open and raw for centuries. So it is for Marius, Anne Rice's oft-mentioned and beloved scholar. We've heard parts of his tale in past volumes of the Vampire Chronicles, but never so completely and never from his own lips. In ''Blood and Gold'', Rice mostly (but not entirely) avoids the danger of treading worn ground as she fills out the life and character of Marius the Lonely, the Disenchanted, the Heartsick--a 2,000-year-old vampire "with all the conviction of a mortal man." Plucked from his beloved Rome in the prime of his life and forced into solitude as keeper of the vampire queen and king, Marius has never forgiven the injustice of his mortal death. Thousands of years later, he still seethes over his losses. Immortality for Marius is both a blessing and a curse--he bears "witness to all splendid and beautiful things human," yet is unable to engage in relationships for fear of revealing his burden. New readers to the Chronicles may wish for a more fleshed-out, less introspective hero, but Rice's legions of devoted fans will recognize ''Blood and Gold'' for what it is: a love song to Marius the Wanderer, whose story reveals the complexities and limitations of eternal existence. ''--Daphne Durham''