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Of Saints and Shadows (Peter Octavian) Mass Market Paperback – July 27, 2010

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Of Saints and Shadows (Peter Octavian) + Angel Souls and Devil Hearts (Peter Octavian Novels) + Of Masques and Martyrs (Shadow Saga)
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In this present-day vampire novel, the vampires, or "Defiant Ones," are being hunted by an ancient Vatican group trained in sorcery who carry out their extermination with sadistic pleasure. Peter Octavian is a Defiant One who has sworn off the "blood song," drinking only hospital discards. For his belief that humans are not cattle, he has been ostracized by his own vampire family, but when he sees the pattern of vampire deaths he tries to gather his erstwhile fellows into a resistance movement. As the Vatican cabal begins its sorcerous attack, most of the Defiant Ones join Octavian in fighting off demons and banshees in a huge clash amid Venice's yearly carnival. The Defiant Ones win the battle, and the novel ends with the beginning of a new era in which vampires and humans will try to coexist in peace. Unfortunately, with the exception of Octavian and a few of his friends (e.g., a charmingly feisty undead Buffalo Bill Cody), the vampires are as unappealing a group of sadists as the cabal. Reasonably entertaining for vampire fans, but perhaps too big a story for one volume; the author might have done better with a continuing series.
A.M.B. Amantia, Population Action International, Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Christopher Golden is the author of more than twenty novels, including the critically-acclaimed Strangewood, and six nonfiction projects. He has worked in the comic book field for both Marvel and Dark Horse, and his short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He received the Bram Stoker Award for his nonfiction work, Cut: Horror Writers on Horror Film. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two sons. Visit his website at

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Product Details

  • Series: Peter Octavian
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (July 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441019056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441019052
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #930,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN is the New York Times bestselling author of such novels as Snowblind, Tin Men, The Myth Hunters, Wildwood Road, The Boys Are Back in Town, The Ferryman, Strangewood, and Of Saints and Shadows. He has also written books for teens and young adults, including Poison Ink, Soulless, and the thriller series Body of Evidence, honored by the New York Public Library and chosen as one of YALSA's Best Books for Young Readers.

Golden co-wrote the illustrated novel Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire with Mike Mignola, which became the launching pad for the cult favorite comics series Baltimore. As an editor, he has worked on the short story anthologies Seize the Night, The New Dead, and The Monster's Corner, among others, and has also written and co-written comic books, video games, screenplays, a BBC radio play, the online animated series Ghosts of Albion (with Amber Benson), and a network television pilot.

Golden was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his family. His original novels have been published in more than fourteen languages in countries around the world. Please visit him at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on April 20, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book quite by accident and immediately fell in love. This is a completely different take on vampires and is actually my favorite novel - beating out Tanya Huff's series and even the Anita Blake series.

If you like vampire or horror novels you will love this book.
Our hero is Peter Octavian, a vampire called a "defiant one", and definitely one of the good guys. He is a private investigator investigating a missing persons case for a friend of his.

What makes Peter so likeable is that he is a great guy, but he is also all alone. He left his fellow vampires because he did not believe in their beliefs, and struck out on his own. He knows secrets about vampires that could help his vampire family, but no one believes him. They think of him as an outcast.

When you read about Peter, and realize what a good person he is, and how caring he is of humans, his fellow vampires and even the world in general, you really grow to like him. Also he is such a good strong guy, and you empathize with him because he is all alone without anyone to call family or friend.

Peter gets pulled into a missing persons case that will lead him to a conspiracy involving his "family" of vampires, the church, other "evil" vampire clans and a variety of very interesting characters.

This is an excellent excellent story. I highly recommend to all. You will not be disappointed. If you want to read the entire series, it is called the Shadow Saga and book 1 is Of Saints and Shadows (2) Angel Souls and Devil Hearts (3) Of Masques and Martyrs and (4) The Gathering Dark. I enjoyed this series as much as I enjoyed the first four anita blake novels and more than the tanya huff series. I highly highly recommend.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Eric Johnson on July 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the best vampire books I've read. What makes it so great is that there is a very original twist to it. The relationship between church and the vampires in this book is very original. The writing style is very easy to follow and the story is very good. It really made me want to get the other books in the series.
The characters in this book are very interesting as well. They are rather well developed and aren't your standard, cookie cutter characters that you find in a lot of novels.
Briefly, this book is about a vampire who realizes that all of the restrictions that vampires face are only there because the church has brainwashed them into believing them. By focusing on believing, for example, that sunlight is not dangerous, the vampires can be in the sun with no ill effects. The church, on the other hand, wants the vampires destroyed and has squads of assassins to work towards this end. This has the potential to be an excellent series. I very strongly recommend this book to any lover of vampire lore.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 2, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Christopher Golden is probably best known as the author of several Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels, but he has also earned recognition for The Shadow Saga, a series of books built around vampirism. I enjoyed Of Saints and Shadows, the first book in the saga, and it offers one particularly nifty reconstruction of the vampire legend, but this novel failed to bowl me over for a number of reasons. This is a novel of good and evil, only it is difficult to consider either of the two opposing sides good in the traditional sense. On the one hand, you have the world's vampires, hiding out from mankind yet taking their sustenance from the veins of human beings; on the other hand, you have a sect of heretical Roman Catholic sorcerer priests going way beyond their necessary duties. I should point out that this novel is in no way critical of the Roman Catholic Church or of the pope, for the work done by priest sorcerers such as Liam Mulkerrin is unsanctioned and secret, just as it has been, we learn, since the time of Christ.
The novel's hero, Peter Octavian, is no ordinary vampire, having left his coven a century earlier. This outcast from his own kind now works as a private investigator, and the case of a missing young lady leads him into the biggest investigation of his life; he uncovers nothing less than a sinister plot by the religious army of the church to destroy all of the Defiant Ones (vampires) left on earth. At the center of events stands an ancient book called The Gospel of Shadows; held secretly inside the Vatican, this book offers much in the way of explaining the nature of vampires in the world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Angel Izzy on September 23, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Peter Octavian is a vampire. But vampires are not what we humans have been told they are, at least not in Christopher Golden's fascinating tale of intrigue. Of Saints and Shadows is the first in a series of novels entitled the Shadow Saga. It is a dark, fast action, at times gory, but completely in a cool way, poli-religious vampire adventure. Whew! Say that ten times fast.

Peter was brought over to live among the vampires or `shadows' as they call themselves, the Roman Catholic church calls them The Defiant Ones and believes they must be all costs. Therefore, the church has an ultra secret group of sorcerers/mystics/wizards for lack of a better word. It is these people's jobs to control the dark forces in the universe. Peter, over the years, has become enlightened about the boundaries and lies placed on his race and chooses to step up to the plate and engage in an all or nothing battle for survival.

This is a fantastic series. There is romance, conventional and not in Of Saints And Shadows. Meaghan Gallagher lost her best friend and lover in one night and become closely acquainted with Peter. Knowing the things she does, she must choose where she stands and how much of this altered reality she can stand.

I was thrilled to see such ingenuity in a vampire series. This is definitely a different take on things. Strong characters, compassionate. Mr. Golden does a fantastic job of hooking the reader and sucking the reader into his world.
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