Cover Image: The Immortal Conquistador

The Immortal Conquistador

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

If you love Kitty Norville books, and I do, you know that they would not be the same without Rick, vampire extraordinaire.  In the Immortal Conquistador, Carrie Vaughn gives us Rick's story, from sailing with Coronado to becoming the vampire master of Denver.  As always, an excellent read that left me wanting more.
Was this review helpful?
i really enjoyed reading this book, unfortunately I really didn't read the other books from the series but I really enjoyed Kitty as a character.. I look forward to more from the author. and Kitty.
Was this review helpful?
The Immortal Conquistador is not quite a stand-alone book in the Kitty Norvile universe, but it comes very, very close to being one. It helps to have read some of the earlier volumes, but you can get the gist of the tale from the book itself. Ricardo de Avila had followed Coronado on his expedition, but then stayed around Mexico as a messenger for the governor of northern Mexico until a rogue vampire monk turned him. Ricardo did not take to being made a vampire, so he killed the monk and his followers and became a rogue vampire, roaming the American Southwest, having adventures and following his own code of conduct until in an earlier Kitty Norville book, he ran into a secret vampire society with ties to the Vatican. An interesting volume that has renwed my interest in the Kitty Norville series.
Was this review helpful?
Kitty is one of my favorite heroines right now. I am a huge fan of the titles. I love it when authors do theme them. I was very upset when I saw that this one was going to be #15 (and since it had been 5 years since 'Saves the World') But I am so happy. It was Rick's story. The reluctant vampire who is one of the best parts of this whole series. I loved seeing him live his life and the path that brought him to us. I need more Rick stories.
Was this review helpful?
I was a devoted reader of the Kitty novels when they first came out (urban fantasy is one of my favorite subgenres), but slowly, for reasons I can't even pinpoint, I let the series lie. But as Rick was always one of my favorite characters, I was excited to dive back into the series and give his prequel a try.

I can't say this is a bad book; the writing is technically proficient, the story moves at a good clip, etc.. But there's just something about it, a sort of . . . I want to say, a sort of narrative distance? A dryness? . . . that kept me from immersing myself in the story. It was hard to care about Rick and his past, to engage myself in the story. To the point where I had to force myself to keep reading.

Overall, I'd say that others might enjoy this a lot, especially long time fans of the Kitty novels, but this just wasn't to my taste.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed reading this book! I didn't know what to expect, but I didn't realize, that this was really a bunch of novellas, with a bit of narration between, of what's going on in the present, as those stories told his history. So it was a much quicker read than I was expecting.

In the present, this is after Rick has left Denver, but before the ending of the series. So we see the gaps of what we don't know, which is basically everything but the time he was in Denver during the series, both before and after. So that was really great to read!

We first had the story of how Rick became a vampire, and as became a theme in this series, Rick doesn't know what vampire should and shouldn't do, so he does the unexpected, and yeah, there are plenty of times in the present where he shocks his audience. Of course, he shocks his participants of the stories when they were happening as well. It was pretty hilarious!

Part of being a vampire if living a long time. And he sees some losses along the way, and has many adventures. The one where he met Doc Holliday was an entertaining read, as well as when he became Master of Santa Fe for a month. So many adventures! And there was one part of the story, which Rick finds great delight in, because of the ramifications, and I'm so glad for him, that he has that validation!

This was a fantastic read, I enjoyed it so much, and yeah that we're getting more from this series with Kitty's Mix Tape!
Was this review helpful?
This tale of how one of Cortez’s conquistadors became a vampire, finding his way alone in Mexico and later north to the nascent United States, is a delightful, often poignant twist on the usual vampire tale. After newly turned Ricardo kills his “maker” and the rest of the next, rather than join them in a murder-fest, he has no guidance as to what he has become. Without a community to teach him the hierarchical “rules,” he proceeds to create a life in which he protects the humans upon whom he depends, treating them with fairness and consideration instead of preying on them. From there, each episode focuses on how the differences play out in different historical periods. The ancient European-based vampire masters will not tolerate any vampire not under their control (and concentrated in their cities), and Ricardo will not abandon his “family.”

I love the way this story challenges the usual trope of vampires as (a) intrinsically evil; (b) forever separated from humanity. Ricardo, who is anything but a bloodthirsty fiend, makes the world a better place by his compassion and kindness.

The usual disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book, but no one bribed me to say anything in particular about it. Although, come to think of it, fine imported chocolates and roses might have been nice.
Was this review helpful?
My rating: 2 of 5 stars, it was okay.

Book 15 in the series, but not really, since it's a completely stand alone book about Rick the vampire.

It's also not really a cohesive novel, but more chunks of stories about Rick that have appeared elsewhere and been collected in one place and then filled out. As a result, it was an okay read, but nothing special. Mostly, it was just fun to be back in Ms. Vaughn's alternate reality.

*I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided to me by the publisher, via NetGalley*
Was this review helpful?
Apparently most of this book is an assembly of short narratives that have appeared in Ms Vaughan's other novels about the background of the main character Ricardo, or Rick, de Ávila, who started out as a young man as a member of the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado in search of Cibola.

Firstly, I have to say how refreshing it is to have a main character from the times when Spain was conquering the New World who is not some bloodthirsty overambitious monster. In fact if there is anything that characterises Rick it is that he is the most mellow and laid-back of vampires, this too, is refreshing. Rick is balanced and reasonable and only fights when he has to to defend either himself or innocents. He is simply another person in search of a quiet life.

As befits its origin, the book is episodic, jumping between Rick's different adventures in different times. Obviously some parts are more interesting than others, I think my particular favourite rather than some of the major conflicts was Rick's encounter with Doc Halliday.

As a fluent Spanish speaker I have to say some of the Spanish is slightly suspect and repetitive. I think the author would benefit in future by using a Spanish speaker to fine tune her use of the language.

Altogether, this is a good solid vampire tale does not overstay its welcome. Rick makes for a compelling main character. I hope to read more about him in the future.

Many thanks, as always to Netgalley for allowing me to read a copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun read!  I sat down and finished it in a single sitting.   I loved the Kitty books and going back to that universe was a delightful visit with an old friend.  It would be enjoyable even if you haven’t read the Kitty books if you’re a vampire fan, it stands alone well.
Was this review helpful?
★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up)
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
---
I've been a fan of the Kitty Norville series since the debut in 2005, and one of the supporting characters that fans seem most enamored of—and are given the least information about—is Kitty's vampire ally, Rick (the Master of Denver).

For those (like me) who need a little brushing up on some of what went on toward the end of the series, Rick leaves Denver for a while in order to explore a different way to take on Dux Bellorum (the series' Big Bad).

This book gives the reader some insight into what Rick was up to during this time. The book stitches together four short stories about Rick's origin (some previously published, some not) while Rick introduces himself to the Order of Saint Lazarus.

I'd already read the first story, "Conquistador de la Noche," in the collection Kitty's Greatest Hits—but it worked really well in this setting, too—this sets the stage for the rest of Rick's history and tells about him becoming a vampire. The next two stories show what happens when he first encounters the Vampire sub-culture and is first exposed to the rules (most) Vampires live by and how Rick skirts the edges of those rules and starts to make both a name for himself and build his different kind of power base.

The fourth story is my favorite detailing what happens when Rick meets a legendary Old West character. It was just a great story with an element of fun. It's also something the reader is told that Rick's never told anyone about before. It's precisely the kind of thing that Kitty would kill to hear, she's constantly asking vampires and other supernatural types for stories like this. That Rick would go out of his way to deprive her of this story (but we get to read it) was a little extra dash of fun.

I don't know that this gave me a much better picture of Rick—the novels had pretty much done that. We know his character, we may not understand his past and what he was—but we know who he is. But this book rounds out our understanding of the man and gives the reader a little hope for his future.

Once I cottoned on to what Vaughn was doing—stitching together short stories—I was a little skeptical of the format. But I came around pretty quickly and decided it worked really well. It's better than a simple short story collection, essentially giving us a bonus story. The stories (including the framing device) feel different from the Kitty series, but not so much that it doesn't feel like the same world.

A cool bonus of this—you can read it totally independent of the Kitty Norville series. It's not dependent at all on the events or people of the series (there are references to certain antagonists, but not in any way that makes familiarity with the series necessary for understanding).

I do have to wonder about the timing of this—the series ended almost five years ago, so I'm not sure I get why we're getting this material in this format now. But that's just me being curious, not complaining. Did I (or the series) need The Immortal Conquistador? No. But I'm very glad I got it.

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from Tachyon Publications via NetGalley in exchange for this post —thanks to both for the opportunity.
Was this review helpful?
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I did not connect with this book. I like Rick in the kitty books, but none of the characters or story grabbed me.

I ended up skimming it.

A review has also been left on amazon.
Was this review helpful?
Title:  The Immortal Conquistador 
Author:  Carrie Vaughn
Genre:  Urban fantasy
Rating:  4 out of 5

Set in the world of Kitty Norville…
Ricardo de Avila---now called Rick---would have followed Coronado anywhere. Yes, that Coronado, the conquistador. But Coronado never found what he sought—and Rick found immortality as a turned-against-his-will vampire.

Five hundred years later, Rick has spent his life going against the immortal grain. While he at first thought he was the only self-named-demon in existence---so ignorant of the truth he didn’t even know he was called vampire---now he keeps to himself and protects his mortal family. He’s spent his days as a bartender, helped a legendary gunslinger, appointed himself Master of Santa Fe, and now discovered a church hidden under the Vatican.

Immortal life is no piece of cake.

It’s been years since I read any of the Kitty books (Looking back, it seems I stopped reading after book six). I enjoyed them, and I have no idea why I stopped reading, so this was run return to that world. I love how different Rick is from traditional or more-popular vampire tropes. He’s a loner, and he’s fine with that. He didn’t even know what he was, thinking himself a demon, but drama and trouble seem to dog his steps. A quick, fun read.

Carrie Vaughn is a bestselling author. The Immortal Conquistador is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Tachyon Publications in exchange for an honest review.)
Was this review helpful?
This review was originally posted on  Books of My Heart
 

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
 
4.5 hearts

It's been five years since Kitty Saves the World and now we get the story, past and present of her good friend, Rick. I saw The Immortal Conquistador and knew I must read it. I remember not being sure about Rick initially and certainly unsure of other vampires in Kitty's world.  But Rick always seemed to help Kitty when he could.

Starting at the beginning, when he has just fought with Coronodo's men in Mexico, we found out how Rick became a vampire.  His faith in God and the Catholic church is very strong and he believed he was a demon, a monster. So he kept to his own code, trying to never hurt others.

The past is interwoven with the present as Rick is in Rome and is telling his past to the Abbott.  The Immortal Conquistador is set right after Kitty Rocks the House, when he is recruited to the Order and will fight with Kitty to save the world.

I really loved this with its rich history of the settlement of North America. Kitty is not in this book, only mentioned.   Rick is not quite like anyone else and I came to love him in Kitty's world.  There is some great humor here, too.
"See? You have friends. You have had friends for five hundred years. You're not supposed to have friends! You're supposed to have servants and thralls! You're a vampire, and you have the gall to have friends?"
Was this review helpful?
The Immortal Conquistador takes us back to the world of werewolf Kitty Norville and her favorite vampire.  Rick is an unusual vampire and through a series of vignettes we find out why he is the way he is and it only makes us love him more. This book looks like it is the beginning of a spin-off series and I’ve got my fingers crossed that it is so.
Was this review helpful?
Wow! I loved this. We finally get the back story for Rick from the Kitty Norville stories. He was always a very unusual vampire but now with this story, it is clear why. It turns out he’s a very reluctant vampire that just wanted to be left alone. As other vampires try to recruit him and draw him into their schemes, he manages to stick to his principles and doesn’t involve himself in all the scheming. We learn Rick‘s story in bits and pieces as he retells it to the Abbot of the Order of Saint Lazarus of the Shadows. His heartfelt history of friendship and loyalty was genuinely touching to read. Once again Ms. Vaughn has made a supernatural creature lovable. Well done! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Yes it's shorter than some books out there but I absolutely loved this. Ricardo or Rick as we know him in the Kitty Norville series is a very reluctant Vampire. Here we get his back story and learn about some of his adventures from his time as a Conquistador to his part in the American dream as history comes to life. Rick is without a doubt a true gentleman, never a monster and always his own man. Vampires traditionally rule through strength but Rick listens to his heart and conscience and does the unthinkable and that is to care about people and make friends. Yes he does make enemies but in his own inimitable way he deals with anything thrown at him. If you haven't read the Kitty Norville series about a very unusual Werewolf then I can say most definitely that you are missing out !
This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
Was this review helpful?
This is not the story I was expecting but it is a remarkable one.  The stroll through history through the existence of a vampire is thoroughly enthralling.  I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and freely leave this honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This novella (more like a connected set of short stories) focuses on fleshing out the history of Kitty Norville's friend, Rick the vampire.  For fans of the series, it's nice to get a little glimpse into Rick's past and learn what makes him tick, and the details behind the little hints he would drop to Kitty.  It's definitely not a stand-alone book, though - it will primarily be of interest to completionist fans of the Kitty Norville series.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and Tachyon Publications for an ARC copy of The Immortal Conquistador!

Anyone familiar with Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series has probably wondered about Rick the vampire's backstory. Well, here it is! From his human origins sailing to the New World with Coronado, being turned into a "demon" by a former friend, and making his way through the American Southwest (including a fantastic interlude with Doc Holliday!), we finally know the series of events that eventually brought Rick to Denver, and into Kitty's path.

This felt a tiny bit like a collection of stories, as there wasn't a lot of transition between sections, but I really enjoyed this overall. The highlights were definitely Rick's time in Central City with Doc Holliday and the entire episode in Santa Fe. I thought it was very interesting how he constantly struggled with the duality of being both a man of faith and a "devil", and the revelation given to him at the end of the novella truly validated the centuries of work Rick had put into maintaining both his faith and his morality.
Was this review helpful?