The Immortal Conquistador

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Pub Date Mar 27 2020 | Archive Date Apr 06 2020

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From Carrie Vaughn, author of the beloved Kitty Norville werewolf talk-show host series, comes the vampire origin story of Kitty’s famed ally, Rick—and his sudden turn to darkness in the seventeenth century. More than 500 years before his friendship with Kitty, noble Ricardo de Avila’s life met a fate-changing twist, and his morally-complex, blood-soaked existence as an immortal began.

“A must have for Kitty Norville fans, but also an excellent standalone for readers new to Vaughn’s worlds.”
—Kelley Armstrong, author of Bitten and Wherever She Goes

Before being turned, Ricardo de Avila would have followed Coronado to the ends of the earth. Instead he found the end of his mortal life—and a new one, as a renegade vampire.

For over five hundred years as an immortal, Ricardo has followed his own moral code, upsetting the established order in the demon world. He has protected his found family from marauding evil, joined up with a legendary gunslinger, tended bar, appointed himself the Master of Denver, and discovered a church buried under the Vatican.

The life of a vampire is always long, but for Rick, it is never easy.

About the Kitty Norville series: Carrie Vaughn’s bestselling Kitty Norville series, about a werewolf who hosts a talk radio advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged, began with Kitty and the Midnight Hour. The series will end with The Immortal Conquistador, and the forthcoming collection Kitty’s Mix-Tape. For more about the Kitty Norville books, go to

From Carrie Vaughn, author of the beloved Kitty Norville werewolf talk-show host series, comes the vampire origin story of Kitty’s famed ally, Rick—and his sudden turn to darkness in the seventeenth...

A Note From the Publisher

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn is best known for her fourteen volume Kitty Norville series, about a werewolf who hosts a talk radio advice show for supernatural beings. Vaughn
also writes the Harry and Marlowe steampunk series. Vaughn lives near Boulder, Colorado, where she pursues an endlessly growing list of hobbies. She is fiercely guarded by a miniature American Eskimo
dog named Lily.

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn is best known for her fourteen volume Kitty Norville series, about a werewolf who hosts a talk radio advice show for supernatural beings. Vaughn

Advance Praise

Praise for The Immortal Conquistador

“Vaughn presents a gratifying origin story for Ricardo “Rick” de Avila, vampire Master of Denver and partner to the popular werewolf heroine of her Kitty Norville series.”
Publishers Weekly 

“The path from conquistador to bartender is filled with battles and death, protection and hope. Vaughn weaves a beautiful tale of a devout man who faces the Devil and wins. VERDICT This fast-paced novella, filled with action and emotion, offers a satisfying entry back into the ‘Kitty Norville’ series.”
Library Journal 

The Immortal Conquistador was a captivating read that finally shed some light on one of the most interesting and secretive characters from the Kitty universe. This book is sure to please all the Kitty Norville fans out there!”
 —Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist

“A must have for Kitty Norville fans, but also an excellent standalone for readers new to Vaughn’s worlds.”
—Kelley Armstrong, author of Wherever She Goes and Led Astray.

“Carrie Vaughn’s The Immortal Conquistador is an excellent addition to her Kitty Norville books, and gives us a closer look at one of her most fascinating characters.”
 —Stephen Blackmoore, author of the Eric Carter Necromancer series

“What I love about Vaughn’s writing is that she takes you on a fun adventure and secretly sneaks in layers of complexity to her characters where you find yourself thinking about them for days on end. I can’t wait to see where this series is heading!”
Infinite Text

Praise for Carrie Vaughn

Bannerless is both a fine murder mystery and a multi-layered look at a different kind of society.”
 —Analog Science Fiction

“Vaughn skillfully portrays a vastly altered future America that’s almost unrecognizable decades after its total collapse; the focus on sustainability and responsibility is unusual, thought-provoking, and very welcome.”
 —Publishers Weekly

“[A]n intimate post-apocalyptic mystery . . . a deft portrait of a society departed so completely from the complexities of the now-destroyed civilization.”

“Amazing and compelling, Vaughn brings her deft characterization and humanity to bear on a post-apocalyptic world that is all too real.”
 —Tobias S. Buckell, bestselling author of Arctic Rising

OnThe Wild Dead

“This thrilling postapocalyptic mystery, which demonstrates the author’s wide range of style, will please Vaughn’s many fans.”
 —Library Journal, starred review

“Beautifully executed.”

“Carrie Vaughn may still be best known for her Kitty the Werewolf series, but Bannerless and The Wild Dead show that her talents are versatile. ”

“A highly enjoyable and captivating sophomore entry in the Bannerless series.”
 —Geeks of Doom

On Kitty Saves the World

“The open nature of Kitty’s character and the way Vaughn makes her such a likeable character make this the only urban fantasy world where I want to read every book of the series.”
 ―The Denver Post

“A great series for fans of the recent werewolf-vampire craze who want to move beyond Stephanie Meyer or Charlaine Harris.”
 ―The Daily News (Galveston County, TX)

Kitty Saves the World was a fun, fast read . . . The ending feels like a new beginning and I’m good with that.”
Vampire Book Club

Kitty Saves the World is probably my favorite final book in any series that I’ve read. I highly recommend [it].”
All Things Urban Fantasy

Praise for The Immortal Conquistador

“Vaughn presents a gratifying origin story for Ricardo “Rick” de Avila, vampire Master of Denver and partner to the popular werewolf heroine of her Kitty Norville...

Marketing Plan

• Promotion at major trade and genre conventions, including BEA, ALA, Readercon, and the World Science Fiction and World Fantasy conventions

• Features, interviews, and reviews targeting literary and genre venues

• Author events/appearances to include the San Francisco Bay area and national events

• ARC distribution and book giveaways to include NetGalley, Goodreads, and Edelweiss

• Advertising and promotion in national print, blogs, and social media

• Promotion at major trade and genre conventions, including BEA, ALA, Readercon, and the World Science Fiction and World Fantasy conventions

• Features, interviews, and reviews targeting literary...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781616963217
PRICE CA$23.95 (CAD)

Available on NetGalley

Send to Kindle (PDF)

Average rating from 33 members

Featured Reviews

The Immortal Conquistador by Carrie Vaughn, a quick read that is hard to put down. This is the story of Ricardo (Rick) how he was turned, and an insight into his life in Frontier.

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OMG! Rick's story FINALLY! I've been dying to know so much about him throughout the Kitty series, and NOW we get to find out everything! And what a ride! Carrie Vaughn knocks it out of the park AGAIN!

Thank you!

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Taking place in the world of the Kitty Norville series, this book delivers into the origins of the vampire, Rick.

As with Ms. Vaughn's other urban paranormal novels, this is an interesting story that delivers into the main character, providing in depth insight into his character.

I was given an advance copy of this book. I am leaving my honest review.

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I'm a long-time fan of the Kitty Norville series, though I have lost touch with it a bit lately, so when this side-story came up on Netgalley I requested the chance to read and review it. Thanks to the publisher for granting the request.

Here we get the full backstory of Rick, the 500-year-old vampire and decent guy who's one of Kitty's allies. Turned against his will by an acquaintance who knew him back when they were both on Coronado's unsuccessful expedition to find the Cities of Gold in Mexico, Rick is determined to be bad at vampiring; he has friends, not victims, and only uses his powers to protect people.

Naturally, this doesn't come easily, but it helps that he spends the first hundred years in complete isolation from other vampires, so nobody tells him how he's supposed to do it. Even in the present day, there's a lot he doesn't know, and he's still determined to be a good man (and a devout Catholic) insofar as that's possible for someone like him.

Carrie Vaughn is an excellent storyteller - her short stories are highly skilled, even though she's probably primarily known as a novelist, and in part this book is what used to be called a "fixup," joining several short stories together into a longer, multi-part narrative. The frame story isn't just a frame, though, but expands into something more.

The very early part, when Rick is turned, is darker and more horrific than I usually prefer, but it sets up a contrast that the author uses well. The essential goodness of a character who fights against the evil imposed on him to remain, in important ways, himself shines through powerfully throughout.

Although I've read a number of the Kitty Norville books, you could read this book without having done so and be fully oriented; the events of those books are only referred to briefly, some of the many adventures that Rick has had over his long life, and Rick himself is at the heart of the story. He's an appealing protagonist, and I enjoyed reading this. Perhaps I'll go back and read some more of the main series.

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A tale of the reluctant Vampire. Ricardo di Avila, the son of a lesser Nobleman .. accompanies and survives the doomed and disappointing expedition of the legendary Conquistador Coranado to New Spain in search of wealth and fame. Being one of a few to survive, he is tricked by a previous friend into the lair of the ancient Vampire, Fray Juan. He is transformed into a bloodsucking monster with the aim of him joining the minions of Fray Juan. Refusing to accept this curse, he cunningly destroys his maker and minions. Accused by the minions as being "holier than thou" ... he will not abandon God and "prays" for his own soul. With scruples and a conscience he sets out on a 500 year journey from the seventeen century. Unlike his supposed brethren , he refuses to kill to obtain his sustenance of blood.
Vaughn traces his intriguing journey through history encountering the famous and infamous ... making friends and loved ones along the way .... instead of bloodless corpses. This tale was enjoyed as a stand alone ... admittedly I have not previously been entertained by the words of Carie Vaughn. I intend on rectifying this mistake by delving into the adventures of Kitty Norville ... reportedly his friend and ally. Thanks to NetGalley and Tachyon Publications for providing an electronic ARC of this tale in exchange for an honest review. ( at )

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The Immortal Conquistador
by Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn states in her blurb about the book that she wasn’t interested in writing about Vampires. Through her Kitty books about werewolves she found she had to. Her thrown off comment of her character Ricardo de Avila, Le Conquistador had met Doc Holliday was a story begging to be told. It’s funny how writers find inspiration in their own thrown out comments and ideas. Carrie brings to life the idea of a historical vampire, one on the edge of American history, and namely Colorado history. She uses her ability to research and find the perfect background to her characters that make them seem almost real. A history buff, she is amazing in what she pulls out of her hat.
Ricardo de Avila, is a dynamic character in this book, a reluctant vampire. Changed against his will to become what he feared most, a heartless, soulless monster. The redeeming factor of his nature is that he uses this curse to protect others, to benefit others yet would never inflict it on another human being, no matter how much he loves them. It's an inspired twist to the old tale, with redemption and release without the death of the main character.
I would recommend the story to those who are addicted to her Kitty series, those who have read her award winning Bannerless series, or just someone who loves a good story.

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One of my favorite series is by Carrie Vaughn! I’m never disappointed when reading about Kitty or her friends. The Immortal Conquistador is no exception. Getting to know a character and how they became who they are if fascinating and this time we get to go way back with Rick. If you have never read a Kitty novel by Carrie Vaughn and enjoy shifter romance, suspense, drama you are so lucky you can start at the beginning and read, read, read and not have to wait for the next book in the series. Thanks to NetGalley the author and her publisher for letting me read an advanced copy of The Immortal Conquistador!

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Oh Ricardo, I could read about you all day. The only problem with this book is that there isn't more of it!

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The Immortal Conquistador by Carrie Vaughn. 4 stars

This is wonderful interlude that provides the backstory for Rick, the Master of Denver. As part of the cast of characters of the Kitty Norville series, Rick or Ricardo has always been a great, but mysterious ally. I am glad that this novel explains some of his history. I’m sure that this is just the tip of the iceberg, I hope that there will be more stories of this intriguing vampire.

Thank you Netgalley and Tachyon Publications for this ARC.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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This review was originally posted on <a href="" target="_blank"> Books of My Heart</a>

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 <strong>Kitty Saves the World</strong> and now we get the story, past and present of her good friend, Rick. I saw <strong>The Immortal Conquistador</strong> 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.  <strong>The Immortal Conquistador</strong> is set right after <strong>Kitty Rocks the House</strong>, 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.
<blockquote>"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?"</blockquote>

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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