Of Saints and Shadows (2010 by Ace—Shadow Saga #1) by Christopher Golden—art by Craig White

Of Saints and Shadows (Shadow Saga -1) by Christopher Golden-2010

Of Saints and Shadows (2010 by Pocket Books-Shadow Saga #1) by Christopher Golden

Of Saints and Shadows (Shadow Saga -1) by Christopher Golden

Of Saints and Shadows (1998 by Ace—Shadow Saga #1) by Christopher Golden

Shadow Saga series, also called the Peter Octavian series, by Christopher Golden.

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy

Series Description or Overview Edit

✥ Book One in the Shadow Saga is a brilliant epic that takes you into the secret world of vampires—and a secret society sworn to destroy them. Sweeping, sensuous, and shocking, it is a powerful vision of immortality that will hold you in its spell...forever. ~ Goodreads

✥ When a mysterious and ancient book, called the Gospel of Shadows, is stolen from a secret sect dedicated to the destruction of vampires, private detective Peter Octavian—a vampire himself—is drawn into a desperate search for the missing book. ~ Of Saints and Shadows ~ FF

✥ A book has been stolen from the seemingly safe secret volt of the Vatican. But not just any book: this book could change the world as we know it. Full of secrets that have been hidden from the world with only a select few being able to research and use the book to do Gods work. Priest Liam Mulkerrin needs to find this book and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it back. Having researched the book he has awoken powers within himself of sorcery and is leaving a brutal and disturbing trail of death behind him. ~ Fantasy book review

Lead's Species Edit

  • Vampire, Vampire PI

Primary Supe Edit

  • Vampires

What Sets it ApartEdit

  • All of the myths about vampires were started by the Church as a way to control vampires.

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • Third person narrative from Peter Octavian perspective.

Books in Series Edit

Peter Octavian / Shadow Saga series

  1. Of Saints and Shadows (1994)
  2. Angel Souls and Devil Hearts (1998)
  3. Of Masques and Martyrs (1998)
  4. The Gathering Dark (2003)
  5. Waking Nightmares (2011)
  6. The Graves of Saints (2013)
  7. King of Hell (Jan 2014) ~ Final

Other WritingsEdit

Other Series (on site): 

Urban Fantasy AnthologiesEdit

~ More: Christopher Golden Christopher Golden has written many, many books and series: Sci-fy, Buffy, Star Wars, Fantasy and more. Links found below in the References section. 

Themes Edit

  • Not all that is evil is bad and not all that is heavenly is good

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

Chicago, Boston


  • Shadow world
  • Venice:
  • San Francisco

Supernatural Elements Edit

✥ Para-PI, Vampires, mages, Shadows, witches, Reapers, earth witch, god of chaos, Vatican sorcerers, goblins, warrior-mage, demons, monsters, grimoire, vampire samurai, Gaea (a Goddess), minions of Hannibal,

Glossary: Edit

  • Gospel of Shadows: an old tome hidden in the vaults of the Vatican, book itself is a prize to the Church but a truth revealer if in the hands of a Vampire.
  • Coven: vampire "family" group
  • Shadows: vampires who had foresworn evil and fought alongside Peter Octavian

Groups & Organizations:Edit

  • Defiant Ones: Peter Octavian's original Coven—it's what the Church calls them;
  • Vatican: A secret sect of the Catholic Church, armed with an ancient book of the undead called The Gospel of Shadows, has been slowly destroying vampires for centuries.
  • U.N. task force: have a crazy commander—

World Edit

✥ It's your basic good vs. evil. The twist is that the roles have been reversed. This time around the vampires are the good guys and the church and it's agents are the bad guys. For what ever reason the church, while subjugating and even destroying other supernatural creatures, were never able to get the vampires under their total control. Instead they systematically brainwashed the vampires into controlling their own powers. All those myths about daylight, garlic, shape shifting limitations, all of those supposed limitations are false. They were all ploys used to get the vampires to act the way the church wanted them to. Peter Octavian is the first vampire to begin to realize the truth, he starts to go out in the daylight and even turn into a column of fire. But even he is unsure of how vast their powers really are. The theft of the book though changes the church's game plan. If that book falls into the hand of their enemies, The Defiant Ones make discover the truth. So the Church under the influence of Father Mulkerrin decides to take them out for once and for all, eliminate them all during their gathering in Venice. Little does Father Mulkerrin know what Peter and his allies, including Buffalo Bill Cody, have in store for them. ~ GR reader | Ryan

The church assures the world that vampires do not exist; but if they did, they would be vanquished by a stake to the heart, silver, a crucifix, or sunlight. Yet while telling everyone that bloodsuckers are absolute fiction, the Vatican has been training supernatural assassins to hunt out and kill the undead. Vampires believe they will die in traditional ways, as they have been brainwashed by thousands of years' experience. Yet one of them fights against this, and suddenly church and vampires are racing to defeat the other. ~ GR reader | Amber

Protagonist Edit

✥ Centers on a vampire/private investigator, named Peter Octavian, living in the city of Chicago and discovering that the “random” case that he was working on may not be random after all. How could it not be when it involved seemingly indiscriminate killings of humans, with their corpses strewn around the crime scene and links to the Catholic Church. These same killings also coincide with the death of some prominent Vampires in their closed society as they are brutally hunted down by men of the cloth. One such Vampire happened to be Peter’s maker, a German Vampire who goes by his name of Karl Von Reinman.

Peter Octavian: Peter was disowned from Karl’s Coven for he claimed that the Catholic Church lied to them and was actually covering up the truth in the hopes of subverting their existence and keeping them in check. These truths consisted of misinformation and a form of brainwashing; for Vampires can actually withstand the rays of the sun, can change into any form at will and like Peter proved at a later part in the book, can in fact, enter the Catholic Church and not be barred from it. Peter is no doubt the one who rallies his kind together in the hopes of exposing the lies that the Vatican has been spreading and hopefully inform as much he can of their kind; that all was lie. That the path for self discovery begins now. ~ GR reader | Caz Edmunds

✥ Detective Peter Octavian has been fighting with his guilt of what he is (a Vampire) for many many years and has dedicated his life in protecting humans and preserving live itself. Whilst working he stumbles across this path of murders, both human and vampire alike, and is trying to solve them but unbeknown to him he is getting closer to the book. Within it many Questions could be answered. With an all out war on the horizon things are beginning to get a little tense. ~ Fantasy book review

Sidekick Edit

  • Name: / What: / Sidekick-to: / About: / Book First Seen In:

Characters Chart Edit

Characters What About
Peter Octavian vampire, wizard, mage, PI in Boston; works to enlighten vampire kind to the lies the Church has convinced them;
Meaghan love interest; overbearing at times;
Cody, William Cody, Defiant One "Buffalo Bill"
Father Mulkerrin Vatican Sorcerer after an old tome, The Gospel of Shadows;

decides to take out the vampires for once and for all;

Karl Von Reinman German Vampire Peter’s maker; prominent Vampire in their closed society; brutally hunted down by men of the cloth;
John Courage #2 makes a huge impact, imparts a secret, then goes away;
Kuromaku heroic
Keomany Shaw
Nikki Wydra
Father Jack
Cortez #6 renegade vampire murdered someone Peter loves;

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column. Or, in Source Mode: copy-paste rows.

Christopher Golden 2

Christopher Golden

Author Edit

Christopher Golden

  • WebsiteChristopher Golden
  • Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Horror-Fantasy, Buffy-verse

Bio: Christopher Golden was voted the third most popular science fiction author of the year 2000 by the readers of SFX magazine. He is the author of several dark fantasy novels and comic books in addition to numerous Buffy the Vampire Slayer adult novels and reference books which have made him a major UK bestseller.

Cover ArtistEdit

Artist: Craig White (later editions) — source: ISFdb

Publishing InformationEdit

  1. Of Saints and Shadows: Paperback, 400 pgs, Pub Oct 1-1998 Ace—ISBN 0441005705 / Paperback, 391 pgs, Pub July 27-2010 byAce—ISBN 0441019056
  2. Angel Souls and Devil Hearts: Paperback, 416 pgs, Pub Nov 1st 1998 by Ace—ISBN 0441005780 / PB, 384 pgs, Pub Oct 1-2010 Simon & Schuster—ISBN 1847399258 / PB, 384 pgs, Pub Sept 28-2010 Ace—ISBN 0441019463
  3. Of Masques and Martyrs:
  4. The Gathering Dark:
  5. Waking Nightmares:
  6. The Graves of Saints:
  7. King of Hell:

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE BLURB—Of Saints and Shadows (1994): When a mysterious and ancient book, called the Gospel of Shadows, is stolen from a secret sect dedicated to the destruction of vampires, private detective Peter Octavian—a vampire himself—is drawn into a desperate search for the missing book. ~ Of Saints and Shadows ~ FF

BOOK TWO BLURB—Angel Souls and Devil Hearts (1998): The Shadows have been exposed. The ancient vampiric race now finds itself in danger of the most powerful demon of all--human prejudice. In a world where the good are no longer recognizable from the bad, where Shadows are indeed the saints, a holy war is about to begin, pitting humans and vampires against the darkest demons of the Pit. ~ Goodreads | Angel Souls and Devil Hearts (Shadow Saga #2)

BOOK THREE BLURB—Of Masques and Martyrs (1998): Led by Peter Octavian, the Shadows must drink blood. Yet they do not steal life. New Shadows are created only by individual choice. Peace is their only hunger. The minions of Hannibal have a different goal: the enslavement of humanity. They kill for pleasure and for thirst. They indiscriminately create more of their own. And they embrace the title of terrible legend: vampire. Shadows and vampires. One and the same. Their war continues. ~ Goodreads | Of Masques and Martyrs (Shadow Saga #3)

BOOK FOUR BLURB—The Gathering Dark (2003): The Gospel of Shadows has been destroyed, leaving the barriers between the human world and paranormal realms wide open. Only Peter Octavian, a powerful mage-and former vampire-can save mankind. ~ Goodreads | The Gathering Dark (Shadow Saga #4)

BOOK FIVE BLURB—Waking Nightmares (2011): Peter Octavian, once a vampire, now a powerful mage, has been living a quiet life in San Francisco. But when the barrier that used to prevent demons and monsters from entering the world have fallen, Octavian is compelled to do what he can to hold back the darkness. ~Goodreads | Waking Nightmares (Shadow Saga #5)

BOOK SIX BLURB—The Graves of Saints (2013): For centuries, Vatican sorcerers kept demons and monsters out of our world with the magic found in a grimoire called The Gospel of Shadows. Years ago, to save his people from madmen, Peter Octavian defeated those sorcerers and the Gospel of Shadows itself was banished from the Earth. Ever since, the evils and monstrosities lurking in parallel worlds have been waking to the realization that our magical defences are down - the barriers keeping them out of our world are crumbling. With massive demonic incursions in locations around the world, Octavian should be focused on using his own sorcery to drive the evil out and rebuild our defences. But a renegade vampire named Cortez has murdered the person Octavian loves the most and, even with his friends and allies around him, he is so lost in grief that he can think of nothing but revenge. There are others who can fight the darkness—mages and Shadows, witches and Reapers and vampire samurai—but only the warrior-mage, Peter Octavian, can defeat it. If he will answer the call. ~ Goodreads | The Graves of Saints by Christopher Golden

BOOK SEVEN BLURB—King of Hell (Jan 2014): Peter Octavian's powerful sorcery guards his world against evil. Now he must go on a perilous journey to save those condemned to a fate worse than death itself… When Octavian called upon Gaea to rid the Earth of demons, her magic banished not only the demons but also the Shadows - vampires who had foresworn evil and fought alongside him, some for many years. Together with two unlikely companions - a wise-cracking goblin with the ability to walk the paths between worlds, and a demon changeling struggling to come to terms with what he is - Octavian sets out on what seems to be an impossible mission: to free his friends from Hell. There he finds some unexpected figures from his past - and an enemy of his own making, driven by an implacable hatred, whose power is equal to his own and whose quest for vengeance is personal… ~ Goodreads | King of Hell (The Shadow Saga)

First Sentences Edit

  1. Of Saints and Shadows (1994) — HIS MEMORY IS LIKE A TORNADO ACROSS time, touching down to pick up a single event or person and carrying it away until it is dropped in favor of something else.
  2. Angel Souls and Devil Hearts (1998) — "It's actually quite intimidating," Allison said.
  3. Of Masques and Martyrs (1998) — AT THE CENTER OF NEW ORLEANS'S FRENCH Quarter, Bourbon Street was all flash; garish face paint obscuring the true identity of the most fascinating city in America.
  4. The Gathering Dark (2003) — A light spring breeze whispered down off the mountains and gently swayed the hand-carved chimes that hung outside the propped-open door of Sweet Somethings.
  5. Waking Nightmares (2011) — Octavian climbed out of the professor's car, hoping they had come to this grimy corner of Montreal on a fool's errand, that there would be no monster tonight.
  6. The Graves of Saints (2013) —
  7. King of Hell (Jan 2014) — The trouble with living as long as Peter Octavian had was that the past waited around every corner, draped in shadow and cobwebbed with forgotten faces and bittersweet memories.

Quotes Edit

Read Alikes (similar elements) Edit

See Category links at bottom of page

Awards Edit

Trivia Edit

Notes Edit

See Also Edit

Trivia & Notes Edit

First Sentence: His memory is like a tornado across time, touching down to pick up a single event or person and carrying it away until it is dropped in favor of something else. Shelfari

External References Edit



World, Characters, etc:




Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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