Source Text: Gene Roddenberry, Hendee, Barb, and J. C. Hendee. Dhampir. New York: Roc, 2003. Print.
Entry Author: Peter Murphy
“In the years before Leesil, all she had was loneliness, which turned to hardness, which turned to cold hatred of anyone superstitious. A mother she’d never known was long dead, and her father had abandoned her to a life among cruel peasants who punished her for being spawned by him. Why would she want to remember such things? Why would she want to look back? There was nothing worth concern in the past (Dhampir 214).”
Magiere is one of three protagonists in a low magic, low technology fantasy setting. She is a mix of vampire, a form of noble dead, and human in a world where humans and elves are the primary inhabitants. Other races exist or have existed, but operate outside the zone of society covered by the books.Her primary occupation is vampire hunting, an activity for which she was effectively bred. In the presence of vampires, she gains superhuman speed and strength as well as a sort of bloodlust. Prior to the start of the series, she works as a charlatan by pretending to slay vampires for superstitious villagers. She meets Leesil, a half-elf, and is inspired to journey with him, but rapidly finds kinship with him because he is similarly isolated from society. The two, along with a fey dog named Chap, slay vampires while searching for a greater understanding of their identities. Magiere, later in the series, finds that she is constructed from a ritual necessary to combine the living and dead.
Later, among the elves, she experiences considerable distrust and loathing for being a dhampir; the world is only now recovering from some apocalyptic event resulting from hordes of undead. With her vampiric heritage, Magiere represents to the elves, who still remember the danger posed by undead and especially “noble dead” who are capable of thought, the ultimate form of miscegenation. Magiere is frequently confronted by what it means to have her legacy and is required to grapple with the idea of part of her being parasitic. In the novel, there is little to be redeemed by most undead. The vampires she faces are required to kill people and obey the orders of their master, the individual who conscripted them into unlife, but many feel no moral complications from their life.
Magiere is noble, certainly, and loyal to her friends, but is not the typical adventurer. All she wants to do is settle down, but she is dragged to adventure by her urgent need for self-knowledge and her loyalty to Leesil. She is forward thinking, but compelled by the past.