Vladimir Menshikov, also known as Vlad the Inhaler, was a Russian magician who was in charge of the Eighteenth Nome. He was an assassin for rogue magicians, and was the third most powerful magician in the world. He is a descendant of the priests of Ra, the ones that wrote the Book of Ra.
Menshikov was the grandson of the infamous Prince Menshikov. He was once considered a hero by the House of Life, but recently, his behavior has become more chaotic. Menshikov may have heard the orders from Desjardins, but he had his own agenda; he wanted to help Apophis rise from his prison.
Vladimir's face, voice, and eyes were destroyed when he attempted to destroy the Book of Ra earning, him the name "Evil Ice Cream Man" from Sadie in The Throne of Fire. Sadie states that his eyes looked likes Gramp's favorite breakfast, soft boiled eggs with Tabasco sauce.
Vladimir Menshikov was first seen when Sadie took a ba trip to the First Nome. Vlad and Desjardins were talking about Amos Kane. Vladimir was later seen in Russia, as he summoned Set and then attacked Carter and Sadie. It was later revealed to Carter by Horus how Vlad ruined his eyes. He attempted to awaken the sun god with one scroll. Instead of waking up Ra, the scroll blasted flames at Vlad that damaged his eyes and vocal cords. This was when he became an ideal host for Apophis. Apophis was hosted by Vladimir, and they tried to unleash Chaos into the world. Vladimir had put curses on the Chief Lector, Desjardins, to sap away his strength. Menshikov was "enslaved" by Apophis. After he tried to awaken Ra with but one scroll, he "turned bitter". In this state of mind he was an ideal host for the Serpent. Menshikov never wanted to host Apophis, but he was possessed. According to Carter, Menshikov was "a prisoner of his own hateful feelings". Apophis eventually took over control and forced Vladimir to say things that he never wanted to. He wanted to usurp Ma'at to some extent, but not let it collapse into the Sea of Chaos. Apophis did, and Vlad's foolhardy attempt to revive Ra led to his demise.
In the final battle deep in the Duat, Desjardins came to aid Carter and Sadie. He summoned a whirlwind and attacked Vladimir and distracted "that wretch" as Sadie started the spell. Desjardins subdued Apophis using the glyph for Turn Back (Heh-Seih) then tried to execrate him. Vlad died when his body collapsed as Apophis broke free.
Menshikov was extremely cruel; he execrated his own servant to summon Set. The practice itself is forbidden by the House of Life. He hid his sardonic personality with a mask of loyalty to Desjardins. The only two beings he cares about are himself, and Apophis.
Vlad dresses in all white, wearing a suit and scarf and sunglasses. He has a chubby face, a pleasant smile, and curly gray hair. His eyes are ruined, however, appearing as if they have been "splashed with acid, then repeatedly clawed by cats". This was caused by him trying to awaken Ra with only one out of three scrolls. He wears a silver, snake-shaped pendant. According to Sadie, he looks like an evil ice-cream man.
Powers and Abilities
Vlad can cast curses, as he did to Chief Lector Desjardins in The Throne Of Fire. He can also use a pendant to change enemies into snakes and making earth envelop his enemies "crossing like a DNA helix', as described by narrator Carter Kane. Apart from that, his powers over the elements shown in the end of The Throne of Fire all come from Apophis, whom he hosted.
Apophis Apophis is the only being that Menshikov cares about other than himself. He is undyingly loyal to Apophis, although he did show a bit of remorse when Apophis took him over.
Michel Desjardins Menshikov pretended to be the Chief Lector's friend for a period of time in The Throne of Fire. In reality, he was doing this in order to manipulate Desjardins's control over the House of Life and its forces, while also draining his power steadily as well.
Sarah Jacobi Jacobi was one of Menshikov's assassins when he ordered several evil magicians and demons to attack Brooklyn House. She may have saw him as a role model, because she took over his nome in St. Petersburg, and waged war on the Kane Family even after his death in the Duat.
Set It is revealed in The Throne of Fire that Menshikov was the only other mortal to know Set's secret name, Evil Day, besides the Kanes. Menshikov summoned him illegally several times on the varying information he wanted to know.
Carter Kane Menshikov hates all Kanes, as they prove a threat to his plan for ressurecting Apophis, and Carter is no exception. While at his nome in Russia, he casted a spell that would have killed Carter if Sadie Kane had not intervened and healed him.
Sadie Kane It is presumed that Menshikov hates Sadie just as much as Carter Kane, but there is relatively no information upon this topic.
Bes Bes participated in Menshikov's grandfather's dwarf wedding, so he hates Menshikov personally. It is unknown whether or not Menshikov returns this.
- Sadie nicknamed him the 'Ice Cream Man'.
- Some think that Vlad's nickname, "Vlad the Inhaler" may come from the Romanian ruler, "Vlad the Impaler", due to their fiendish and evil behaviors. Menshikov's could also may come from his dry, husky voice resembling an asthmatic.
- Menshikov did not use Divine Words. Some think that when Vlad yelled Nyet that it was a spell. That is unlikely, since Nyet is Russian for "no". Set probably caused the resulting sandstorm (Set was trapped in a jar like a genie and was released by Sadie to attack Vlad) because Set is the secondary god of chaos. The sand sent Vlad into the wall. Set then proceeded to drop three malachite vases over his head.
- In the Polish translation, he is known as Wład Parownik (Vlad the Evaporator) in order to sound similar to Wład Palownik (Vlad the Impaler)
- Vlad's friendly expression is deceiving, because when he takes off his glasses, it reveals ruined eyes.
- Vladimir Menshikov is one of the main antagonists of the series, despite only appearing in one book.
- It is ironic that Menshikov's goal of sowing destruction eventually killed him.
- Despite his efforts to free Apophis, by the end, he wanted to die. The Kanes could see in his eyes that he was begging for them to kill him when he was possessed.
- He died when Apophis escaped his mortal body. Vladimir Menshikov's body disintegrated when Vlad/Apophis was execrated by Desjardins.
- Desjardins died shortly after casting the disintegration spell to destroy Apophis and Vladamir from the spell cast over him to weaken him.
- In Russian, Vlad and Vladimir are different names.