[Book Review] Anne Rice – Prince Lestat (2014)

I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to the Vampire Chronicles. Seriously, it’s a constant drug I can’t shake nor am I willing to do so.

You might have noticed from time to time that I constantly write about Anne’s influence when I was a brat and how reading the books worked in my academic advantage. I’m not ashamed to admit it, this woman’s work turned me from a moderate reader who picked up whatever hit her fancy at the times, into an avid reader. Yes, because I needed to understand why she mentioned a certain writer and felt it necessary to become an expert on  history, art and philosophy all before I passed my general school exams. Did I mentioned it helped my French and English? It did. 

Going back to these books, they’re my recreational drug so to speak. The descriptions, the way the characters are constructed, their voice, it’s a statement of Anne Rice dedication towards this series and her fans.

I tell you I waited for this book with excitement and dread. The first glimpses of the plot and the official synopsis made it clear for me, this book was ushering the merry coven into this New Age. It was about time if you ask me.

Lestat_Intro„Prince Lestat” is written in the same vein as „Queen of the Damned”, it’s not just Lestat who emerges at first telling the audience what he’s been up to, but old and new characters are (re)introduced : Jesse Reeves, Maharet and Makare, Khayman and Mael in the third book of the series and some new blood like: Antoine, Rhoshamandes, Benedict and Sevreine among the some many who show up. It begs the question of exactly what kind of damage Akasha really did in her wake because at some point I lived with the feeling the vampire community had been seriously wiped with a few scattered elements left alive. Apparently, the numbers are high and that brings forth the issues concerning the leadership of this dark nation and adding insult to injury on the reign of Maharet and Mekara.

The Red Haired Twins have been dear characters of the series but let’s face it, when it comes to ruling they lacked conviction and character as it’s explained in „Prince Lestat”. The sad truth is that Mekare is a damaged creature in which the Sacred Core merely exists, incapable of anything else but acting like a close VC version of a zombie. Maharet looses her will to live in the wake of the news of her sister’s tragedy. It’s normal, after spending 6000 years trying to find her, the reunion left the matriarch bittersweet and Rice decides to put an end to their suffering. The same goes to Khayman, a character rendered mad and incapable of fighting his own demons.

11756401Anne Rice decides to work on many loose ends from the VC books and add a few new plots to the mix. We get a name to the New Orleans vampire Lestat had created, Antoine tied to the Fang Gang which many had missed, the main villains sort to speak are Rhoshamandes though the spirit of Amel, the Voice which decides to start a new Purge among the vampire community. One could say this is a tale told again and it lacks novelty, we’ve seen it before in „The Queen of the Damned” but for lack of other punishment – let’s say the Talamasca haven’t decided to act as evil fighting squad besides their supernatural academic curiosity – this one works. As for the Talamasca, we’re given a few juicy tidbits on how they were created and who are their Elders. Let’s just say it’s bad given the lack of material we’ve had on this entity and in future, perhaps their presence will be more significant – maybe they’ll mix with the new Dark Empire, maybe they will fight against it, just give them something to do besides the lurking and having members turned into vampires.

It’s good to finally give Lestat something to do. The first half the book re-affirms the fact he’s a reclusive from the world and from the vampires of the world, living in his revamp Auvergne chateau – again, a nice way in which Anne Rice brings back elements familiar and dear to the fanbase. What didn’t exactly worked with me are the characters of Viktor and Rose. Viktor, the human son of Lestat, created through the clever genetic experiments of vampire doctor Fareed and Seth, Akasha’s son turned into a vampire by his own mother.  Rose, the ward of Lestat is a dead ringer for Sybele after a couple of unfortunate events yet she keeps her wits with the help of her lover, Viktor. You see, I would have enjoyed to have a shocker, like the confirmation of Nicolas not being dead instead of having these two added into the fold. And yes, Marius steps up the plate and together with Pandora, turns them into vampires. If something needs to be addresses is the fact Anne Rice vampires require a crash course into creating a fledgling 101. Seriously, it’s mandatory at this point because Marius can’t be the only one capable of making vampires.

Besides the acknowledgement that Lestat needed an occupation rather than having him cause trouble with various spirits, demons and witches, the community was in lack of a proper leadership and rules. For those of us who are familiar with the Vampire Masquarede RPG, the creation of a ruling class and a set of rules helps a lot, especially in this tale. As I’ve said, it was about time!

In short, “Prince Lestat”didn’t disappoint and I’m curious on how Anne Rice will handle the new vampire empire. I wait for the new book with as much excitement as I wait for new on the Vampire Chronicles adaptations – how long does it take at this point to have an update?

Enjoy the podcast as well:

2 thoughts on “[Book Review] Anne Rice – Prince Lestat (2014)

  1. Hello, fellow Rice fan! I was so excited when I saw the article in my list of subscriptions that I shared it with one of my friends, who is also in love with the Rice universe. He liked and so did I, but I had to leave a comment here.
    I read ”Prince Lestat” a year ago and I remember how easily I dived into the action, turning page after page, not realising I was reading in English anymore, but eager to know what was going to happen next. I absolutely adored Antoine, his sensibility and love for Lestat, the regret and the happines in his soul when he played The Carousel Waltz while The Elders were dancing.
    I also didn’t like Rose so much, but I have a theory which I told Rice about: Rose is a symbol for us, the readers, since Lestat wasn’t there for her permanently, but only when she was in danger, just like the Vampire Chronicles Books continued after many years of silence.
    One aspect I didn’t like was the fact that they embraced Rhoshamandes as one of them even after all he had done and the fact that, in the end, there truly wasn’t a villain: not him, not Amel.
    I have to admit, I’m concerned about the future of the vampire comunity. The Brat Prince become a King and has the Voice in him. Will this change him? Will this make him different than the Brat I fell in love with when I was 12? Hopefully, Louis and the rest will be at his side and I am more than eager to know how the new kingdom will work.

    1. My dearest, it’s with delight that I read your comment. Antoine satisfied for me a craving knowing the identity of the New Orleans musician and bringing him into the coven was a good move, yet I mourn the loss of Nicolas, I know, not likely to see him in further books but his intensity and tragedy as a character was a delight to read. Rose clearly represents an allegory of the readers and fanbase but with Sybelle being almost a similar eerie character, I feel the bond with her and Viktor was rushed and forced on us. who knows, maybe Anne has something up her sleeve for us regarding this pair and as for Rhoshamandes, hell to the yeah, he starts as a villain and after a couple of pages he’s pardoned? Santino didn’t benefit of the same forgiveness and he was more compelling and intriguing.
      It was a bold move to have Lestat take the reigns of power and have the Sacred Core brought into him and maybe, just maybe it will mean a solid re-introduction of Louis, give him a purpose beyond doom, gloom and solitude, an adviser. The same goes for David, there are many characters right now which need to be brought forth and given something to do. And, I’m so happy to read from a fellow Anne Rice fans <3

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