Book Review: Anne Rice is back with ‘Prince Lestat’
By Anne Rice
It was so exciting to see an Anne Rice novel back on the bestseller table, so I couldn’t resist picking up “Prince Lestat.” This book is billed as No. 11 in the Vampire Chronicle, though technically it is the 13th if you count the hybrid novels.
After 11 years back at the Catholic church writing religious books, Rice once again has fallen out with the church much to her fans’ pleasure. When she steps back from the church, her vampire chronicles are actually deep reflections on humanity, church, faith, love and a good dose of fun.
The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis: vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all across the world; huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in “The Queen of the Damned” are occurring; and old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth, are doing the bidding of a voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto and San Francisco.
As the novel moves from present-day New York and the West Coast to ancient Egypt, 4th century Carthage, 14th century Rome and the Venice of the Renaissance, the worlds and beings of all the Vampire Chronicles — Louis de Pointe du Lac; the eternally young Armand, whose face is that of a Botticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet, Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true child of the Millennia; along with all the other new seductive, supernatural creatures — come together in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel to ultimately rise up and seek out who — or what — the voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why.
This book is actually more of a followup to the third book in the series, “Queen of The Damned.” I really recommend reading those first three before jumping into this book.
The other books in the Vampire Chronicles are more like diaries of individual characters, giving lots of detail and background for uber fans, but it’s not necessary in the core story moving forward.
In many ways, “Prince Lestat” is a love letter to the fans of the series and to the Vampire Chronicles itself. One thing I always loved about reading Anne Rice is coming away with at least one new vocabulary word. She still doesn’t disappoint. This time, the word is: pulchritudinous.
Tis book is available at the Bud Werner Memorial Library and at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore; e-books can be found at http://www.steamboatbooks.com.
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