Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles
By Anne Rice
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Review by Sarabeth Pollock
Review Date: November 1, 2014
The Vampire Lestat is back.
After eleven years, Anne Rice has returned to The Vampire Chronicles in a purely brilliant tour de force that’s sure to delight fans young and old. Rice is a master at creating vibrant mythologies. From her vampires to her witches and everything in between, she cultivates worlds that are rich with history and character. It’s clear that everything in the book has been meticulously researched, and every detail cross referenced for accuracy. Prince Lestat is no exception; this is an epic story that spans 8,000 years and brings together the familiar faces fans know and love as well as exciting newcomers who make a welcome addition to the mythos.
The story begins with a mysterious Voice that has been causing a stir among the world’s vampire population, speaking to the elders and telling them to exterminate the hordes of fledglings that have amassed over the years. There’s a bit of an overpopulation problem facing the vampire world since The Burning that took place during Akasha’s reign of terror in Queen of the Damned. Now, scores of vampires are dying around the world and there’s no telling who will be next. That leaves the million dollar question: Who is behind this Voice and what does it want?
Lestat returns as our fearless narrator. Lestat is as puzzled by the Voice as everyone else, and he’s determined (albeit reluctantly) to get to the bottom of it. He weaves through time like a warm knife cuts through butter. We move from present day to the time just after the events of The Tale of the Body Thief, and all parts in between. Along the way we meet up with old friends who are equally concerned about this Voice and its motivations, and this quest for answers unearths many shocking truths that will impact the vampire world for years to come.
It’s not difficult to understand Lestat’s magnetism and how it has continued to grow over the years. Lestat, as an archetype, is appealing to many people in the same way that Tom Hiddleston’s Loki appealed to so many in Thor and The Avengers. They’re dark heroes, anti-heroes, and their charismatic personalities make them irresistible, even when they’re at their most exasperating. Lestat has been on a quest for redemption for a long while, dating back to well-before 2003’s Blood Canticle. Prince Lestat takes Lestat full circle on his quest, though he never stops being the Brat Prince his fans know and love.
Anne Rice books are like beautiful symphonies, and Prince Lestat is no different: It starts out slowly, allowing the drama and anticipation to build, until the story reaches a feverish crescendo. The only issue I had with Prince Lestat is that it wasn’t long enough! At 460 pages, the story felt a bit rushed toward the end, but this might be due to the numerous characters that show up to move the story along. The book could have been a thousand pages and still felt rushed. I wanted to hear more from the other characters to learn about where they have been over the years, but hopefully this will happen with future novels. The world of Anne Rice’s vampires is ripe with possibility.
In an age where authors are granted movie rights before their novels hit bookstores, it’s refreshing that in spite of the eleven year gap since the last installment of The Vampire Chronicles, Lestat and his companions are back in even finer form, sporting their “flashing” silk ties, fine lace and velvet frock coats. These details make Anne Rice novels what they are: modern literature at its finest. I’m keenly aware that I’m reading an author whose writing will be considered a classic for generations to come. Prince Lestat is a delightful read and will satisfy die-hard fans of The Vampire Chronicles and entice new blood to the fold.