Author: Anne Rice
I am hesitant to even begin this review. I have long been a fan of Anne Rice and I have read the bulk of her back catalogue but never have I attempted to review her work. I have read the earlier books in The Vampire Chronicles multiple times, always reading from start to finish when a new book was released – my days of having that luxury have long since past but it does mean that I have much clearer memories of the early books than the later.
Prince Lestat is the first new tale of the vampires in over a decade and as we read it becomes clear that the ‘present day’ of each of the books in the series has been the present day of its release. In a little tidbit of information that blows me away everytime, The Vampire Chronicles are actually as old as me so it’s safe to say that I discovered them long after their original release, and not even at the first release of the movie but it was the movie I discovered first.
But I digress, suffice to say I have shared a long affair of the heart with Lestat and irrespective of how many years pass I will always check out what he’s up to. I have been super excited about this book ever since I discovered it’s impending release and bought myself a copy for Christmas. Knowing it was sitting there waiting for me gave me the patience to wait until a break in my review schedule and when it came I jumped at the chance.
I have enjoyed all of the vampire novels written by Rice, actually who am I kidding I have enjoyed all of the Rice books that I have read. The spark and originality did seem to fade as the series progressed and I found that Lestat made it his purpose to live up to the title of Brat Prince and was quite tedious at times.
Rice’s writing is very heavy and extremely descriptive, it is not for everyone. If you want a fast paced light read, Rice is probably not for you. Having said that, I love how involved her settings are and how invested she is in creating crystal clear images of the characters and their surroundings. My biggest issue with that is that it means Armand is forever ruined for me, much as I loved Antonia Banderas in the role he was no Armand.
After Blood Canticle Anne Rice said she had finished writing about Lestat and the vampires but it seems that Lestat had not finished with us.
Prince Lestat brings together everyone from the earlier chronicles and is told in such a way that you could read it as a stand alone, there is enough information given about Lestat’s past escapades that you will get up to speed. It doesn’t seem to have touched on much after Memnoch but you do get a feel for his adventures.
This book brings together multiple points of view in alternating chapters and allows the reader to get to know many new characters as well as reacquaint themselves with series favourites. The number of characters in this book was staggering and that sometimes made it a little difficult to follow, but that could just be the large number of years between readings.
Lestat may have stopped talking to Rice after Blood Canticle but there were many questions left unanswered and Prince Lestat manages to answer many of them. There were some unexpected revelations and some rather predictable plotlines. Rice manages to bring the series full circle but still leaves it wide open for more vampire novels if Lestat so desires, and I kind of think he will.
With the vampire world in chaos everyone looks to Lestat to stand up and be their saviour, even the ancients want the Brat Prince to lead them and he refuses to see why they need it to be him. It is Lestat that has brought them all together, that has woken ancients and tried to blow their cover and in doing so has become the most widely known vamp the world has ever seen and it is he that the fledglings will be most likely to follow.
Rice brings order and unity to a whole species of being who have always been the outcasts, hiding out in the shadows. I find her prose to be quite poetic and sensual, it’s in the way she writes. It’s flowery almost and very wordy but I am not sure it would be the same if she wasn’t.
Prince Lestat will take you from the dawn of time to the day of reckoning and introduce you to all the major players of vampiric history along the way. It will also take you deeper into the Talamasca than we have ever been and that has long been a secret I wanted uncovered. It doesn’t have the punch and the originality of the first 5 Vampire Chronicles but I am one fan that was definitely not disappointed in this latest offering.
Prince Lestat is available from all good booksellers and Random House.