Book Review: Prince Lestat and The Realms of Atlantis

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Author: Anne Rice
ISBN: 978-0-701-18945-7
RRP: $32.99

A new book about the Brat Prince, Lestat de Lioncourt, how could I resist. I raced out with my Christmas gift cards in hand and bought myself a copy, I got it home and added it to the pile; not sure when I would actually get a chance to pick it up but happy knowing it was there.

I came to a point where there wasn’t a book I HAD to read next so I couldn’t resist, Lestat called to me and I had to heed his call.

Interview with the Vampire was originally released in 1976, making it as old as I am, so clearly I didn’t read it on release; possibly not even when the movie was first released but it was the movie that sparked my love affair with this particular brand of Vampire mythology. I have followed the series right through and try not to read reviews before I have read the books so that I am going in without preconceived ideas, though there has been quite a bit of Facebook hype about this latest book.

Lestat is quite young for a vampire but he has certainly packed a huge amount of adventures into his centuries and we know him best of all. There was a long hiatus in the Vampire Chronicles and this is the second book back after the world thought that the Vampire Chronicles were done.

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis is book 12 in the Vampire Chronicles, there are also 2  New Tales of the Vampires giving us 14 books in this mythology and this latest book brings an entirely new element into the mix making it quite dense and heavy going at times. I thought I would devour this book but it has taken me over a week, some of that can be attributed to school holidays and a house full of kids but not all.

I’m waffling a little here because I’m not quite sure where to start, or how to review without too many spoilers about this book or the earlier installments of the series for those who aren’t familiar with it.

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis takes us back into the heart of the vampire community, a race who now believe they need to have enforced rules, laws, a constitution and a leader. Lestat is an unlikely candidate for a long list of reasons, topped by his unwillingness to live by anyone’s rules, but he is the most widely known vampire in existence.

We have learned a lot in earlier books about the origins of the vampires and how they came into existence but that still left quite a lot of questions. Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis attempts to answer these questions and explain the how.

I think that you could pick up this book as an introduction to Lestat and it would make sense, there’s enough backstory to be able to follow what’s happening but followers of the series will get more out of it.

The vampire mythology and lore is quite detailed and has been throughout the entire series so to add a completely new element at this point takes a little getting your head around. Amel is the animating force of the vampiric race, for want of a better word, and we have learned a lot about him throughout the series but there was a lot that we could never have guessed; and we learn it all in this latest book.

We learn a whole new aspect of Amel’s history as well as discovering a second race of immortals on Earth. This book focuses on the relationships between the two and the further solidification of the Vampiric Court.

The writing style is classic Rice prose; it is descriptive, evocative and lyrical which also makes it quite wordy. Rice has always been dedicated to detailed descriptions of appearances, settings and clothing to plant vivid pictures of her scenes in the mind. It means that her books are a little heavier, a little wordier, and not so much a quick light read to plow through.

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis has received very mixed reviews, as have most of Rice’s books, and it is definitely one that I have found hard to rate.

I loved getting back into Lestat’s world and looking at what he and the vampires are up to. I quite enjoyed the melding of the vampires with the aeons old myths of Atlantis. Lestat seems to be maturing and he has developed a great connection with the vampires of the world that is quite new. His driving force, as ever, is one of love and I am not sure I will ever fall out of love with the character; or with Louis who we saw a lot more of in this one.

I’m not sure if there are plans to continue the series but the book was certainly left open for more adventures of Lestat. A book I enjoyed, though it took longer to get through than I thought it would, but still a book I’m not sure how highly I want to rate.

Anne Rice loves hearing from her readers and you can find her at AnneRice.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Prince Lestat is available from Penguin, Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

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