Posts Tagged ‘Prince Lestat’

As it gets colder and the nights grow longer, you can count on two things: my dark powers get stronger, and Anne Rice releases a new novel. This year it’s Blood Communion, the latest chapter in the new additions to her Vampire Chronicles that started with Prince Lestat in 2014. I was first at my library to get a copy, and I couldn’t wait to dive in. And despite a busy October (three words: work is insane!), I’ve been steadily making my way through the book. And this evening, I managed to finish the story. As is my self-imposed duty, I will review it. Even if it does mean staying up later than I meant to.

What can I say? I’m a bear for work. At least the kind I do for fun.

Blood Communion follows Lestat as his Court is finally beginning to look like an actual royal court. However, at times he finds his own desires and morals standing opposed to what those in his council desire or believe. As the Brat Prince tries to reconcile what he believes with what he must do as Prince of the Vampires, new threats to the Court arise. Old and new enemies resurface, threatening all he loves. And if he wants any of it to survive, Lestat will have to make some very hard decisions. What he decides to do will determine not just what will happen to the Court, but to vampires everywhere.

I feel like this novel, more than many of the others in the Chronicles, would make a great arc for a future season of the upcoming Vampire Chronicles TV series.* The story feels oddly suited to an arc for a show based off these books and characters.

But as a novel, I liked it. Written with Rice’s usual focus on beauty, sensuality, spirituality, and emotion and with that detail to language that makes her style so unique, it’s not hard to get drawn in. And as the central conflict of the story becomes apparent, you really get caught up in Lestat’s battle not only for his friends and family, but for the very soul of the vampire community. At the same time, seeing Lestat trying to figure out what is the right path for him and his new Kingdom of the Night is compelling. It’s a conflict we haven’t seen this famous vampire have to go through yet (and he’s met the Devil), and I’m glad that Rice decided to explore this new facet of Lestat and the issues that arise from what he’s trying to do.

My one criticism is that I wish that some of the new characters introduced could’ve been given bigger roles and perhaps allowed to surprise us more. I know that there was only so much room and there had to be focus on the main conflict, but I felt that these new characters could’ve been a lot more interesting if they’d maybe shown up with different purposes and goals in mind.

All in all though, this was a satisfying addition to the Vampire Chronicles and I’m sure that if the show gets far enough, it’ll make for a great season of television. On a scale of 1 to 5, I’m giving Blood Communion by Anne Rice a solid 4. Pick it up, and drink in the majesty of the beginning of a new era of the Children of the Blood. I’m looking forward to seeing the next book in the series has Lestat and the Court doing.

Though if the next book Ms. Rice produces involves werewolves, angels, or mummies, I’ll also be excited to read that. What can I say? I’m flexible.

*Yeah, in case you missed it, Hulu’s developing a TV series based off Anne Rice’s books and starting with a pilot penned by her son and fellow writer Christopher Rice. As you can imagine, I can’t wait to see it. And is it too much to hope that Tom Mison or Christopher Eccleston can get roles on the show?

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When I first heard about Anne Rice’s new novel, I thought to myself, “Wait. Lestat and Atlantis? Together? Either this is going to be the most brilliant thing ever or this series has finally jumped the metaphorical shark.” I can now say, having read the book, that there was no metaphorical (or literal) shark-jumping. This book was bloody brilliant, from seductive opening to heartwarming and uplifting ending.

Taking place not too long after the adventures of Prince Lestat (read my review of that here), Lestat and the vampire world is slowly but surely adjusting to all the changes that occurred in the last book. Lestat is getting used to living with Amel, the spirit that animates the tribe, though that has its problems here and there. To many vampires, it is a renaissance for their kind. That is, however, until the vampires are approached by beings who look human, but aren’t. And they’re not vampires either, or spirits. This is something totally new. And they know of Amel, and of a legendary city that has permeated our legends for centuries. The revelations they bring, and the changes they want to make, will shock the vampire world forever.

First off, I love the prose. Anne Rice writes with a style that’s light taking sugar and gossamer and turning it into words: sweet, ephemeral, beautiful. And as always, her characters are full of love, love of life and love of each other. I swear, if mankind was as affectionate as the vampires are, we would have much fewer problems getting along.

But that’s standard for an Anne Rice novel. The rest is anything but standard. The plot has so many unexpected twists which always leaves you wanting to read on and find out more. With the one twist I was able to predict, I thought it would ruin the story for me, but the story is so well-written that it kept things from getting that way. I also like the new characters, not just as characters, but in how they add new dimensions to the series. You’d think twelve books in, there’s only so much innovation a universe can get, but these characters literally added a whole new sphere to the series, and I would love to see this sphere explored in later books (which I hope we get). Not only that, but in many ways, these new characters are challenging to the vampires. They put them in a whole new arena that the vampires aren’t used to, and it’s interesting to see the vampires react to these new situations.

And finally, the philosophy in this book is just out of this world. It really made me think a bit about Earth’s major religions, and about the way we interact with one another. And if a novel can make you do that, it’s definitely one you’ll want to pick up and take a look at.

I can’t really think of anything that makes Realms of Atlantis bad or is a flaw in the story. Like I said, there’s a twist I predicted early on that I thought might ruin the story, but that wasn’t the case. Anything else would really be nitpicking, and I don’t see any need to do that.

All in all, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis is even better than the book that preceded it, earning a solid 5 out of 5. It’s beautifully written, twisty, and not only reminds me that these vampires still have plenty of life in them forty years after they first graced bookshelves around the world, but inspires me to work harder so that one day I can be said to write stories so good, that even Anne Rice will want to read them.

Go check it out, and see for yourself.

My crazy, busy life finally gave me time to read the continuation of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, so I downloaded it to my Kindle at the first opportunity and started reading. And it was awesome, and shows that even over a decade later and after a fad of sparkly vamps that many wish had never surfaced, Anne Rice and her vampire characters, particularly that rascal Lestat, can still tell a mesmerizing and heart-pounding story.

In Prince Lestat, the vampires have proliferated all over the world and the vampire world is in chaos. There is a need for the Children of Darkness to come together, and Lestat’s name has been floated as someone who could lead the change. Of course, the Brat Prince, between wandering in isolation and trying to figure out his iPhone, would rather not have that sort of responsibility thrust upon him. That is, until a horrific tragedy, worse than when Akasha rose from her sleep, strikes the global vampire community, and Lestat may be the one to put an end to this cataclysm, whether he wants to or not.

The book starts out with a quick guide to the world of the Vampire Chronicles (perfect if you’re like me and you haven’t read the books in a number of years) before sliding into the story. And at once, you are transported by Anne Rice’s storytelling, which is poetic, prosaic, melodic, sometimes erotic, and a few other -ics all at the same time. It’s wonderful seeing all these characters again and how they’ve changed over the years, and meeting a few new ones who impress themselves upon your hearts almost immediately.

The plot is also fun, exciting and mysterious, with each twist and revelation making you pause to take it in. And it’s interesting to read how the vampires have adjusted to the Internet Age. Some have adjusted quite well: Benji Mahmoud from The Vampire Armand has his own Internet radio show, which has become like a staple of vampire culture in this day and age. Others, like Lestat…well, you saw my summary above.

It’s also interesting to see some of the evolutions taking place in Rice’s style. In previous reviews of her books, I’ve mentioned how she’s incorporated science into her books where before she’s preferred to use magic and the supernatural. In Prince Lestat, she brings science into the story through two new characters who act as vampire doctors and scientists with the goal of studying vampires. You read that right, she has vampire scientists! Not what I expected either, considering how many vampires have been or are musicians or patricians or artists or whatnot. They and their work are a fun twist in the whole saga that lead to some interesting plot points, as well as making the reader rethink the whole series through their perspective.

There’s much more I could say about the book, but I’ll wrap up by saying that if Anne Rice is looking to write a whole new series of vampire books, she’s done a great job launching it with Prince Lestat. As magical as any of the other books, with enough characters to make you think you’re having a reunion with old friends and a plot that not only is intriguing and holds up on its own but with an ending that sets up for future books, which from what I hear we can look forward to.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I’m giving Prince Lestat a perfect score of 5. It’s a moving cannonball back into an intriguing universe, and I cannot wait to find out what happens in Blood Paradise when it comes out.

And I wouldn’t mind another werewolf novel. And I would really like to know what happens next to Toby O’Dare, so when can we expect the next book in the Songs of the Seraphim series? Just asking.