Lestat is my favorite vampire.

I have read Bram Stoker’s Dracula and seen countless on-screen adaptations, along with the lesser-known Victorian penny dreadfuls that inspired it. I’ve read Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books and seen the first two seasons of the HBO show that followed. I’ve read all of Stephenie Meyer’s novels and seen all the movies. I’ve watched both the 1992 movie and the late-90s television series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve read Sunshine, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Society of S, Vampire Academy and seen more under-the-radar and near-impossible-to-find vampire movies than I care to admit to right now.

I bring all this up so that when I say, “Lestat is my favorite vampire,” you’ll understand exactly where I’m coming from.

 

 

Nevertheless, when I heard that Anne Rice was giving the world another novel featuring the so-called Brat Prince of the legendary and beloved Vampire Chronicles, I was both excited and a little bit nervous. The tenth book in the series, Blood Canticle, came out way back in 2003 when the gaps between novels had been only three or four years tops (excepting the gap between the first two, before the series really got popular). That’s a long time to wait for another book, and like many, I was convinced Rice had given up on the series altogether. So what would this new book be like? Would it bring back the magic I’d been craving? Or would it sink the series and make me turn to other things, as I’ve been doing in the long years since Lestat’s absence?

I’m thrilled to report that the Brat Prince did not disappoint me.

In Prince Lestat, the whole of vampiredom has been hearing a telepathic and extremely unhappy “Voice” which both knows them all by name and is bent on convincing them to destroy each other – successfully in some cases. The younger or “fledgling” vampires are flocking to New York in the hope that someone will come to their rescue and/or tell them what to do. As you might imagine given the title, what they really want is a leader, and they want Lestat. Unfortunately, he’s gone into hiding and no one seems to be able to find him. And the killings are only getting worse.

There are echoes of the third book, Queen of the Damned, in this one, what with the impending crisis and the theme of vampire-kind coming together to reach a common goal. One thing I tend to tell people who aren’t familiar with the series is that the first three books comprise the overarching story, and the others – from The Tale of the Body Thief up through Blood Canticle – are mostly just fun, diversionary vignettes that can be read more or less on their own. In other words, if you haven’t read the entire series, you can probably jump into this one without getting lost.

Also, Rice has provided a helpful glossary of terms and a list of characters as bookends in this particular volume in order to help readers keep the details straight. If anything, I’d suggest reading Queen of the Damned before this one, since so much of what happens in that book sets up the events that transpire here. This is the same sort of game-changing epic, bringing new meaning to the identity of vampires as a species and their place in this fictional universe, but it also has a deeper sense of closure and hope for the future. It’s so hard to sum this up without giving away one critical plot point or another, so I apologize for keeping this vague. All I can tell you is it’s definitely worth the wait, and makes me want to go back and read the whole series again from the beginning.

Place your hold for Prince Lestat here!

Want to start at the beginning? Check out Interview With the Vampire here!

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5 thoughts on “Staff Recommendation: Prince Lestat by Anne Rice

  1. Laurel,

    Lestat is pretty high on my favorite vampire list too. I of course hold a special place for the Prince of Wallachia myself, but Lestat is a good deal more charismatic. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) is one of my all time favorite adaptations despite its many flaws (Keanu Reeves for one).

    I was pretty excited to see a new Anne Rice book that did not deal with werewolves or Jesus, but rather a return to the character that put her on the map. I am also happy to hear that it sounds like a return to form. I enjoyed Memnoch the Devil which was the last Lestat book I can remember. I was not the hugest fan of some of her other Vampire Chronicle stuff. So this will have to be added to my must read list.

    So my burning question is… what did you think of the film adaptation of Interview with a Vampire (1994)? How about Tom Cruise as Lestat? Or Stuart Townsend as Lestat? Enquring readers want to know!

    1. The Francis Ford Coppolla movie is a classic–I love Gary Oldman in pretty much everything he’s done, and Dracula is no exception.

      As for Interview With a Vampire–I actually saw the movie before I read the books, so I didn’t get the opportunity to be annoyed by what was changed. But honestly, even after reading it, the movie has a very special place in my heart. One of my favorite roles for Tom Cruise–and Brad Pitt, for that matter, who is probably the reason reluctant “vegetarian” vampires even became a thing.

      Stuart Townsend on the other hand… Well, that movie is a guilty pleasure for me. It’s pretty ridiculous, but in a fun way. I’m a little embarrassed by how many times I’ve watched it.

  2. Wow! I have never “met” someone so into vampire lore before, reading all the vampire books and seeing the movies! I agree that Prince Lestat is really something! I think Rice, who single-handedly created a new genre in gothic literature, propelled vampires into a whole new direction with Prince Lestat.

    1. Thank you for reading!

      I agree that Rice definitely changed things for vampires and their many super-fans. I’m so glad this book lived up to the high expectations I had for it.

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