Lestat de Lioncourt, arguably the world’s most famous fictional vampire, deals with turmoil among his kindred in Prince Lestat, the eleventh entry into Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Because of her death last year, it’s a sentimental choice for me. Rice centers the book on Lestat but also includes a plethora of first-person stories from other vampire characters. Thank goodness she includes a scorecard at the back of the book!
Old and young vampires consider their place in the dark society they inhabit. They angle for power, each in their way. And technology brings the supernatural world together in new and unique ways. Plus, Rice takes this opportunity to delve into the back story of both minor and major characters.
Because of these aspects, this novel is practically the polar opposite of a standalone book. It requires foreknowledge of the overall mythos of Rice’s work. My last foray into this series was several years ago, so I encountered many confusing moments. But the story’s forward movement gets clearer around the halfway mark and propels quickly ahead.
This is a book for fans of The Vampire Chronicles only. If you’re watching the AMC+ series for the first time and want more, I suggest you start at the beginning of the series.
Rice does vampire politics and drama like no other fantasy or horror author. She makes the inhuman undead seem nearly human. Of course, they aren’t. But their feelings and actions are oddly similar to nonfiction personalities and world events.
Every few pages, a character will wax philosophical about their state of affairs, relationships, or existence. These moments vary from tiring to profound and are essential to understanding Rice’s writing style.
Prince Lestat isn’t the worst vampire book I’ve ever read. But it’s also far from the best. Rice incorporates too many characters, and the book is overly long. Splitting this content among a couple of shorter books would feel more palatable. But Rice isn’t known for spoon-feeding readers. She expects you to fully gorge on the story, just as her vampires do, whenever given a chance.
Pair with anything less melodramatic since Prince Lestat is so over-the-top.