The Vampire Chronicles — Anne Rice’s seminal work — keeps getting better. While I was lukewarm on Interview With the Vampire (though my reading of its sequels has deepened my appreciation of that dark little novel), I quite enjoyed The Vampire Lestat and was blown away by The Queen of the Damned. This novel shows Rice getting a firm grip on her vampires; she juggles action and exposition (and angst — oh, the angst!) expertly here, never allowing the story’s pace to flag. Not once was I bored or wanted to skim, as has been the case at times in the previous two Vampire books.
At the end of book two, Lestat awakened Akasha, the Queen of the Undead, from a six thousand-year slumber, and upon wakening she yearns to rule with an iron fist. The worlds of the mortal and immortal alike are in peril; some Vampires are spared from certain death . . . why? What is she saving them for? Read and find out.
This book features, on top of many exquisitely horrific moments, some superb character development. Marius, Armand, Pandora, Jesse, Daniel, the Twins . . . I loved these characters, one and all, and can’t wait to read about them in future volumes. Lestat and Louis’s relationship is also brought full circle in a heartbreaking callback scene to Interview With the Vampire. I was choking back the tears when reading that.
What can I say, I had a blast with this book. I will soon be starting volume four!