09th Dec2014

Book Review: ‘Prince Lestat’

by Paul Metcalf

Written by Anne Rice | Published by Chatto & Windus | Format: Hardcover, 480pp

prince-lestat-anne-rice

As with most people my first introduction to Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles was with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in Interview with the Vampire. Once the film had finished though I did what needed to be done, and that was buy the book and read it, and my eyes were opened up to just how better the written world of Lestat was.  In fact I’ve read them all, through the years even read them more than once.  Now that Anne Rice has brought her (and our) beloved vampires back with Prince Lestat, was it worth the wait?

For the uninitiated, the fact that there are in fact now thirteen books in the Vampire Chronicles may be surprising.  The first few books focused heavily on Lestat and Louis, but as the world grew and we were introduced to more vampires the books expanded to look at the life of favourites such as Armand and Marius.  Later in the series we even got to see crossover books featuring the Mayfair Witches.  The one most important character though was always Lestat and his many adventures.  The Brat Prince was the catalyst for change in the world of the vampire, he even encountered the Devil, so it’s only fitting that the latest book made a returned to his story in what could be the most important tale since Queen of the Damned.

Prince Lestat opens the wound that was caused in Queen of the Damned and continues the debate on what happens with Akasha defeated and Maharet and Mekare holding the source that keeps the vampires alive.  Bringing in the theme of religion is an interesting move as the idea of Amel the spirit still being a presence within Mekare shows that there is a danger to all vampires, even the eldest.  If anything he is their God, though they don’t know if he truly exists.  Science being brought in to try to finally find evidence of his existence also shows the questionable nature of religion because of course if this God exists would there not be evidence to prove this fact? (If you are lost, there is an appendix that provides the information to keep you up to pace with all of the goings on).  While all of these questions are being asked, a new presence in the form of a bodiless voice is also taunting vampires, especially Lestat with plans of its own leading to a need for unity within the vampire ranks which is something they are lacking, especially when so many of them are loners.

The battle of religion and science becoming important in Prince Lestat isn’t really a surprise for people who have read Anne Rice’s books, you just have to look at Memnoch the Devil to see that religion has become a part of the mythology of the chronicles.  Prince Lestat is different though as it is not as heavy in theology as Memnoch was, but more importantly the right to question religion and for religion to be acceptable is more important, especially in a scientific sense.  There is a need for unity within the vampire community, especially because of the dangers of the voice, and yes the religion around the source of all vampirism is the thing that holds the community together, whether they like it or not.

In ways Prince Lestat is about the Brat Prince finally accepting his true calling, he has always fought to stand out and be something special, and although he likes it on his own terms, the new novel is a lot about him growing up and finally accepting how important he is to the people he loves.  Through the Vampire Chronicles his path of destruction through all of the archaic rules of the blood drinkers has been leading to one thing, and that is Prince Lestat.  Anne Rice creates a revolution or sorts in the book that will hopefully lead to new installments of the Vampire Chronicles, the path for this is now wide open and I for one look forward to what comes next.

***** 5/5

Prince Lestat is available in the UK now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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One Response to “Book Review: ‘Prince Lestat’”

  • Wonderful review! Anne Rice, the woman who single-handedly reinvented the vampire genre now just took it into a whole new different direction with Prince Lestat. I give it 5/5 stars, too!