Prince Lestat

 

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This review contains spoilers…

For more discussions, feel free to visit the further discussions HERE!

Twelve years ago, Anne Rice released what fans were told was to be the final instalment in The Vampire Chronicles. It was sweet, charming, brutal, and then, wholly saturated with feeling. The average reader could not strike through the last chapter without crying, Lestat, the brave hero, the intrepid companion, through centuries of his life, through pain, and loss, and deep aching upheaval, was leaving, and as a whole, as a forum, the fans, were powerless to stop him.

But it was not just the loss of Lestat that stung so blindingly. Every character that had walked those pages, every character shining in their moments, or glimmering in the moonlight, or being forgotten as the novels, as the tale, progressed, they were all to go with him. No more dreams of vampires saving the reader in the dark of night, flying one away from mundanity, or heartache, or desperate obsessive love. The fantasy of the vampire legend, the anti-hero in the dark hours of uncertainty and fear, the terrifying figure of romance, lust, and simple, comforting desire, was left to other authors. Authors who, try as they might, could not hope to shine with the grace of Ms Rice, and her infamous hero, Lestat de Lioncourt.

It began with the whispers, the subtle suggestions, and hinting questions, the slow coaxing of these old fans, the truly devoted readers of The Vampire Chronicles, who answered her brashly, honestly, longingly. The People of Anne Rice’s Fan Page rose to the occasion and described every nuance of how, and why they missed Lestat, how badly they have dreamed of reading his words again, and how they desired the return of his companions, the Coven of the Articulate. And the author responded in kind, until the internet was ablaze with hints of a new Chronicle before the news was ever officially released. But… This in no way diminished the shock and awe when it did.

Prince Lestat is a wild escape into a world that readers had almost forgotten, shelved, and locked away, for fear of clinging too tightly to those old lovers, friends, dark companions. The novel delves into a vampire world in chaos, a fine reflection of the readers’ reality. Vampires all over this world cry for Lestat, as fans have done, for over a decade, but the hero is inexplicably absent, hiding from their voices. And the louder the wails become, the deeper into shadow and obscurity, this beloved lionhearted hero and others of his ilk move. Key characters have become pivotal in this new vampire world, characters that understand and whisk technology in ways the old ones cannot conceive. Benji broadcasts his specific message to young vampires globally, and he speaks of a “parentless tribe” in the midst of anarchy and a Burning. Another Voice, an insidious Voice, whispers to the young and old alike, and tells them to destroy, to claim dominion, and weed out the young, the numerous, the riffraff of vampire kind.

Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club

In the ilk of Queen of the Damned, Rice’s previous confederacy-esque novel, Prince Lestat spreads its tale between all characters, all experiences are documented, with the third person voice, Lestat, of course, carrying the mantel of the first person voice. And in this manner, she shines a light on the dark grottos where beloved protagonists lurk, as well as introducing a veritable realm of new players that weave themselves into the tales of what the reader already knows, and what has yet to be revealed. Numerous ancients, Teshkamen, Seth, Nebamun, and others, surface to assist their brethren, to “re-parent” the tribe, as it were. And then younger vampires, some familiar, some entirely not so, such as Fareed, exemplify ideals towards a furthering in the collective vampire understanding of technology and science. In order to better understand themselves. The intention being to eradicate the old perspective that being of the Blood, means to be evil. Defaulted. Done and dusted. This novel carries a new message, that indeed, no, evil can be found in anything, as can good, but it is only through better understanding of oneself, and one’s kind, that one can come to love, and acknowledge both the good and the evil at the core.

There is commentary apparent in this novel, which beautifully weaves a reflection of the author’s own writing of this piece, her interaction with fans, answers to fan inquisition, and even a personal joke that the People of the Page, as Ms Rice affectionately calls her following, will have a good chuckle at. The story of Rose and her Uncle Lestan is of particular intrigue as well, given the human nature (of those who devote themselves to vampire literature), that the vampire is a monster, yes, but also, often, a benevolent guardian, whose keen interest in the mortal subject could end in heartache, or in new, altered perspectives. And, in answer to modern vampire literature, the author has taken a step into science, to allow her vampires who (as far as lore states), could never feel fleshy intimacy the way mortals do, to experience that pleasure, and even create some semblance of life from it.

Through the progression of the tale, it becomes clear that the Voice is none other than Amel. This is not a difficult concept to derive from the start of the piece, however, it is to be expected by any reader of intellect, and it plays so beautifully into the mythos of the author’s universe, that its obvious nature is a charm, rather than a hindrance. Amel is distraught at his imprisonment in the wounded Mekare, and is fighting for release, to find a blood drinker of equal power, but more driven, unique.

The character of this enlivening spirit, is also a matter of interest on the novel as a whole. It must always be remembered, though sometimes it is not so simple, that Amel loved the twins, that he would do anything for them, in fact, did do what he could to avenge them, and that, in a way, he was punished for it, by six thousand near-silent years as a prisoner to those who never quite understood him. As said, it is difficult to try and think of him as anything other than a monster. And even more so when he has an ancient, Roshamandes, brutally kill Maharet, and Khayman. Sweet, gentle Khayman, who he also victimised with the power of his maddening demands.

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Prince Lestat also reveals some ground-breaking details about the most intrepid Order of psychic investigators, the Talamasca. Their origins, their intent, and their present designs upon the world of vampires.

At the close, Prince Lestat seeks to revolutionise vampire literature, once again, as Interview with the Vampire sought to and succeeded nearly thirty years ago. The novel is more than successful in this regard, it bursts with life, opportunity, it raises the character of Lestat to heights that one might never expect of a bombastic young nobleman from the French countryside, and it explores the nature of vampirism in a new, enduring light, offering such characters even as the ever self-depreciating Louis, to try and view his own nature through an outside glance, and not through the dark glass of his own self-loathing. The only question the reader can truly ask now, after the deep breaths of revelation and teeming discovery, is, what’s next for Lestat?

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42 Comments

  • Reply Yuen K.K. October 31, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Thank you for this wonderful post on “Prince Lestat”.

    I finally got my copy of it last night, and immediately devoured about 1/3 of it. I was spellbound by the fantastical and fast-paced whirl into the 21st century world (e.g. iPhones, vampire broadcast stations, scientist vampires etc.). It was equally comforting to meet all our old immortal friends again, as well as pick up on echos and loose ends of the previous books.

    Reading your post made me realise that the book is even more amazing than I first thought, and it was really helpful in explaining the themes and messages in it.

    Can’t wait to finish the book and look forward to more analyses of the Vampire Chronicles by you!

    • Reply Carmen Dominique October 31, 2014 at 5:53 am

      Thank you ^.^ I’m thrilled you enjoyed the post and I’m sure you’ll love the book to the very end <3

  • Reply The Light's Bane October 31, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    I do not understand Mekare’s brain atrophy. Did it happen when she was human or after?

    • Reply Carmen Dominique November 1, 2014 at 5:58 am

      After. She was struck dumb, then turned, then locked in a box for god knows how long before she went to live in isolation because she had gone mad. Or half-mad at least. And she remained that way for thousands of years.

      • Reply The Light's Bane November 4, 2014 at 10:27 am

        Why didn’t Akasha’s brain atrophy, and other ancient vampires who are unanimated for a long time?

        • Reply Carmen Dominique November 4, 2014 at 10:39 am

          Because they had contact with others and were not already nearly mad as humans.

          • danyael November 26, 2014 at 4:59 am

            That is close to how I interpreted it as well. Mekare was emotionally and mentally damaged. If I recall, in QoTD Enkil was not much more than a semi-animated husk and Akasha still had her wits about her because she was never really in “hibernation”. Bodily she was unmoving and pretty much a statue, but, she still travelled and existed mentally in the wider world. I think she said something about living many mortal lifetimes in the bodies of one mortal or another?

          • Carmen Dominique November 29, 2014 at 11:58 am

            Yes, she left her own form to live other lives in other minds.

          • danyael November 26, 2014 at 8:43 am

            So, perhaps some kind of “mental activity” is required to stave of the otherwise adverse effects of an extended hibernation?

  • Reply Armand November 5, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    My only concern is how long can Lestat suffer carrying the core of vampire life inside him? How can one have adventures while being the living font and placing the entire ‘tribe’ at risk? How long will Amel be placated by living vicariously through Lestat? I hope that the particulate being may be able to be given his own body, either by the way of the ghosts, or by rooting in its own fabricated vampire body specifically given to him by Fareed or by some other alchemy of biology. The Brat Prince is always going to be the Brat prince, though I know he is trying desperately to rise above his brattiness, I know he will become frustrated in having to behave, hiding in a castle in France, no matter that it’s his family’s old home, it is… not good for him in my humble or not so humble opinion.

    • Reply Carmen Dominique November 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      I don’t think the core will remain with him for very long. As you suggested, Amel will not remain easily placated for too much time – He is a spirit, and, as we know, a mischievous, easily distracted spirit. And Lestat, well, Lestat always finds a way, doesn’t he? It’s why we love him.

  • Reply Armand November 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Is that why? I’ve been thinking about that ever since he asked me.

    • Reply Carmen Dominique November 5, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      *chuckle chuckle* 😉

  • Reply The Light's Bane November 17, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I saw a lot of reactions on Tumblr which were skeptical of Lestat being the host. Also why monarchy? How about Prime Minister Lestat?

    • Reply The Light's Bane November 17, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      I feel “host” is a vulgar and dehumanizing term I just couldn’t think of a better term. IDK if “dehumanizing” is okay for nonhuman beings either. Maybe “fount” and “degrading”.

      • Reply danyael November 26, 2014 at 7:36 am

        I do not think that “host” is a vulgar term in this circumstance. Amel is an outside entity residing in Lestat. Lestat is host to Amel in much the same way that you, or I, or anyone would be host to someone that was staying in our respective homes.

        “Host” could be seen as vulgar if Amel was being portrayed as nothing more than a base parasite, but, that is not the impression that I got from the story.

        • Reply Carmen Dominique November 29, 2014 at 11:55 am

          I think “Host” is the perfect term, actually. Amel behaves, very much, like a parasite. He leeches from the body he inhabits in order to strengthen himself and survive.

          • danyael November 29, 2014 at 8:03 pm

            He is more symbiote than parasite really. A parasite has a one way relationship with its host with all the benefits going to the parasite. The benefits of a symbiotic relationship go both ways. In the this case Amel is in the flesh while those who carry him become essentially immortal. Either way, I was wrong, “host” is the perfect term.

          • Carmen Dominique November 29, 2014 at 10:16 pm

            I know one or two vampires who would argue that there are no benefits to having Amel rampaging through their blood 😉

  • Reply The Light's Bane November 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    So is Viktor actually Lestat’s son or is he literally his clone? I don’t know if he just looks a lot like Lestat or what…

    • Reply Carmen Dominique November 19, 2014 at 12:07 am

      The explanation given was that Viktor is Lestat’s son, but the process is more inclined to make a child that appears to be the clone of his “father.” But, he is still his son, created and birthed just like any other kid.

  • Reply The Light's Bane November 24, 2014 at 8:17 am

    I’ve read online this book is filled with retcons. Big differences wrt methods of death for vamps.

    • Reply danyael November 26, 2014 at 5:06 am

      Not so much…

      • Reply The Light's Bane December 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm

        I read people saying that in PL they say vampires are killed by being beheaded, by how did Marius save Mael when his head was cut off and how did Armand do his little operation thing and how did Lestat survive being dumped in the swamp if he probably most of his blood?

        • Reply Carmen Dominique December 8, 2014 at 9:28 pm

          It all feels a little unexplained to me.

  • Reply The Light's Bane December 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Does anyone know when Blood Paradise will be released?

    • Reply Carmen Dominique December 4, 2014 at 8:17 am

      No idea… I suppose, October?

  • Reply The Light's Bane December 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks Danyael, I wasn’t sure if I had my meaning right and also I like how you spelled your name.

  • Reply The Light's Bane December 12, 2014 at 11:11 am

    “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. ” I very much agree with this reviewer’s assessment. http://www.nerdly.co.uk/2014/12/09/book-review-prince-lestat/

  • Reply Rico December 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    It’s either I missed the inside joke on People of the Page of must’ve forgotten it by now. Can you refresh my memory?

    • Reply Carmen Dominique December 20, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      The PotP have been asking Anne for a long time if Lestat is really a deviation of the name Lestan, which, he uses as well as his alias, his mortal alias. But, Anne Rice distinctly denies his name being any such deviation. I think this use of the name Lestan again is a little nod to that ^.^

  • Reply The Light's Bane January 12, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    I am confused about why Nicolas did not come back as a ghost.

    • Reply Carmen Dominique January 13, 2015 at 2:55 am

      I wish I knew the answer to that, how about Merrick?

      • Reply The Light's Bane January 13, 2015 at 4:51 am

        I actually still haven’t read it yet, just all the spoilers I could find but I am guessing she did not come back as Anne Rice is trying to erase that the crossovers ever existed.

  • Reply The Light's Bane January 12, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Does Lestat feel violated having a child made of his gametes without his consent? I do not trust these scientists dudes one bit, no matter how much Lestat insists they are fine. Call them idiot savants all you want, it doesn’t make them harmless.

    • Reply Carmen Dominique January 13, 2015 at 2:54 am

      I wondered that myself, how is he not angry at what they have done?

      • Reply The Light's Bane January 13, 2015 at 4:50 am

        Perhaps dissociation, as he is already withdrawn. I would kill someone who did that. I would expect Lestat as I know the character to kill him and possibility the spawn too. These idiot savants have forever to heed the siren song of unethical manipulations of nature.

        • Reply The Light's Bane January 13, 2015 at 8:48 am

          Or maybe he just really really likes Fareed and Seth enough to let this slip off the radar.

          • Carmen Dominique January 24, 2015 at 8:41 am

            Well, it is not as if it is beyond Lestat to be fickle about people.

  • Reply The Light's Bane January 13, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Oh BTW I was joking about Prime Minister Lestat. Comrade Lestat would be funnier.

  • Reply Voytek Vince Boshchik January 7, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    I have a question, towards the end of Rose’s and Victor are being prepared for the dark gift ceremony, next scene we meet the “talamascas’ (the original elders) who are talking to Lestat, analyzing him etc etc…. then couple pages of Lestat’s thoughts and then we are back with Rose,which has IVs in her, Marius says that she is dying, there is her aunt, some nurses and the prev. teacher again (? I am assuming its his ghost?) which tries to attack her and is destroyed by Lestat……
    Now is this a dream? (how do we have humans perv. teacher, vampires and everybody alltogether without any slight suspicion from either side) or are we to learn that the ceremony did not go well and she is really dying in result? ….or?

    • Reply Carmen Dominique January 8, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      Maybe I need to reread the novel.

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