lestatWho wrote this book and when?
Anne Rice published this in 1985.

Has there been a film version?
Kind of. Most of the story (although altered) was covered in the first half of the move “Queen of the Damned,” which is also the title of the book following this one in the Vampire Chronicles series.

Who are the main characters?
Lestat – a vampire made in the 1700’s, the son of a nobleman and kind of the black sheep of the vampire race
Gabrielle – Lestat’s mother and his vampire consort
Nicholas – Lestat’s best friend before he was a vampire
Marius – one of the ancient vampires, no one knows if he is still alive, Lestat searches for him
Armand – one of Marius’ children, a vampire who clings to the old ways of good and evil
Akasha – one of Those Who Must be Kept, the first vampires

What’s it about?
This is the story of Lestat – the sire of Louis (the main character in “Interview with the Vampire). He has risen in the 1980’s and is surprised to find Louis’ story as a novel on the shelves. He decides to write his own memoirs as part of an elaborate plan to become a rock star and reveal the existence of vampires to humanity. Lestat covers both his life before and after becoming a vampire, his travels with Gabrielle, his run ins with Armand, and his search for Marius and Those Who Must be Kept. All of this leading up to his attempt to start a war between the two races.

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
It’s part of one of the best-selling fantasy series of all time – Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles.”

Do you recommend I read this book?
If you enjoyed “Interview with the Vampire,” you will probably enjoy this book.

How did this book make your list?
I was interested by it when I saw it on the library bookshelf.

Has it won any awards?
No.

Favorite quotes:
“The king and queen were there, dancing with the people. Talk in the shadows of intrigue. Who cares? Kingdoms rise and fall. Just don’t burn the paintings in the Louvre, that’s all.” – p 139

“All during the nineteenth century, vampires were ‘discovered’ by the literary writers of Europe. Lord Ruthven, the creation of Dr. Polidori, gave way to Sir Francis Varney in the penny dreadfuls, and later came Sheridan Le Fanu’s magnificent and sensuous Countess Carmilla Karnstein, and finally the big ape of the vampires, the hirsute Slav Count Dracula, who though he can turn himself into a bat or dematerialize at will, nevertheless crawls down the wall of his castle in the manner of a lizard apparently for fun…” – p 433

Anything else?
Supposedly, a lot of the plot of “Blood and Gold” is covered in this book (“B/G” is another book in this series).

Personal thoughts:
I don’t remember much about the previous book in this series, I’m ashamed to say. I remember liking it immensely – which spurred me to pick up this book at the library when I saw it. Plus, I love the movie “Queen of the Damned” which covers Lestat’s life. So overall, this was a wonderful read. There were a few parts where things got complicated. As Lestat was telling his story about someone else telling him their story about someone ELSE telling their story. *whew* But the detail Rice puts into her books is wonderful. Despite the random homosexual themes at times, and the obvious lack of respect for God (it IS about vampires)- I was entertained. The only thing I can complain about was the fact that only the last 40 or so pages were dedicated to Lestat’s actions in the present. I felt a little let down that the book ended on a cliffhanger. I don’t like it when books force me to get the next one in the series before I forget what happened…

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