The Prince is Undead – Long Live the Prince! – Anne Rice’s Prince Lestat

When I heard Anne Rice was releasing a new book in the Vampire Chronicles I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. I’ve read the entire lot of them over the years and really only connected with the first three (Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and Queen of the Damned). I re-read Interview with the Vampire for my MLitt at University of Stirling and the impression I came away with was how whiney Louis was. Granted, it was a good twenty years between the first time I read it and the most recent, and I certainly changed a ton during that time.

Bottom line: I was concerned it would be just another book with a mildly interesting story that I enjoyed but forgot the minute I closed it.

I needn’t have worried. Prince Lesat has grown up with the rest of us.

I hate spoilers and don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, so I’ll stay away from the specifics about the storyline. I will say that most of it will stick with me and I’ll probably give it another read at some point.

What I do feel okay about sharing is that Anne Rice—in her infamous wisdom—included two short intro chapters that act as prefaces for the actual novel. The first, “Blood Genesis,” recounts how the vampires began and a brief overview of what happened though The Queen of the Damned. And when I say “brief” I mean brief. She pulled off this feat in three pages! I don’t know about you, but I find that absolutely amazing!

The second intro chapter, “Blood Argot,” is a glossary of terms used throughout the previous books in the series. That runs about four pages.

Both of these turned out to be ingenious additions—especially since I haven’t read any of the previous books in years. If I’d been smart, I’d have read the first five books in the series before picking up Prince Lestat, but it turns out I didn’t need to.

Thank God for that. I wasn’t looking forward to digging them out of the boxes they currently call home.

The other thing I found wonderful was that Rice’s prose was beautifully descriptive in her typical style without being overwhelming. I find it problematic in some of her earlier works.

So, all-in-all, I loved Prince Lestat and highly recommend it.

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