First edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2018.
255 pages ; 25 cm
9781524732646 (hardcover)
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F Ric
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Author Notes
Anne Rice was born Howard Allen O'Brien on October 4, 1941 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She received a bachelor's degree in political science in 1964 and master's degree in English and creative writing in 1972 from San Francisco State University. <p> She published her first short story in 1965 called October 4, 1948. Her first book, Interview with the Vampire, was published in 1976. It was made into a film starring Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst, and Tom Cruise in 1994. She wrote various series in the same genre including the rest of the Vampire Chronicles, the Mayfair Witches books, and The Wolf Gift Chronicles. Her novel, Feast of All Saints, became a Showtime mini-series in 2001. Her other works include Cry to Heaven, Servant of the Bones, and Violin. <p> In 1998, Rice returned to the Catholic Church and for some time only wrote for Christ or about Christ. These works include Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, and Called Out of Darkness. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
First Chapter or Excerpt
Chapter 1 I'm the vampire Lestat. I'm six feet tall, have blue-gray eyes that sometimes appear violet, and a lean athletic build. My hair is blond and thick and hangs to my shoulders, and over the years it has become lighter so that at times it seems pure white. I've been alive on this earth for more than two hundred fifty years and I am truly immortal, having survived any number of assaults on my person, and my own suicidal recklessness, only becoming stronger as the result. My face is square, my mouth full and sensual, my nose insignificant, and I am perhaps one of the most conventional looking of the Undead you'll ever see. Almost all vampires are beautiful. They are picked for their beauty. But I have the boring appeal of a matinee idol rescued by a fierce and engaging expression, and I speak a brand of easy rapid English that's contemporary--after two centuries of accepting English as the universal language of the Undead. Why am I telling you all this, you might ask--you, the members of the Blood Communion, who know me now as the Prince. Am I not the Lestat so vividly described in Louis's florid memoir? Am I not the same Lestat who became a super rock star for a brief time in the 1980s, publicizing the secrets of our tribe in film and song? Yes, I am that person, most certainly, perhaps the only vampire known to just about every blood drinker on the planet by name and by sight. Yes, I made those rock videos that revealed our ancient parents, Akasha and Enkil, and how we might all perish if one or both of them were destroyed. Yes, I wrote other books after my autobiography; and yes, I am indeed the Prince now ruling from my Château in the remote mountains of France. But it's been many a year since I addressed you directly, and some of you weren't born when I penned my autobiography. Some of you weren't Born to Darkness until very recently, and some of you might not believe in the story of the Vampire Lestat as it's been related to you--or the history of how Lestat became the host to the Sacred Core of all the tribe, and then finally, released from that burden, survived as the ruler upon whom order and survival now depend. Make no mistake, the books Prince Lestat and Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis were penned by me, and all that they related has indeed happened, and those many blood drinkers described in the two books are accurately portrayed. But the time has come for me once again to address you intimately and to shape this narrative in my own inimitable and informal fashion as I seek to relate to you all that I think you should know. And the first thing which I must tell you is that I write now for you--for my fellow blood drinkers, the members of the Blood Communion--and no one else. Of course this book will fall into mortal hands. But it will be perceived as fiction, no matter how obvious it may be that it is not. All the books of the Vampire Chronicles have been received as fiction the world over, and always have been. The few mortals who interact with me in the vicinity of my ancestral home believe me to be an eccentric human who enjoys impersonating a vampire, the leader of a strange cult of like-minded vampire impersonators who gather under my roof to engage in romantic retreats from the busy modern world. This remains our greatest protection, this cynical dismissal of us as real, true monsters, in an era that just might be more dangerous to us than any other through which we've lived. But I will not dwell on the matter in this narrative. The story I'm going to tell has little or nothing to do with the modern world. It's a tale as old as tale telling itself, about the struggle of individuals to find and defend their place in a timeless universe, alongside all the other children of the earth and the sun and the moon and the stars. But it is important for me to say--as this story begins--that I was as resentful and confused by my human nature as I'd ever been. If you do go back to my autobiography, you'll likely see how much I wanted humans to believe in us, how boldly I shaped my narrative as a challenge: Come, fight us, wipe us out! There ran in my Frenchman's blood only one acceptable version of glory: making history among mortal women and men. And as I prepared for my one and only rock concert in San Francisco in the year 1984, I did dream of an immense battle, an apocalyptic confrontation to which elder blood drinkers would be awakened and drawn irresistibly, and young ones incited with fury, and the mortal world committed to stamping out our evil once and for all. Well, nothing came of that ambition. Nothing at all. The few brave scientists who insisted they had seen living proof of our existence met with personal ruin, with only a precious few being invited to join our ranks, at which point they passed into the same invisibility which protects us all. Over the years, being the rebel and the brat that I am, I created another great sensation, described in my memoir, Memnoch the Devil, and that too did invite mortal scrutiny, a scrutiny which might have seduced yet more hapless individuals to destroy their lives arguing that we were real. But that brief damage to the fabric of the reasonable world was corrected immediately by clever blood drinkers who removed all forensic evidence of us from laboratories in New York City, and within a month all the excitement stirred up by me and my Blessed Veil of Saint Veronica was over, with the relic itself gone to the crypts of the Vatican in Rome. The Talamasca, an ancient Order of Scholars, managed to obtain it after that, and subsequent to their acquiring it, the veil was destroyed. There's a story to all that, a small one anyway, but you won't find it here. The point is--for all the fuss and bother--we remained as safe in the shadows as we'd ever been. This story--to be precise--is about how we vampires of the world came together to form what I now call the Blood Communion, and how I came not only to be Prince, but to be the true ruler of the tribe. One can assume a title without really accepting it. One can be anointed a prince without reaching for the scepter. One can agree to lead without really believing in the power of oneself to do it. We all know these things to be true. And so it was with me. I became Prince because the elders of our tribe wanted me to do it. I possessed something of a charismatic ease with the idea, which others did not share. But I did not really examine what I was doing when I accepted the title, or commit to it. Instead, I clung to a selfish passivity in the matter, assuming that at any moment I might tire of the entire enterprise and walk away. After all, I was still invisible and insignificant, an outcast, a monster, a predatory demon, Cain the slayer of his brothers and sisters, a phantom pilgrim on a spiritual journey so narrowly defined by my vampire existence that whatever I discovered would never be of relevance to anybody, except as poetry, as metaphor, as fiction, and I should take comfort in that fact. Oh, I enjoy being the Prince, don't get me wrong. I loved the rapid and totally egregious restoration of my ancestral Château and the little village which lay below it on the narrow mountain road that led to nowhere--and it was an undoubted pleasure to see the great hall filled each evening with preternatural musicians and dancers, flashing exquisite white skin, shimmering hair, costumes of extraordinary richness, and countless jewels. One and all of the Undead were and are now most welcome under my roof. The house has innumerable salons through which you can wander, rooms in which you might settle to watch films on giant flat screens, and libraries in which you might meditate in silence or read. Beneath it are crypts that have been expanded to hold perhaps the entire tribe in darkness and safety, even were the Château itself attacked in the daylight hours and burnt over our heads. I like all this. I like welcoming everyone. I like taking the young fledglings in hand and welcoming them to our closets from which they can take any clothing they need or desire. I like watching them shed their rags and burn them in one of the many fireplaces. I like hearing everywhere around me the soft uneven rumble of preternatural voices in conversation, even argument, and also the low, vibrant rhythm of preternatural thoughts. But who am I to rule others? I was anointed the Brat Prince by Marius before I ever set foot on that rock music stage decades ago, and a brat I most surely was. Marius had come up with that little label for me when he realized I was revealing to the Vampire World all the secrets he'd bound me under penalty of destruction to keep. And a legion of others have picked up the title, and they use it as easily now as the simple appellation Prince. It's no secret to the elders far and wide that I've never bent the knee to any authority ever, that I smashed up the coven of the Children of Satan when I was taken prisoner by it in the 1700s, and that I broke even the most informal rules with my rock music adventure, and deserved a good deal of the condemnation for recklessness that I received. I didn't bow to Memnoch either. And I didn't bow to God Incarnate, who appeared to me in the airy spiritual realm into which Memnoch dragged me, all the way back to the narrow dusty road to Calvary in the city of ancient Jerusalem. And having given short shrift to every being who had ever tried to control me, I seemed a most unlikely person to undertake the monarchy of the Undead. But as this story begins, I had accepted it. I had accepted it truly and completely and for one simple reason. I wanted us--we, the vampires of this world--to survive. And I didn't want us clinging to the margins of life, a miserable remnant of bloodsucking vagabonds, battling each other in the wee hours of the night for crowded urban territories, burning out the shelters and refuges of this or that enemy, seeking to destroy one another for the most petty of human or vampiric concerns. And that is what we had become before I accepted the throne. That is exactly what we were--a parentless tribe, as Benji Mahmoud put it, the little vampire genius who called to the elders of all ages to come forth and take care of their descendants, to bring to us order, and law, and principles for the good of all. The good of all. It is extremely difficult to do what is good for all when you believe that "all" are evil, loathsome by their very nature, with no right to breathe the same air as human beings. It is almost impossible to conceive of the welfare of "all" if one is so consumed with guilt and confusion that life seems little more than an agony except for those overwhelmingly ecstatic moments when one is drinking blood. And that is what most vampires believe. Of course I'd never bought into the idea that we were evil or loathsome. I'd never accepted that we were bad. Yes, I drank blood and I took life, and I caused suffering. But I wrestled continuously with the obvious conditions of my existence, and the bloodlust of my nature, and my great will to survive. I knew full well the evil inherent in humans and I had a simple explanation for it. Evil comes quite simply from what we must do to survive. The entire history of evil in this world is related to what human beings do to one another in order to survive. But believing that doesn't mean living it every minute. Conscience is an unreliable entity, at times a stranger to us, then ruling the present moment in torment and pain. And wrestling with uneasy conscience, I wrestled as well with my passion for life, my lust for pleasure, for music, and beauty, and comfort and sensuality, and the inexplicable joys of art--and the baffling majesty of loving another so much that all the world, it seemed, depended on that love. No, I didn't believe we were evil. But I'd taken on the argot of self-loathing. I'd joked about traveling the Devil's Road, and striking like the hand of God. I'd used our contempt for ourselves to ease my conscience when I destroyed other blood drinkers; I'd used it when I chose cruelty for convenience when other paths had been open to me. I'd demeaned and insulted those who didn't know how to be happy. Yes, I was determined to be happy. And I fought furiously for ways to be happy. And I had settled--without admitting it--for the old sacrosanct idea that we were inherently evil and had no place in the world, no right to exist. After all, it was Marius himself, the ancient Roman, who had told me we were evil, and that the rational world had no place for evil, that evil could never be effectively integrated into a world which had come to believe in the true value of being good. And who was I to question the great Marius, or realize how lonely his existence was, and how dependent he was on keeping charge of the Core of vampiric life for those whom he so easily branded as evil? Whatever my confusion on it, I played no role in a social revolution for blood drinkers. No. It was someone else who questioned the old assumptions about us with a childlike simplicity that changed our world. Benji Mahmoud, Born to Darkness at the age of twelve, a Bedouin by birth, was the blood drinker who transformed us all. Made by the powerful two-thousand-year-old Marius, Benji had no use for ideas of inherent guilt, mandatory self-hatred, and inevitable mental torment. Philosophy meant nothing to him. Survival was all. And he had another vision--that the blood drinkers of the world could be a strong and enduring tribe of immortals, hunters of the night who respected one another and demanded respect in return. And from that simple conviction in Benji's audacious appeal, my monarchy was eventually born. And it is only in an informal and carefree style that I can tell you how I eventually came to terms with being the monarch. Excerpted from Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat by Anne Rice All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
Fiction/Biography Profile
Lestat de Lioncourt (Male), Vampire, Immortal, Born into 18th century pre-revolutionary French aristocracy; tells of his coming to rule vampire world; eternal struggle to find belonging; battles against the force determined to destroy the entire vampire netherworld
Power struggles
Evil spirits
Good vs. evil
France - Europe
Louisiana - South (U.S.)
- Asia
Russia - Europe / Eastern Europe / Asia
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

This 15th volume of the "Vampire Chronicles" opens with Lestat skeptically organizing the Court and the Council of Elders in France. As he's trying to determine the focus and sustainability of a ruling class of vampires, and the Court is debating whether to pursue the destruction of one of their own, the ancient and angry -Rhoshamandes, they are fatally raided. Three founding vampires are casualties of this assault, forcing Lestat to decide as prince whether vampires can coexist peacefully with one another. As he debates this question and seeks creative solutions to restore order and peace to the Court, the history of the menacing vampires is revealed with Rice's epic storytelling flair. Each nugget of vampire history propels the action-filled scenes and positions the main characters for strong plot contributions later on. VERDICT A solid addition to the "Vampire Chronicles" full of blood-drinker mythology and complicated interpersonal relationships, this is Rice at her best. Devoted fans will devour this, as there are numerous nuggets about minor characters, and new readers can use this volume as a launching point to explore the series and characters. [See Prepub Alert, 4/30/18.]-Tina Panik, Avon Free P.L., CT © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

A furious battle with an implacable enemy of the vampire Lestat energizes the plot of this new episode in Rice's sprawling Vampire Chronicles. Upon returning to his court in France, vampire Prince Lestat is informed that the ancient vampire Rhoshamandes, bound by a truce forged following his murder of the vampire matriarch Maharet, is once again antagonizing members of the vampire hierarchy. When Rhoshamandes begins picking off members of the court one by one to avenge the death of his lover, the stage is set for a grisly final face-off between him and Lestat. As in Rice's previous books, this story is distinguished by the sensuality with which she describes her vampires and their way of life. This installment stands out in particular for showing the transformation of Lestat, over time, from the brash "Brat Prince" to a lover and protector of those whom he now thinks of as "my people, my tribe, my family." Fans old and new will find this book an effusive celebration of a saga now more than 40 years in the making. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  Booklist Review

The so-called Brat Prince returns to his kingdom after the events chronicled in Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis (2016), but all is not well. Lestat is riding high as a strong ruler of the court as his brood flourishes under his domain. But not everyone is happy with Lestat's control. An ancient vampire named Rhoshamandes has always despised the court and was only allowed to live through Lestat's mercy. When Rhoshamandes' life crumbles, he seeks to enact revenge on Lestat, kicking off a series of events that will terrorize the confident prince and shake up his rule. Rice's latest thrilling installment of the Vampire Chronicles, a memoir written by Lestat himself, shows a different side of the prince. The always-cocky vampire faces personal grief and tough decisions that will affect his court for decades. It's his queer-friendly family of advisors and friends that give him the strength to move on and rebuild his decadent empire. Readers will enjoy this new perspective on Rice's series and will talk about it well after the last page. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This latest incarnation of Rice's seemingly immortal and unceasingly popular Vampire Chronicles is right in sync with today's issues and will be a title of desire for myriad fans.--Amy Dittmeier Copyright 2018 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Of crunching bones, collapsing veins, and nicely coordinated outfits: Rice's Vampire Chronicles gets a fresh transfusion.Alas, poor Rhoshamandes: He was about the only character to breathe any new life, so to speak, into Rice's pallid vamp saga thanks to some stately if gory moments in Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis (2016). And nowwell, like the series, old Rosh has seen better days. Meanwhile, the longtime ringmaster of the sharp-toothed show, Lestat, is consolidating his power while taking an increasingly evident interest in aesthetics that, in lesser hands, would likely translate into a barrage of product placement. As it is, a few brand names slip through: Wouldn't you just know it that a vampire wouldn't be seen dead with an Android? It's not just that, as Lestat observes, "Almost all vampires are beautiful," but that the good stuff gets called out, from "English Chippendale chairs" to "rubies, emeralds, diamonds, sapphires everywhere that one looked, or ropes of pearls and barrettes and pins of gold and silver." And why so much attention to the things of the world? Perhaps because, as it seems, Lestat doesn't have much to occupy himself with apart from a literal rock-star moment and all that politicking with Rhoshamandes, who, it has to be said, had more than a shot or two at making things good with Lestat and company. The story takes some time to gather momentum, a shame for a book that's so short, especially as compared to others in the series. Still, while most of the proceedings seem a familiar footnote to the larger series as it's unfolded over the decades, there are some nicely icky passages that would give Stephen King pause: "I threw the headless body onto the coverlet, tossed the smashed and empty head on top of the body, then gathered up even the heart and what I'd vomited of the brain and the eyes, and flung them all together."Just the bucket of blood for die-hard Rice fans. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
The Vampire Chronicles continue with a riveting, rich saga--part adventure, part suspense--of Prince Lestat and the story of the Blood Communion as he tells the tale of his coming to rule the vampire world and the eternal struggle to find belonging, a place in the universe for the undead, and how, against his will, he must battle the menacing, seemingly unstoppable force determined to thwart his vision and destroy the entire vampire netherworld. <br> <br> In this spellbinding novel, Lestat, rebel outlaw, addresses the tribe of vampires, directly, intimately, passionately, and tells the mesmerizing story of the formation of the Blood Communion and how he became Prince of the vampire world, the true ruler of this vast realm, and how his vision for all the Children of the Universe to thrive as one, came to be.<br> The tale spills from Lestat's heart, as he speaks first of his new existence as reigning monarch--and then of his fierce battle of wits and words with the mysterious Rhoshamandes, proud Child of the Millennia, reviled outcast for his senseless slaughter of the legendary ancient vampire Maharet, avowed enemy of Queen Akasha; Rhoshamandes, a demon spirit who refuses to live in harmony at the Court of Prince Lestat and threatens all that Lestat has dreamt of.<br> As the tale unfolds, Lestat takes us from the towers and battlements of his ancestral castle in the snow-covered mountains of France to the verdant wilds of lush Louisiana with its lingering fragrances of magnolias and night jasmi≠ from the far reaches of the Pacific's untouched islands to the 18th-century city of St. Petersburg and the court of the Empress Catherine . . .
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