With a many-years gap since reading other of this author’s vampire stories, I just finished Anne Rice’s latest Vampire Chronicles novel, Prince Lestat. What a great story; what an entertaining read; what a well-woven chronicle! This novel is great on several levels.
One, it is a very entertaining story. Because of the intervening years, I did not remember much about the previous few Vampire Chronicles I had read. But that did not matter. With Anne Rice’s gifted writing, I was able to pick up many threads from earlier stories. Plus, Prince Lestat stands on its own very well. It would be a good read for anyone, even if you have not read any of her previous vampire books (or seen the movie!). I had picked this book up to read as pure entertainment.
Two, I found this book to be much more than entertainment. It had a lot of deep stuff in it! The primary message of this novel is the encouragement to accept our path in life, and walk it. The vampire Lestat, of the title, was the main one struggling with his destiny. And Anne Rice brings us along gently and slowly as Lestat wrestles with who he is, and what his role is amongst his vampiric family. He does not want to accept his place as a leader among them. Vampires tend to be solitary creatures, and he does not want to give this up. But Anne Rice develops this theme so eloquently, that by the end the reader is cheering Lestat on, as he very gradually owns up to his giftedness. Included along the way are the stories of numerous others who also, in their own way, are wrestling with who they are, and what role they live in their world.
Three, even one destined as clearly as Lestat has deficiencies. He constantly doubts himself, questioning his actions, second-guessing. He does not always handle situations very well, blowing up in anger over others’ behaviour. He comes upon new situations he has never before encountered, new creatures, and is very unsure about these and how to proceed. He comes close to giving up numerous times.
Four, Anne Rice, in placing this novel in the world of fictitious vampires, helps us to see ourselves in the context of beings very completely different than we are. Even though completely strange, these beings still have the same emotions, the same struggles, etc. It is a profound story at this level.
This novel should be read by everyone!! It is so encouraging and positive. The fact that the characters are vampires should not deter anyone from picking this novel up. Give it a try; you won’t regret it!