The Queen of the Damned
Published 1988 491 pages
Reviewed by Sandra
Summary (from the book jacket)
After six thousand years of horrifying stillness, Akasha, Mother of all Vampires and Queen of the Damned, has risen from her sleep to let loose the powers of the night.
But the monstrous plan for ruling the world of the living and the undead must be stopped before she destroys mankind. And it falls to the evil vampire Lestat to fight her all-encompassing evil - for it is he who challenges her power by waking her from sleep.
After his rise from the earth, Lestat decided to embrace the new world, its modernity, and his need to be admired by all, even if they did not know who he truly was. He had his autobiography published, to great acclaim, and became a star in the music world outselling many other established authors. Lestat is at the top of his game, but darkness has fallen on his once happy times as Akasha, his queen is to be overthrown due to her insatiable blood lust. Readers will like him mentioning how he keeps his looks concealed from humans, how he uses a little glamour to make the human who once stared at him, turn away without realizing he had seen anything unusual about him at all. He wrote The Vampire Lestat to make others in the world know about him, even though he was fictional in it, and only he knows that his life story was anything but.
Lestat tells of his life and this novel is broken up into several lengthy chapters, The Road to the Vampire Lestat, All Hallow's Eve, As it was in the Beginning, is now, And Ever Shall Be, The Queen of the Damned, and World Without End, Amen. Each chapter has inside it sub-chapters that can be interpreted as short stories that are all part of Lestat, and other characters lives. Another throwback to the first novel, Interview with the Vampire is the short story of Daniel. Daniel Malloy was the reporter who recorded Louis's account of his life from mortal to being made a vampire by Lestat. This part traces the story of what happened to him once he had published the novel, and after many years had gone by since then.
Daniel's life takes a dramatic turn after he had been bitten by Louis, and was nearly driven mad with hunger by Armand. It continues with his trying to tell Armand where he thinks can find answers to his darkest thoughts and questions. Many of them stem from Daniel's love for Armand, and their growing affair. He has need of being one of the undead, and wants to be a part of Armand's Dark Gift, but Armand, who actually genuinely loves him, wants to keep him the way he is, human, and not make him immortal as he feels it would torment him more if he knew the reality behind being a vampire. He believes it might actually change his personality, and in this chapter the reader will find the most interest with the two in their relationship, between a human and a vampire, and no matter how dark Armand likes to think of himself, he is putty in Daniel's hands when he is in love.
Part of this novel is a welcome detour from the usual vampire chronicle saga novels, with the Vampire Queen Akasha featuring in it as well as the previous characters. I liked that I got to find out more of the vampire Armand's life and pursuits, and of his lover's life too as there was little mentioned in the first volume. Rice has managed to continue the story of Lestat and partly Louis, and brought much more out in this story that previously expected. As in every other Rice novel, there is a sense of wonder to contend with, and a descriptive sensuality that never fails to grip the reader.
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