Yes! We are back on track. This book is a vast improvement over Blood Canticle, the supposed last volume in the series. Admittedly, that’s not saying much. I loathed, hated, and despised Blood Canticle. It royally pissed me off. It was such a tremendous let down. The stage had been set for a giant showdown with the Talamasca in which all of the secrets of the Order would be revealed. Instead, we got a grand romance between Lestat and Rowan Mayfair, who I’ve never liked and liked even less afterwards. I have not so much as glanced at another Anne Rice novel since. And then I learned of Prince Lestat. On a wave of nostalgia, I added it to my most anticipated books list for 2014, eagerly awaiting it’s publication. It does not disappoint.
Benji Mahmoud, the twelve year old Bedouin boy brought into the Blood by Marius in The Vampire Armand, has become the Voice of the Undead. Taking to the airwaves, first by conventional radio, then via satellite, he communicates with others who walk along the Devil’s Road. Surprisingly, Maharet and the Old Ones allow this. And there are now vampire doctors and scientists studying their kind and even performing viable, successful surgeries of a sort. The Ancients allow this as well. In fact, one of the Queens Blood sponsors it. But there is another Voice speaking to vampirekind, one who speaks within their own minds. It seduces, it pleads, cajoles, threatens, whatever it takes to get what it wants. Waking those that have gone to earth and ruthlessly killing the vagrants, the “riff-raff”. The Children of Darkness and their world are in blood soaked chaos. It needs coherence and leadership and, of course, they look to Lestat to give it. Though, why anyone would want Lestat to lead them anywhere except into sin and temptation is anyone’s guess.
I had a theory about the Voice almost from the beginning. I think it was talking to Lestat in that Paris hotel when I figured it out. What I couldn’t decide was why now. And how much of certain others was part of it.
If the rest of the Vampire Chronicles are the scriptures of the Undead, then Prince Lestat is their Book of Revelation. Finally, oh, finally, we learn who, and what, the Elders of the Talamasca are. I admit, with a touch of embarrassment, that this never occurred to me. Yet, it’s so obvious when I think about it. That isn’t all. We are told the origins of the Order. This was a surprise to me. Frankly, I thought it was older.
And, speaking of revelations, the one at the end of chapter 5, “The Story of Rose”, is a big one. My jaw just about hit the floor. Fareed has some serious balls to do this behind a certain someone’s back.
In this second part of the book, we meet so many blooddrinkers. Ancient Ones and those that are near fledgelings in comparison. Not just Old Ones of the First Brood but those Akasha made to fight them, what’s called the Queens Blood. Some of them made me blink stupidly at myself, because I hadn’t thought of them being brought over into the Blood, and I should have. Others I’d never heard of at all anywhere in the books. At least, not that I’d noticed. A few of these, we were lead to believe had met the True Death. Some did. Some did not.
I loved Prince Lestat! I could just keep babbling about it, but I won’t. This has restored my faith in Anne Rice and reminded me why I so loved these books in the first place. Maybe I’ll even get around to reading The Wolf Gift and The Wolves of Midwinter the way my sister has been urging me to do. And hope Rice continues to write of the Tribe, the Children of Darkness. If so, I’ve officially rejoined The People of the Page.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars