This is the story of Lestat, Louis’ maker from Interview with the Vampire, and much like that, it is basically a fictional autobiography of his life up to the events of that novel, with the end covering that time and up to the present day.
However the scope of this novel is much more grand. We meet our first truly ancient beings, especially in Marius a vampire from the Roman Empire who is almost two thousand years old. We also gets hints on the origin of the vampires and we learn much more about their powers and how they change over time.
Lestat himself is much more sympathetic character than that which was shown in Interview. The impetuousness is still there, the reckless anger and viciousness, but he also shows a gentler side and learning about his past it makes him more understandable.
The bits at the start and end, when he has become a rock star are pretty cringey to be honest but they take up only a fraction of the book and so don’t take away too much. It is the history of the vampire species that really make this book special, I loved the stories of Marius and Armand, Rice has a real gift for invoking an atmosphere that really brings these ancient times to life. Even eighteenth century Paris is well done, familiar but also quite different.
Like Interview, there are more tears, moping and melodrama but thankfully not quite as much. I don’t mind small amounts (unlike sixteen year old me who used to love it) but I find I don’t have as much patience for it as I used to. Still a great read after all these years.
5 stars out of 5