The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3)

ISBN: 5552483979
ISBN 13: 9785552483976
By: Anne Rice

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About this book

In 1976, a uniquely seductive world of vampires was unveiled in the now-classic Interview with the Vampire . . . in 1985, a wild and voluptous voice spoke to us, telling the story of The Vampire Lestat.  In The Queen of the Damned, Anne Rice continues her extraordinary "Vampire Chronicles" in a feat of mesmeric storytelling, a chillingly hypnotic entertainment in which the oldest and most powerful forces of the night are unleashed on an unsuspecting world.Three brilliantly colored narrative threads intertwine as the story unfolds:- The rock star known as Vampire Lestat, worshipped by millions of spellbound fans, prepares for a concert in San Francisco.  Among the audience--pilgrims in a blind swoon of adoration--are hundreds of vampires, creatures who see Lestat as a "greedy fiend risking the secret prosperity of all his kind just to be loved and seen by mortals," fiends themselves who hate Lestat's power and who are determined to destroy him . . . - The sleep of certain men and women--vampires and mortals scattered around the world--is haunted by a vivid, mysterious dream: of twins with fiery red hair and piercing green eyes who suffer an unspeakable tragedy.  It is a dream that slowly, tauntingly reveals its meaning to the dreamers as they make their way toward each other--some to be destroyed on the journey, some to face an even more terrifying fate at journey's end . . . - Akasha--Queen of the Damned, mother of all vampires, rises after a 6,000 year sleep and puts into motion a heinous plan to "save" mankind from itself and make "all myths of the world real" by elevating herself and her chosen son/lover to the level of the gods: "I am the fulfillment and I shall from this moment be the cause" . . . These narrative threads wind sinuously across a vast, richly detailed tapestry of the violent, sensual world of vampirism, taking us back 6,000 years to its beginnings.  As the stories of the "first brood" of blood drinkers are revealed, we are swept across the ages, from Egypt to South America to the Himalayas to all the shrouded corners of the globe where vampires have left their mark. Vampires are created--mortals succumbing to the sensation of "being enptied, of being devoured, of being nothing." Vampires are destroyed.  Dark rituals are performed--the rituals of ancient creatures prowling the modern world.  And, finally, we are brought to a moment in the twentieth century when, in an astonishing climax, the fate of the living dead--and perhaps of the living, all the living--will be decided.From the Hardcover edition.

Reader's Thoughts

dragonhelmuk

** spoiler alert ** Kindled for £4.67. Amazing book. The age, the minds and the personalities of all of the characters are among the best thought out I've ever read of. And there is definitely something compelling and likeable, even fascinating about each of them. Sadly though, there are some problems the vampires frequently get completely distracted, and even faint from the power of their own thoughts all the time, and they are all as queasy and fashion conscious as Victorians. Also either Anne Rice's own logic is childish, or all her characters are as easily bedazzled by pretty arguments and sparkly things as Greeks. Witness their complete acceptance of the misandric queen's argument that, essentially, the world would be a better place with no men. Two quotes...(Meeting of the undead)“How many?” … Armand again had the lost expression, the expression that belonged to deep concentration, as if what he saw before him meant nothing at all. “Thirty perhaps,” he whispered in Daniel’s ear, “no more than that, and one or two so old they could destroy the rest of us in an instant.”…The name had done it, as names so often do. The creature had felt himself known, recognized. And Khayman had recognized the name at once, connecting it with the Mael of Lestat’s pages. Undoubtedly they were one and the same—this was the Druid priest who had lured Marius into the sacred grove where the blood god had made him one of its own, and sent him off to Egypt to find the Mother and the Father. Yes, this was the same Mael. And the creature felt himself recognized and hated it. After the initial spasm of rage, all thought and emotion vanished. A rather dizzying display of strength, Khayman conceded. He relaxed in the chair. But the creature couldn’t find him. Two dozen other white faces he picked out of the crowd, but not Khayman.…Khayman spied another intriguing figure, much younger, yet almost as powerful in his own fashion as the Gaul, Mael. Khayman sought for the name, but the creature’s mind was a perfect blank; not so much as a glimmer of personality escaped from it. A boy he’d been when he died, with straight dark auburn hair, and eyes a little too big for his face. But it was easy, suddenly to filch the being’s name from his newborn fledgling who stood beside him. Armand… And this meant the he was no more than five hundred years old, yet he veiled himself completely. Shrewd, cold he seemed, yet without flair—a stance that required no room in which to display itself. And now, sensing infallibly that he was watched, he turned his large soft brown eyes upward and fixed instantly upon the remote figure of Khayman.(About the Talamasca)“Talamasca.” The word struck Daniel suddenly as beautiful. Talamasca. He broke it down from the Latin, understood its parts. Somewhere out of his memory bank it came: animal mask. Old word for witch or shaman.…there were museums beneath the building, rooms crammed with mysterious objects connected with paranormal occurrences. There were vaults to which no one was admitted except the senior members of the order. Delicious, the prospect of secrets revealed only over a period of time.…the dignified furnishings, the stone fireplaces, the gleaming oak floors. Even the quiet civil members of the order appealed to her, as they greeted her cheerfully, then returned to their discussions or the reading of the evening papers, as they sat about the vast, warmly lighted public rooms. The sheer wealth of the place was startling. It lent substance to Lightner’s claims. And the place felt good. Psychically good. People here were what they said they were.…Then the history of the Talamasca itself proved powerfully attractive. Was this man telling the truth? A secret order, which traced its existence back to the year 758, an order with records of witches, sorcerers, mediums, and seers of spirits going back to that remote period?…“That painting of yours, The Temptation of Amadeo, the one in the Talamasca crypt...” “Yes?” “Wouldn’t you like to have it back?” “Ye gods, no. It’s a dreary thing, really. My black period, you might say. But I do wish they’d take it out of the damned cellar. You know, hang it in the front hall? Some decent place.” I laughed. Suddenly he became serious. Suspicious. “Lestat!” he said sharply. “Yes, Marius.” “You leave the Talamasca alone!”(Sadly none of Anne Rice’s characters are yet old or wise enough to argue against her own biases.)“What if the women divide along principles of masculine/feminine, the way men so often divide if there are no females there?” “You know that’s a foolish objection. Such distinctions are never more than superficial. Women are women! Can you conceive of war made by women? Truly, answer me. Can you? Can you conceive of bands of roving women intent only on destruction? Or rape? Such a thing is preposterous. For the aberrant few justice will be immediate. But overall, something utterly unforeseen will take place. Don’t you see? The possibility of peace on earth has always existed, and there have always been people who could realize it, and preserve it, and those people are women. If one takes away the men.”

Emily

Queen of the Damned picks up where The Vampire Lestat leaves off, introduces us to new and interesting vampires, and deals with the question of what happens when the Queen wakes.The Legend of the Twins is entrancing, and Rice unfolds the origin of vampires in a definitive manner. More backstory is given on all the major players, but enough is left unsaid to provide fodder for many more Vampire Chronicles. Also interesting was the introduction of the Talamasca, and meeting Aaron Lightner for the first time. I read the Mayfair Witches books first, so it was really nice 'seeing' him again here.The only thing I really didn’t like was Stan Rice’s unintelligible poetry at the beginnings of some chapters.

Beckie Shotwell

This was the best one of them all. It fills in all the holes and makes for a fascinating read. The only character who didn't seem to fit in with the story was the Baby character who killed her mother and father. The only thing I could figure out was that she gave us Anne Rice's ideas of the afterlife. That you just go up into a wonderful loving place with all the people in your life even if you were a horrible person. The rest was sheer creativeness. That a vampire could be so ancient and complete he/she didn't need to kill anymore was cool. The idea that an ancient making a new vampire made a "super" vampire was cool also. And Lestat was right, Louis does whine a lot! :)

Johnny Thief

This is the only book I've ever thrown against a wall. Repeatedly.Within the first five minutes Rice tells us about LeStat becoming a MTV rock star in language like your grandma talking about Elvis' pelvis. Really, TV rock star vampire? BAM! A week later, I pick it up while cleaning, & give it a second chance. Bam! Third chance. Bam! The last time, the thing that did it for me, is the first & most powerful vampire, so powerful she's practically marble & never feeds, never moves for anything that's happened in a millennia, rising from a 1000 year slumber because she watched MTV. BAM! And there it stayed, until I moved from that house. I think Rice channeled her own personal pain into a decent first novel, & then after that, had nothing to bring to the table. Of course now we have god damned sparkly vampires who carry your books. Do I get angry at the authors, or the vapid idiots who read it?

Kiki

Far and away the best work in the entire Vampire Chronicles, Queen of the Damned left me hanging on the edge of my seat from cover to cover. Unlike the other books in the series, it picks up exactly where the previous book, The Vampire Lestat left off. Anne Rice has long been one of my favorite authors and this one does not disappoint. Told in Rice's glorious, sensuous style, readers are taken on quite a strange trip--from the ancient sands of pre-dynastic Egypt to a San Francisco rock concert.I recommend you read both of these books before you read Queen of the Damned, to get the appropriate background. In Queen of the Damned, Lestat has just made his Hollywood debut. He has penned an autobiography, entiltled The Vampire Lestat. He has started a band(also called The Vampire Lestat), and has set a date for a concert on Halloween.And Louis and Lestat finally...kiss! Oh, the horror! The tale spirals from every corners of the world, going from mythic Egypt to today's modern rock-scene world. Anne Rice brings the stake to a whole new level with this book.

M.J. Heiser

** spoiler alert ** If Ayn Rand had written her capitalist manifesto, "Atlas Shrugged," half this well, we'd have several second-world countries STILL trying to prove that she was a visionary, and that her system could work -- because never doubt that "The Queen of the Damned" is a philosophical screed, and the best of its kind.For me, this is still the ultimate vampire novel. Anne Rice doesn't just have creepy-crawlies in her stories. She doesn't just animate corpses. She doesn't just give them heartbroken souls and immortal, wealthy flair. She doesn't just have a huge cast of characters, and flip between points of view with seeming ease and grace. No, Anne Rice has a MESSAGE, and she means to tell it here. Through the prism of vampire magic, we're given a view of the vastness of time and the evolving role of Man in the world. We see through the veil all the way to ancient times, and we meet the representative of all ancient rulers in the person of Akasha, the so-called "Queen of the Damned." Akasha is cruel and self-serving; she strives always to find meaning in the world and despairs that there is none, so she takes it upon herself to become that meaning. She did it in old Egypt (called Kemet in this tale) by constantly rationalizing herself as blessed among mortals, all the while doubting that anything supernatural existed that could bestow such a blessing. When, through a misadventure in manipulation of Earth spirits, she becomes the world's first vampire (and subsequently makes her husband one as well), she spins the tale of Osiris and Iris to justify her existence as a goddess.Fast forward to nearly-modern day, and the awakening of Akasha from her centuries-long slumber. After draining her ancient mate, she slays nearly all of the vampires on the planet, then abducts Lestat, the charming vampire rake who woke her, and unleashes her plan for vampires to rescue mankind by death to 90% of all males. After all, she blames the male sex for all the wars and rapes and subjugation in the world, and she takes it upon herself and her overwhelming strength to fix it. Lestat is employed as her death angel, but eventually she is forced to confront the vampires she spared from the fury that began the book. They try to reason with her, but as they observed, every vampire bears the mark of the time that produced them; she is ancient, and she is bound to ancient instincts and her ancient megalomania. She won't be turned. Fortunately, an old curse rises and she is killed, but the book left its mark.Does mankind deserve a chance to get it all right on its own, or would it indeed be better if a supernatural force of some kind (any kind) intervened to show us the way? Would the world be a paradise if governed solely by women? Does violence justify the results?It is for the sake of this book's ability to make me think, and to give me the room to decide for myself, that I love it so much. Yes, Rice offers her own opinion, sprinkled through the tale and especially weighty in the outcome, but that doesn't lessen the underlying message that in the end, we are ALL masters of our own fate and sovereigns over our own reality. Even if you decide to forfeit your right to decide for yourself, you're the one who turned over the control to another.

Stefan Yates

When I started this book, I really had problems getting into it. I think that the problem for me was that it skipped around quite a bit between characters in the beginning and tried to introduce several new ones only to kill off some of them immediatly. In essence, I guess it took me out of my comfort zone and I wasn't too sure that I liked it.But, perseverance paid off and after 150 pages or so, I found myself drawn deeply into this robust story. The book is well written, taking us between current events happening with our vampire friends and deeper into the vampire mythology than we have ever been. Most of this novel focuses on the creation of the vampire race and it certainly does not disappoint. Ms. Rice has created a rich, lush background for her version of the vampire species and by linking them to current events happening to her characters, she makes the history itself come alive...literally!

Anna

To this day still my favorite Vampire fiction book. I may be biased as the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles novels were my introduction the genre. But it has stood the test of time for me. First off this is a long book, but I still couldn't put it down, despite my usual dislike of novels over about 200-300 pages. It just covers so much ground in Vampire Mythos and I think it was well worth the length. Anne Rice's crowning achievement in my estimation, it really gave life to the vampire fiction genre that is all the craze today. First off Anne Rice's vampire's are the epitome of what makes a vampire a true vampire. She does not dumb down the raw nature of these creatures and really infuses her characters with such personality that you almost feel as if you know them. I think this is truly a delight for anyone that enjoys today's vampire mania but wants more. It definitely has that to offer.

Danielle Tremblay

The third installment of the Vampire Chronicles starts off just about where the last left us. Lestat is preparing for his big moment, the first concert of his band The Vampire Lestat. It is at this concert that all Vampire hell is going to break loose as Lestat has awakened the oldest of them all...the Queen of the Damned.Anne Rice again provides us readers with lavish descriptions and immense action. The one problem I have with this novel is the amount of characters she has all wrapped up in this one text. It starts off from the point of Lestat, but soon you find yourself in the world from the point of view of at least seven other characters. This is one time where Rice seems to have taken on a bit more than she can handle. Because of the fact that there are indeed so many characters, one can get lost and find themselves not even caring what really happens to them. The only saving grace is that they do all link up somehow in the end.The only other complaint I have is the fact that, after all the years (6000 to be exact) that the Queen was dormant, the plan she comes up with is pretty weak. In a sense, its almost downright unbelievable (something most of Rice's characters are not).Overall this is a good novel and is well worth reading; especially if you're already into The Vampire Chronicles. It may seem rushed at times, as well as there being to much information for you to try and take in, but stay with it because it all comes together in the end.

Nicola

I like books. I like reading them, writing them, sleeping with every word I have ever read staring down at me in a legacy of comforting language. I have only ever in my life put down two books without finishing them, and throughout this whole torturous affair I had to continuously remind myself that I don't want that figure to reach three. In short, this was slow, painful and pointless, more of an elongated love affair with Rice's beloved Lestat than any honest attempt to, y'now, educate or entertain her audience. I wish I hadn't started it, because then I could have read something else.Plot? There is effectively none. The whole thing is told through a series of side-stories and flashbacks, with the actual conflict resolved in a handful of pages at the back end of the book, about two or three hundred after I started actually, verbally yelling at the thing to get to the point already. Nothing at all is accomplished; Rice cleans up her mythology a little bit and injects a bit more vampiric superpowers into her fictional crush Lestat. This, more than anything, is what grates about the story. Every character spends far too much time worrying over Lestat. It is an elongated aggrandizing, a chance to reiterate just how attractive, devilish, powerful and irresistible the irritating little godlet is. Every other character spends far, far too much time worrying over him, and each mewling phrase sticks out of the narrative like a staple in a quiche. Even the titled Queen of the Damned herself, who at points showed the potential to be a well-realized character with a handful of villainous virtues and flaws, is inevitably defeated because Lestat is just too damned beautiful for anyone to resist. It's tiresome, it's awful, and it makes me angry - because there ARE hints, here and there, of surprising narrative potential, if only when the author pulls her head out of her own ass long enough to write a chapter that has absolutely nothing to do with her favorite dead, white masturbation fodder.Skip it; watch the movie if you must, it's shorter.

Austin James

"The Queen of the Damned" is the third book in Anne Rice's vampire chronicles. Out of the three I read this was probably my least favorite. Don't get me wrong. It's not a bad book. It's just not as good as the previous two books.The story starts off where the last book (The Vampire Lestat) ends. I find Rice's books to be the best when they are narrated from the first person. Much of this book isn't done in first person. The story jumps around from character to character. Also, the core of the story isn't really about Lestat (A character I, like many others like very much). It's about Akasha (The Queen of the Damned) and two witches who lived in Egypt long ago. Never the less, it's still and interesting story and it was an enjoyable read. The next Anne Rice book I'm going to read is "The Mummy or Ramses the Dead."I would give this book three out of five stars.Originally reviewed on my blog at http://www.AustinJamesHere.blogspot.com

Sophie Elizabeth

** spoiler alert ** (I warn you, this review contains spoilers, though it doesn't really ruin the storyline, I don't think!)The introduction to this book is, as in all the other books with Lestat as a narrator, fantastic. I love the way he always introduces himself, the vain bastard that he is. And of course (because I'm a sad little girl with no life who develops attractions for literary creatures) I hang on each line, wondering "Oh, what did you do THIS TIME?!" To be very honest, when I started the book, I wasn't entirely enamored with it. The multiple view-point aspect of if confused me just a little (perhaps because for months and months before I had been reading countless first-person narratives). Although, from the moment that Jesse walks into the story I was drawn in, hook, line and sinker. Maybe it was the idea of this mysterious Maharet lady, or perhaps it was the idea of a supernatural investigations group (any "X-Files" fan would fall for the idea of the Talamasca, surely)that fetched me and I was utterly involved with the story. I was INSIDE the novel. You couldn't get me out. I read it from breakfast until dinner time one Saturday when I had leave to get away with it.Jesse seems to be key in a lot of my favourite scenes in this book - we get this fantastic piece of insight into the mind of Claudia when Jesse finds her diary (the diary calls out for another novel entirely - only Claudia would have told the truth about what actually happened between those two bitter men who like to spite each other in their respective autobiographies). Claudia loved Lestat as much as she hated him, and I think that her love for him was a little bit more desire-based than her love for Louis which was need-based... Anyway, the fact that she wanted him in a very non-childish way is perhaps a good reason for her to hate him... Jesse is also the key character in my very favourite scene in all of fiction - (save perhaps the "Midsummer's Day" passages of "I Capture The Castle" by Dodie Smith) - the scene where the Brat Prince is onstage, a 1980's rock star to put Jon Bon Jovi and Axl Rose to shame, and she jumps up to him. I swear, no character in any novel has ever come across sexier than the vampire rockstar. It's a superficial enough reason to love that passage of a book, but what can I say, I love fiction, I love music! (The song I have soundtracked for that scene is "March Of The Black Queen" by the band Queen - it sounds exactly like the band The Vampire Lestat sounds in my head... Just by-the-by).Anyway, after the concert scene the story takes on a whirlwind life of its own. Several plotlines string together seamlessly - which makes this novel perhaps one of the deftest pieces of complex storytelling that I have ever read. Suddenly Armand, Daniel, Marius, Louis, Gabrielle, Mael, Khaymen, Eric, Santino, Maharet and Jesse are all in a room together. The sheer idea of it amused me - it was like the Teddy Bears' Picnic for vampires. Meanwhile Lestat is whisked away on a killing spree with an ancient and evil vampire!In alternate pieces we are given what basically translates as to being the Book Of Genesis for vampires and the tale of a stupid blond idiot who runs away with a strange woman and finds that she's not quite what she seems. We also get to meet my favourite female character in all of the Chronicles: Maharet. A vampire who was made after she had a child. A vampire who has spent her eternity watching over each of her direct descendants. I'm from rural Ireland and I always make the analogy that "If she wasn't a blood-drinker, Maharet would invite you in for a cup of tea!" She's truly a wonderful character - perhaps the only character that Rice has ever created that was truly kind and without a malevolent streak.The history of the vampires, set in ancient Egypt is truly compelling - but then again, ever since childhood, I've loved the idea of Ancient Egypt. Akasha is an interesting character, though she bears some similarities with our fateful storyteller: Lestat. She is essentially his personality except of a different time: bratty, with an idea that she is entitled to all that she desires. Although, he is not a megalomaniac.Eventually the two storylines collide containing one of my favourite quotes of late (said by Lestat as he looks upon all the vampires who are gathered together): "Finally, those you love are simply... Those you love." It kind of describes my own mismatched family.And the ending is hilarious. Marius makes up the "new rules" and promptly Lestat decides to go out and break them, tossing his hair and asking Louis to tell him that he's bad, just because he loves to hear it. Classic!

Heather

I liked it well enough. There was a lot of skipping around. There was a lot of poetry in the beginnings of chapters written by "Stan Rice" who I assume is Anne's husband? I just skipped over all of that.There was a lot in the book that I thought was superfluous. Such as the story of Baby Jenks. It was merely an obstacle in my path to finding out about Akasha and the truth to the beginnings of all of Anne Rice's vampires. I liked the stories that involved Jesse and I liked the stories that involved Khayman. Khayman's story actually made me laugh as he sought to entertain himself by dressing up in the stereotypical outfits and such. The best part of the whole book was The Legend of the Twins. Anne Rice provoked my interest with the dreams. At first I had no idea what they meant, but I knew they had to be about the beginning. She teased me with these dreams being shared by all of the vampires whose stories we read in Queen of the Damned. And finally she gave them to me. But she gave them to me in parts. She interrupted the story of the Twins with Lestat and Akasha's adventures which were boring. Although I quite like how Akasha thinks. I like her grand design for the future and the reason she awoke. I was sad to see about her end, but I knew it was coming. Overall it was enjoyable. I put it down several times and picked it back up within only a matter of days. It was by no means as good as the previous two books -- Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat... but it did give us more insight into the character of Lestat which was a driving force for me. I quite like the character of Lestat. Do I recommend the book? If you like the series, if you liked the characters from the previous books... yes. It is an integral piece of the story and is an insight further into the minds of each of the vampires of Anne Rice's world. It is the story of how all vampires from this universe came to be and is therefore an important read if you loved this universe. But be aware that it has some serious downtime.

Audrie

Literally could not put this book down. It was my first experience with Anne Rice and I honestly wanted to jump on the bandwagon and read all of her works after this.It's really wonderful because, as it was my first experience with Rice, I was still able to follow it without reading the books that come before it in the series. It stands as its own individual piece and I really appreciated not having to hunt the others down before starting on this one (my mom bought it for me at a thrift store).For an Anne Rice novel, I was expecting vomit-inducing gore, just because that's how I've heard her stereotyped. I watched the Interview With A Vampire movie before reading this, so I knew a bit of what to expect...I was just led to believe that it was far more graphic than the movie. It really wasn't, I was able to handle every thing that happened and only felt sick when I was feeling what the characters were going through. I connected with them that well, it was a very well written story and the characters were believable for the monsters that they were. Not too monstrous, not too human. Except the queen. She was awful, like a villain should be. And Lestat is a butt-head. But I forgive him.

Alberto Kennedy

I loved this book. It did prove challenging for me to read because their was so many sub plots and the establishing of them through certain characters made it a bit labryinth like as the author tried to tie all the sub plots in to one complete mosaic. But she did and It was worth the confusion to see that after all the twists and turns the book took you on a journey through time and over the world. I loved it! I loved that Maharet and her twin sister Mekare had red hair and yet lived in The Vallye Near Egypt when these features are non existent in those parts! I would have loved to hear about their lineage and how they came to know and settle in that region but alas, I did not. Maybe another book perhaps! :-)

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