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

ISBN: 0345351525
ISBN 13: 9780345351524
By: Anne Rice

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About this book

Did you ever wonder where all those mischievous vampires roaming the globe in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles came from? In this, the third book in the series, we find out. That raucous rock-star vampire Lestat interrupts the 6,000-year slumber of the mama of all bloodsuckers, Akasha, Queen of the Damned. Akasha was once the queen of the Nile (she has a bit in common with the Egyptian goddess Isis), and it's unwise to rile her now that she's had 60 centuries of practice being undead. She is so peeved about male violence that she might just have to kill most of them. And she has her eye on handsome Lestat with other ideas as well. If you felt that the previous books in the series weren't gory and erotic enough, this one should quench your thirst (though it may cause you to omit organ meats from your diet). It also boasts God's plenty of absorbing lore that enriches the tale that went before, including the back-story of the boy in Interview with the Vampire and the ancient fellowship of the Talamasca, which snoops on paranormal phenomena. Mostly, the book spins the complex yarn of Akasha's eerie, brooding brood and her nemeses, the terrifying sisters Maharet and Mekare. In one sense, Queen of the Damned is the ultimate multigenerational saga. --Tim Appelo

Reader's Thoughts

Lauren

The Queen of the Damned is strikingly different in both form and substance from the first two books of The Vampire Chronicles. Several new characters are introduced, a number of truly old vampires we have only heard of up until now become part of the action, and the story is woven together into a mosaic much wider in scope from what has come before. This is essentially Lestat's book, but he is not really the focus of the tale; while he narrates his own role in events, much of the book is written in third person. This, plus the addition of so many new characters and the truly elaborate span that is covered, makes this novel much less cohesive than the first-person narratives of the first two books. The action is spread out over six thousand years from one end of the world to the other, with a lot of mythology and pondering taking the place of the thrilling energetic action of earlier novels.The book begins a week or two before Lestat's legendary rock concert and the ensuing mayhem that erupted outside the auditorium that night. We follow the paths of other vampires in the days prior to this, including Armand and Daniel, the young man from Interview With the Vampire. We also learn that the immolation of vampires that Lestat, Louis, and Gabrielle saw that night had actually begun several days earlier, as a number of covens were destroyed by Akasha, the newly awakened Queen of the Damned. After the story of her awakening is told, the book takes a somewhat mystical air. Almost all vampires are dreaming of two red-haired young women preparing to feast upon their dead mother, only to be taken prisoner by soldiers while their village is being destroyed around them. The true significance of the red-haired twins does not become clear until the final hundred pages of the book, for their tale is an integral part of the story behind vampirism's very existence. We already knew that Enkil and Akasha, ancient rulers of Egypt, were the first vampires. Now, the whole history of the King and Queen is revealed, including the curse that accompanied their transformation. Anne Rice goes out of her way to explain the beginning of vampires in a unique way, although the facts of the matter seem a little too elaborate and far-fetched to me.The only real weakness I find in the novel is Akasha's agenda. She is not exactly the altruistic type, and her mission to save mankind sounds ingenuous at best. It is also a rather laughable plan; having spent the past six thousand years in contemplative thought, I would have thought to expect a character of her strength and moxie to have come up with a plan much better than this one. The final conflict, one prefigured for hundreds of pages in the slow unveiling of The Legend of the Twins, ends so quickly I was forced to stop and make sure I hadn't somehow skipped a paragraph or two. Basically it's all over in one sentence. Even Lestat is not himself her; I actually enjoyed the stories of the other vampires and the history of the accidental birth of vampirism in Akash more than I enjoyed the action related first hand by Lestat. Certainly, Rice is to be commended for vastly expanding her vampire universe and having her characters deeply examine their lives and their purpose on earth, but I just could not fully connect with this novel. Still, it is an essential book for Anne Rice fans, as if offers up loads of information about the vampires who roam the world of her creation and explains the very origins of vampirism itself.

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.

Nicola O.

I kept waiting for it to get interesting but it never did. It got stupider and stupider until I thought my brains were leaking out. If I were on a desert island with nothing to read but this book, I would scratch out old 80's pop lyrics with a twig in the sand before trying to read this dreck again.

Debra

After listening to The Vampire Lestat, which I enjoyed well enough, I couldn't very well stop there. I needed to know what happened to Lestat after his concert. So of course I picked up Queen of the Damned immediately after finishing that one.My god, there were a lot of characters in this novel. Thank god for a good narrator of this audiobook (the wonderful Simon Vance). He helped keep up with all the various characters with an impressive array of voices. The story itself was interesting, in that while it told Lestat's story (intertwined amongst a number of others), the vast majority of this particular novel was told from a variety of others' points of view, which helped keep it interesting. [image error]I enjoyed this novel, but I'm not sure I'll delve into the rest of the Vampire Chronicles for a while yet. Perhaps if Random House Audio continues to put out new recordings narrated by Simon Vance, I might be convinced. I'm not sure I could muster the attention span to sit and read them, though.

Daniel McGill

Much better then "Interview With the Vampire" This combined with "The Vampire Lestat" forms the best part of the Vampire Chronicles series and details the core mythos of Anne Rice’s vampires. In this book unlike the others in this series there are several narrators all with very interesting view points who each tell their own part of the story until the plot lines converge. If you intend to read any of Anne Rice’s Vampire novels (except possibly "Interview") make sure you read these first and are not trying to figure things out based on what you read in "Interview", Louis knows so little and his perspective is so skewed that he doesn't provide a very good introduction to this world. At least that's the literary version, in truth I suppose that Anne Rice hadn't made all of the world building decisions she needed to make yet and changed her mind on several points as well when she decided to take the vampires concept and run with it.

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.

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.

James

After chugging my way through Interview with a Vampire and Vampire Lestat, I finally completed The Queen of the Damned, an interesting if somewhat bloated work by Anne Rice. Anne’s written plenty of books in her vampire chronicles but I think I’ll stop here and savor it. The Children of the Darkness have their “Baltimore Catechism” (as Anne says) in The Queen of the Damned. The book does a pretty good job of catching up the new reader, but it’s better to read Lestat first. As in Lestat, the books actually appear as characters in this very story. The characters are somewhat fleshed out such as Daniel , the original writer of “Interview” who wants to be a vampire himself, following Armand all over until Mr. A acquiesces.Other characters are introduced too such as Jesse, a redhead and apparent relation to the original Twins who dealt with the Queen way back 5000 B.C.The book tends to really be slow at the start: lots of explanation, what is happening to Louis, New Orleans, the mysterious organization Talamasca, and other supernatural craziness that was at times hard to follow.Queen: Finally things start rolling mid-novel when all the characters we’ve met gather in a cabin in Sonoma and plot what they will do about the Queen, who really just wants to kill pretty much the entire male side of the human race (since men are so evil, doncha know!). I found Anne’s prose in this respect very interesting. Lestat seemed at times out of character, acquiescing to his Queen and at times even joining in the carnage rather than protest against her. That was a disappointment.The ending, I will not reveal, but I felt the final confrontation was quick and disappointing after all the build-up. The final paragraphs were fun: Lestat with his new-found power is delighting in it, and Rice sets us up for the next book. Bottom Line: Entertaining in the end, but you need the patience of an Exorcist to get through to that point! Best character: Jesse, although she was pretty much dropped from the story early on. Worse would have to be Mael, who didn’t really have much of a role to play in the final act. Recommended.

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?

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.

CHris.T.o.S

a book of miracles....unimaginably good...NO VAMPIRES HAVE WALKED THE EARTH OF IMAGINATION AS HERS....they re so glamorous the could be gods...I am happy cause i finally found out how Kerrigan and Akasha in DOTA were created...And i get it i do realize why the movie was so diabolically bad,it takes guts to write the things she wrote in that book, i mean when u speak about Akasha,Armand,Maharet or Marius there is a tragic higher sense to it WHO WOULD TAKE THE RISK TO FILM IT!?Anne is a very influential writer and has a very distinct way to write and up to this point i am such a fun... A MUST HAVE BOOK!

Francisco

Tercera parte de las Crónicas Vampíricas. Agotada totalmente la creatividad, se suman vampiros y vísceras hasta llenar un montón de páginas innecesarias. Superflua.

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.

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! :-)

Delicious Strawberry

Ordinarily, for a book I enjoyed so much, I would give it five stars. The Legend of the Twins was actually my favorite story arc in Queen of the Damned, and the Twins are two of my favorite characters. Infact, I'd say that this book is my favorite in the entire Vampire Chronicles.But the reason I take away a star is due to the abrupt ending. It is clear that Akasha is deluded in her thinking, and that what she believes is good for mankind is not. But I wonder after 6000 years of sleep, she would have the wisdom to see a better path, unless these 6000 years spent in silence (except for exceedingly rare occasions) served to warp and twist her mind. This in itself is an entirely believable character.However, the very ending left me flat. I had to read the last chapter several times to make sure that I hadn't missed anything. I wish that Ms. Rice had put more of Mekare in future books, perhaps learning about modern society and getting used to her new role as Queen. The ending was far too abrupt and not well-thought out for a tale that was incredible.

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