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

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.

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!

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

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.

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?


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

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.

Matthew Leeth

** spoiler alert ** I really liked this book and all the interwoven stories and characters. I actually liked Akasha until she kept blabbing on and on about her 'plan' of killing all the men of the world. I can see why they killed her... She should have just went along with them, maybe she would have lived longer. I liked Jesse a lot, her character was really interesting. The Claudia cameo was awesome, and the diary excerpt was cool. Kind of made me want Anne to write a full length Claudia diary. This book was a really good addition to the series. I wished Lestat's musical career would have lasted longer. Louis and Gabrielle being in this book was good also, I never get tired of those characters. They rank up there for me. I also liked Maharet and her twin sister was pretty bad-ass. All she had to do was push Akasha into a glass wall to kill her, the glass chopped her head off. Then... they ate her brain and heart to keep the vampires alive. GOOD GOOD book. I could write a whole lot more, but yeah.READ THIS BOOK!!!

Wendie Collins

This is my favorite Anne Rice book! Akasha, the goddess- my goddess! :) How can you not love a vampire queen gone mad and taken to killing all the men in the world??... ah yes save for one the brat prince! Sounds like a great plan to me! That was left out of the movie! Among many many other things! Speaking of the movie, although I thought it was a pretty good vampire flick and Aaliyah is perfect for Akasha, besides the names, there wasn't much resemblance to the book. I was disappointed with how far it fell from from the story line. Anne Rice truly captivates me in this tale however and this book is gripping. How she describes Akasha & Enkil and ties their existence to the Egyptian legends of Isis and Osiris is awesome! She explains a story of creation for her vampires that is incomparable! It is truly captivating, and believable! This book is a MUST read for all Lestat and/or Anne Rice fans.


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.

Danielle Sepulveda

Of all of the vampire chronicles this is by far my favorite. If you have seen the movie and were not impressed. It's ok because neither was I. The movie is nothing like the book in any way. The book goes into detail and answers a lot questions. Goes into detail of the family tree and tells you how Akasha and Enkil became to be. I love every single part of this book and it really was a page turner for me. I love everything from the twins, to Armand and Daniel. Everything! All of these characters are so beautifully put together I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading about vampires.


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.

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!

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.


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.

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