Anne Rice announced in March that she would release her latest novel this year. Since then, she has been interviewed by countless magazines who want to know why she’s returning to this world she created back in 1976. One recent interview was published by the LA Times on Oct. 23.
Rice has written about characters who wrestle with notions of mortality, morality, religion and sin, and I imagine there will be no shortage of these concepts in the upcoming novel. On AnneRice.com, she alludes to “the Voice” and the power it has over modern-day vampires. Could this be a reference to some version of God or a similar higher power? Should we suppose that Mekare and Maharet (the first vampires, converted back in ancient Egypt) are calling their lost sons and daughters home?
In “Memnoch the Devil,” Lestat traversed the landscape of Hell in a story much like a combination of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” and Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Rice created a reality where God was a being who chose to live in the form of flesh for a brief period of time, just to see what it was like to be a part of what He created. This was one of her more religious concepts for a book. And she tied it all together into a neat package, which she sold off as young adult fiction.
As a dedicated fan, I am biased, but if she is revisiting this concept at all, I believe she might be onto something here. I admit, I’ve all-but-outgrown Stephen King since the last “Dark Tower” came out, and I haven’t been able to pick up a novel written by him since I graduated college, but I’ve stuck to my guns on Rice. The only time she let me down was when I tried to get into, “Angel Time” (2009,) but if Rice can transport me back to the place where Louis, Armand and Lestat are together again, then I’ll consider myself desperately lucky.
However, in an interview with LA Times, Rice talks about how the vampires featured in “The Prince Lestat” have acclimated to the modern world of technology. This contrast between the ancient past and the dull present seems to make her creatures all the more alluring. In “Interview with the Vampire,” Armand calls Louis beautiful because he was the zeitgeist, the spirit of the age in the 1800s.
He embodied everything culturally relevant to the time, without fully giving into his dark gift.
This time, we’ll visit Carthage and Rome and we’ll be reunited with the young Armand. The book on Armand and the stand-alone novel, “Servant of the Bones” are probably two of my favorites by Anne Rice. I also liked “The Vampire Lestat,” which painted a different picture of him, but I honestly get the first three novels in her series a bit mixed up, now that I’ve seen the movies Interview with the Vampire and Queen of the Damned. (Queen of the Damned squishes books 2-4 together, according to my recollection.) And she also integrated the “Mayfair Witches” series in with “The Vampire Chronicles,” so if you haven’t read everything up until now, you should probably get going on that.
I’m curious to play voyeur into the age of the Vikings, when Lestat was a boy, because I was quite taken by the image of him finally facing his fears and slaying the wolf that tormented his family farm. The story was touched upon in “The Vampire Lestat,” but the novel mostly honed-in on his transformation and neglected elaborating on his humble beginnings. I hope “The Prince Lestat” tells the story of his travels in more detail.
This will be book no. 11 in the “Vampire Chronicles” series. With a lucky number like that, and with the years stacking up for the prolific writer Anne Rice, I’m sure this will be one killer book.