Fans of the ever-popular vampire tales are treated to a journey through ancient Rome as they hear the story of Pandora
, and how she became a blood drinker. The mellifluous voice of British actress Janet McTeer makes for a dreamlike telling of the first-person narrative which takes place in the days of Tiberius, Ovid, and an empire that is starting to turn in on itself. Listeners learn of the cunning and impassioned narrator's happy days of growing up in the house of her father, a respected Roman statesman, her forced escape to Antioch and her dreams and visions of an Egyptian queen that foretell her fate. As well as the tumble of violent and supernatural events that lead to her beloved Marius sinking his teeth into her beautiful neck. Pandora's box it now seems is a sarcophagus! While Rice's usual chill and suspense seem somewhat removed given the period setting, the author paints a particularly rich picture of daily life in the Roman empire through the characters' discourses on contemporary issues of the day, and their actions in response to real historical events. --Anne Depue (Running time: 3 hours; 2 cassettes)
From Publishers Weekly
Although Rice bid goodbye to the vampire Lestat in Memnoch the Devil, her fifth novel in The Vampire Chronicles, she has not abandoned vampires altogether. Two installments are planned this year in her New Tales of the Vampires series, and in the first of these, the ancient vampire Pandora tells her story. Urged on by David Talbot?fledgling vampire, self-appointed chronicler and former psychic detective?Pandora documents in sophisticated detail her pre-vampire existence as the privileged daughter of a Roman senator. She's a curious character, first introduced in The Queen of the Damned, in which Marius described her as the Greek courtesan who seduced him into making her a vampire and helped him care for the vampire progenitors until strife forced them apart. Here, Pandora herself sets the record straight. Born early in Augustus's reign, the educated, spirited Pandora was no courtesan?though we do see her challenge the sexual mores of her moment. When Tiberius brings chaos to Rome, and dishonor and death to Pandora's family, she goes to Antioch and tries to solve the mystery of her compelling blood dreams about Egypt. There, she reunites with her childhood crush, Marius, and learns from him what it means to be a vampire. Along the way, we find little of Rice's trademark eroticism, but Pandora has long been one of her more elusive characters, so fans will relish this vivid rendering of her life and times. Random House audio.
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