- Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 13, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345351525
- ISBN-13: 978-0345351524
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (412 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, No. 3) Mass Market Paperback – September 13, 1989
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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
From Publishers Weekly
The cult audience for Rice's two previous vampire novels, Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat , will undoubtedly broaden with this third book, which features the same characters and a more complex plot. As before, Rice tells her story in fine melodramatic style, overwriting with zest and exuberance: the text pulses with menace, mystery and violence, and with sensuality verging on erotica. Here Lestat and all other vampires pay the price for his obsessive need for fame, his reckless honesty in describing the "blood drinkers" among us, and his frenzied rock concert in San Francisco. Lestat's kiss has awakened Queen Akasha from her 6000 year sleep. She immediately begins a wholesale slaughter of most of the world's vampires, sparing only a small remnant (including Lestat) who she expects will join her in a crazed crusade against male mortals. Meanwhile, vampires and psychic humans around the globe are having the same terrifying dream in which twin red-haired women weep over the body of another woman, whose eyes and brains are on a plate nearby. As Rice gradually reveals the significance of the dream, she also focuses on Jesse, who works for the Telamasca, a secret society that collects data on those with paranormal powers. Though she ingeniously pulls together the various plot strands, Rice then almost loses the reader in philosophic overkill. She regains her verve in the final chapter, however, promising yet another mesmerizing installment of the Vampire Chronicles. 150,000 first printing: Literary Guild main selection.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Apart from that, the book is a rich and well-woven work, managing not only to present an independent whole species and genealogy, in other words a special, well defined fictional w o r l d (which to my opinion is one of the main -and difficult-to-obtain -features of good literature), but also to give a resourceful explanation for its birth and development, as long as to connect it with the most significant issues of human religion, history, and controversy of ideas through centuries. It has also a very strong feministic look which I would expect at least to be referred to in the book's presentations-it's not a spoiler.
The most significant idea of the book though, which is in the core of the main action -the desire of the Queen to rule the humanity as a goddess in her own way and with her own ideas and prejudices- is the very strong, philosophically supported mainly by Hannah Arendt, idea that the evil is s i m p l e and stupid! This is what the whole primary story of the book is moving to, and is shown not only in the arrogant, stubborn, ridiculously narrow-minded character of the Queen (an amazing anticlimax to her unique supernatural powers), but also in the triumph of Lestat over human masses as a rock idol! The part of the book which to my choice is the most valuable extract (about page 300 I think) is the scene in which the twins encounter the Queen for the very first time, and one of them (in her narrating that encounter some millenniums after) gives a deep, explicit and psychologically reasonable interpretation of the Queen's character, revealing her inner l i e, which comes from her need to deal with her nothingness and is well-established by her own sincere belief in it! This selfish stupidity of her is further enlightened in the (relatively) last pages, where she protests in tears that "no one stands by her" or "everyone is against her", or something like that, marvelously reminding us of some very human -and very disastrous- type of person!
It is a pity that books like that are mostly read (or at least so I think) by people just obsessed with vampire stories and often only superficially following the plot. I think Ann Rice is of the authors who use the vampire tradition to seriously talk about deep human thoughts, instincts and feelings, as well as of moral and social issues still crucial (or even especially crucial) in our years. It is the kind of literature that forms a bridge between "difficult" or `upper" art and the "mainstream" one, and this, in terms of education involving pleasure, is worth a lot.
To her credit, Anne Rice deserves the praise she has received for her writing style. She is descriptive, she does her research and she knows, for the most part, the locations and histories she writes about. She gives just enough fact to tie the reader to the story, but injects some very imaginable fiction that puts her out in front of the pack of vampire writers. This book, however, has a plot that left me... wanting.
The Queen of the Damned - I liked it and I didn't like it. OK... had no idea why the poetry is in this novel. Enough said.
The story started out really well, picking up where the last book left off. I enjoyed the new characters: Maharet and Jesse, the history and Jessie joining the Talamasca. I liked the idea of the Great Family. What a wonderful concept! Then Akasha rises, and then she kills off all the vampires but the ones that Lestat loves. Hmm... Oh my! This was almost as bad as twinkling Vampires. What is Anne thinking? Then there is the Story of the Twins. OK, interesting story; devil possesses the King and the Queen. OK, at this point I figured that Anne was trying to take us somewhere. And I had put in for this ride from the beginning and I would ride it to the end.
But I almost dumped the book at the killing of the men. Lestat stood by, watched and participated! Oh, my poor Lestat, doomed to kill his own sex! Well, in retrospect, his sexuality seems to be impaired because of what he is; maybe this is getting back at all the mortal men who still have it, but that is not where Ms. Rice took us. This was, rather, Akasha's answer to war, poverty and oppression of women and children. Cull the mortal male species and set herself up as Queen of Heaven. Uggg.... the plot sank with the Valdes and left a mess of an ending. While the good guys survive, we have a very a limited number of vampires, the queen is dead and long live the queen.
And peace returns to the island, with our hero's writing the final story via Lestat.
The Kindle versions on this are much better than the first. At least, I did not notice the usual errors.
Killing off of the men... the whole concept was ridiculous. If Akasha had just said she was going to set herself up as Goddess and ruler of the world, it might have been more believable and a good reason to kill her off. Killing off the men is just silly in my opinion. So, I ended the trilogy on a slightly disappointed note. But the trip through the series was not wasted. I love the characters. Their stories were wonderfully told. And as this is how the series ends, you can like it, or not.