Blood CanticleAnne RiceA Conversation with Anne Rice
Q: Thanks to Bram Stoker and Hollywood, vampires have long been associated with Transylvania and even Victorian England. But in Interview With the Vampire, you brought them to America, and to the present. How do you think that changed their role in literature?
A: Well, certainly I acknowledged the vampire's European roots immediately, bringing Louis and Lestat my heroes into being in colonial Louisiana, envisioning them as French speaking aristocrats in the new American wilderness, and then bringing them forward into an America they could see with an immortal's stunned and wondering vision. But the biggest change was the fact that I drew much much closer to the inner workings of the vampire's mind in my work than Stoker or Sheridan LaFanu had done in theirs. I wrote from the vampire's point of view, describing his or her agony and loneliness, and mapping the price of the gift of eternal life and its inevitable accumulation of knowledge and misery.
Q: Can you tell us a little about Blood Canticle, your latest entry in the Vampire Chronicles?
A: The Vampire Chronicles are really about the evolution of the Vampire Lestat, the central hero. Individual books may veer off to tell the stories of others–Pandora, Marius, Armand– but in the background there is always Lestat, the central hero, and the concern is his moral growth. Blood Canticle is the final step in that maturation. In this book he falls in love with a mortal woman Rowan Mayfair, in whom he finds an intellect he can completely respect and which he has no desire to conquer. But more importantly, Lestat finds himself ensnared inmortal life in such a way that he realizes he has outlived himself. Blackwood Farm is the place of his vampiric demise, so to speak. It is a warm and loving place, the home of Quinn Blackwood, the hero of the novel by the name of Blackwood Farm. Its simple people captivate Lestat, and there he loses his power somewhat, and begins to conform to the rules of Blackwood Farm, to give up his lust for wandering and for blood, and for any sort of independent alliance with another immortal. He loses his desire to dominate. Caught as he is in the charm of Blackwood Farm, he is doubly unable to respond to his love for Rowan Mayfair except with pure love, a concept that is new to him. There is much more to the book, much much more. But that is its essence as regards to Lestat. He outlives himself.
Q: In Blood Canticle, you again merge the storylines of the Vampire Chronicles and the Lives of the Mayfair Witches, and vampire bad-boy Lestat meets and is deeply attracted to Rowan Mayfair. Was this attachment something you planned, or were you taken by surprise? Do you have future plans for the two of them?
A: No, I didn't plan the alliance. It took me by surprise. In fact, I had often said I would never join the witches and the vampires. It truly just happened. This is the way it is with my work. I enter into my novels when I write. They sweep me up and I get lost in them. This is not to imply that I don't control them. I do, but I trust enormously in a guiding madness. When Rowan and Lestat came together, something of great intensity happened. I was challenged to pull this off, and I went for it. I was amazed at the heat it generated for me as I wrote it. I was also very caught up with the characters around them. Rowan's character is very coherent for me, and so is Lestat's, and when the coming together occurred, it was highly charged. I loved it.
Q: Despite the fact that your vampires cannot have sex, your books are drenched in sensuality and romance. How do you do that?
A: Vampire literature has always been sensuous. The vampiric drinking of blood is sensuous. Everyone knows it, feels it. The taking of another's blood is sacramental and sexual. It is highly metaphoric. It resonates with the early sacrificial altars of humankind and the chants of those who surrounded the altars as the victims were slaughtered, the blood was burnt, and the smoke went up to heaven. "The blood is the life," said the Lord High God. The imagery is too powerful not to be revisited again and again in our literature, no matter what happens on the Late Late Show or at the Saturday Night Movies. As for my doing it, I went with the flow. I bent down and pressed my own lips to the victim's throat, along with Lestat, and tasted that blood, that connection. I did it in my mind, and the intimacy was there for me, and I recorded it on the page. It was a feat of imagination and the words followed.
Q: I know you recently lost your husband, Stan Rice, and that Blood Canticle is dedicated to him. I've also read that the character of Lestat was based on Stan. How do you think this will affect your writing of the character?
A: I don't know how it's going to affect my writing about Lestat. I finished Blood Canticle only weeks before Stan died. I was writing in the room adjacent to the room in which Stan was lying very sick. Stan's illness and death was so swift, it was truly horrible. And Stan was Lestat; he was the inspiration. Perhaps it is best to say Lestat was Stan and me. He was Stan and what Stan taught me. Lestat was inspired by Stan, and then I became Lestat. As it stands now I don't intend to write about Lestat again or about the Mayfairs. I see this as the last novel. But I have said such things before, and then Lestat has come back to me. He's a hard character to kill. But for me this is what my editor calls a "crescendo novel." I am turning away from all my past work with this novel. I am on a new path. I don't want to write anymore about the damned. However, I made this decision before we knew that Stan was sick. I made it in July of 2002. And Stan found out about his illness in late August. It was an unforgettable summer. Stan painted unforgettable paintings that summer. He died in less than four months from diagnosis.
Q: Vampires are so popular these days, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel on TV, and plenty of vampire books in the stores: vampire romances from Shannon Drake and vampire mysteries from Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris. I think it's safe to say this trend started with your work. How do you feel about about these other stories? Do you read or watch any of them?
A: Actually, I don't know much about the other vampire material. I have seen Buffy once or twice. Thought it was very amusing. As to reading matter, I seldom, if ever, read other vampire novels. And now that I am turning away from the material altogether I will probably never read the other books. If I contributed to vampire literature, I'm happy. When I hear that students are reading my work in high school or college classes, I am thrilled. Now that is wonderful, and news of that does come to me.
Q: Can you give a hint of what your next book will be about? Vampires, witches, or something new?
A: All I can say is: it's an entirely new path.
Q: Are you excited about touring for Blood Canticle?
A: Yes. I'll be going all over the country, and I look forward to it as always. I love to see my readers. It's exhausting at times, but it's very invigorating. I wish every author could have such an opportunity: to see face to face those who care about the books. I love the signings. I love the different types of people who come. It's very hard to tell what type of readers I have. Men and women are about equal. There are young people and older people. It's a great mix.
Q: Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about Blood Canticle?
A: What else? That Lestat's voice is precious to me. If anything draws me back to the vampires, it will be Lestat's voice, and the strength I feel when I am in possession of that voice, the near prophetic power I feel when I see through Lestat's eyes. There lurks in me a great vision of the world that perpetually seeks expression, and so far in my writing it has found it's clearest force in Lestat. Blood Canticle has some of my most clean and I think near personal perfect writing. I mean personal perfect like personal best. I hope others will enjoy that, maybe pick up on that. But they may not. Who knows? You never know what you've done, really. You only know what you think you did! Thank you so much.
About the Author
Anne Rice is the author of twenty-five books. She lives in New Orleans.
Hometown:Rancho Mirage, California
Date of Birth:October 4, 1941
Place of Birth:Rancho Mirage, California
Education:B.A., San Francisco State University, 1964; M.A., 1971
Read an Excerpt
I want to be a saint. I want to save souls by the millions. I want to do good far and wide. I want to fight evil! I want my life-sized statue in every church. I’m talking six feet tall, blond hair, blue eyes --.
Wait a second.
Do you know who I am?
I’m thinking maybe you’re a new reader and you’ve never heard of me.
Well, if that’s the case, allow me to introduce myself, which I absolutely crave doing at the beginning of every one of my books.
I’m the Vampire Lestat, the most potent and lovable vampire ever created, a supernatural knockout, two hundred years old but fixed forever in the form of a twenty-year-old male with features and figure you’d die for -- and just might. I’m endlessly resourceful, and undeniably charming. Death, disease, time, gravity, they mean nothing to me.
Only two things are my enemy: daylight, because it renders me completely lifeless and vulnerable to the burning rays of the sun, and conscience. In other words, I’m a condemned inhabitant of eternal night and an eternally tormented blood seeker.
Doesn’t that make me sound irresistible?
And before I continue with my fantasy let me assure you:
I know damned well how to be a full-fledged, post-Renaissance, post–nineteenth century, post-modern, post-popular writer. I don’t deconstruct nothin’. That is, you’re going to get a full-dress story here -- with a beginning, middle and end. I’m talking plot, characters, suspense, the works.
I’m going to take care of you. So rest easy and read on. You won’t be sorry. You think I don’t want new readers? My name is thirst, baby. I must have you!
However, since we are taking this little break from my preoccupation with being a saint, let me say a few words to my dedicated following. You new guys follow along. It certainly won’t be difficult. Why would I do something that you find difficult? That would be self-defeating, right?
Now, to those of you who worship me. You know, the millions.
You say you want to hear from me. You leave yellow roses at my gate in New Orleans, with handwritten notes: “Lestat, speak to us again. Give us a new book. Lestat, we love the Vampire Chronicles. Lestat, why have we not heard from you? Lestat, please come back.”
But I ask you, my beloved followers (don’t all stumble over yourselves now to answer), what the Hell happened when I gave you Memnoch the Devil? Hmmm? That was the last of the Vampire Chronicles written by me in my own words.
Oh, you bought the book, I’m not complaining about that, my beloved readers. Point of fact, Memnoch has outsold the other Vam-pire Chronicles completely; how’s that for a vulgar detail? But did you embrace it? Did you understand it? Did you read it twice? Did you believe it?
I’d been to the Court of Almighty God and to the howling depths of Perdition, boys and girls, and I trusted you with my confessions, down to the last quiver of confusion and misery, prevailing on you to understand for me why I’d fled this terrifying opportunity to really become a saint, and what did you do? You complained!
“Where was Lestat, the Vampire?” That’s what you wanted to know. Where was Lestat in his snappy black frock coat, flashing his tiny fang teeth as he smiles, striding in English boots through the glossy underworld of everybody’s sinister and stylish city packed with writhing human victims, the majority of whom deserve the vampiric kiss? That’s what you talked about!
Where was Lestat the insatiable blood thief and soul smasher, Lestat the vengeful, Lestat the sly, Lestat the . . . well, actually . . . Lestat, the Magnificent.
Yeah, I like that: Lestat, the Magnificent. That sounds like a good name to me for this book. And I am, when you get right down to it, magnificent. I mean, somebody has to say it. But let’s go back to your song and dance over Memnoch.
We don’t want this shattered remnant of a shaman! you said. We want our hero. Where’s his classic Harley? Let him kick start it and roar through the French Quarter streets and alleys. Let him sing in the wind to the music pumping through his tiny earphones, purple shades down, blond hair blowing free.
Well, cool, yeah, I like that image. Sure. I still have the motorcycle. And yeah, I adore frock coats, I have them made; you’re not going to get any arguments from me on that. And the boots, always. Want to know what I’m wearing now?
I’m not going to tell you!
Well, not until further on.
But think it over, what I’m trying to say.
I give you this metaphysical vision of Creation and Eternity here, the whole history (more or less) of Christianity, and meditations galore on the Cosmos Big Time -- and what thanks do I get? “What kind of a novel is this?” you asked. “We didn’t tell you to go to Heaven and Hell! We want you to be the fancy fiend!”
Mon Dieu! You make me miserable! You really do, I want you to know that. Much as I love you, much as I need you, much as I can’t exist without you, you make me miserable!
Go ahead, throw this book away. Spit on me. Revile me. I dare you. Cast me out of your intellectual orbit. Throw me out of your backpack. Pitch me in the airport trash bin. Leave me on a bench in Central Park!
What do I care?
No. I don’t want you to do all that. Don’t do that.
DON’T DO IT!
I want you to read every page I write. I want my prose to envelop you. I’d drink your blood if I could and hook you into every memory inside me, every heartbreak, frame of reference, temporary triumph, petty defeat, mystic moment of surrender. And all right, already, I’ll dress for the occasion. Do I ever not dress for the occasion? Does anybody look better in rags than me?
I hate my vocabulary!
Why is it that no matter how much I read, I end up sounding like an international gutter punk?
Of course one good reason for that is my obsession with producing a report to the mortal world that can be read by just about anyone. I want my books in trailer parks and university libraries. You know what I mean? I’m not, for all my cultural and artistic hunger, an elitist. Have you not guessed?
I’m too desperate! A psyche permanently set on overdrive, that’s the fate of a thinking vampire. I should be out murdering a bad guy, lapping his blood as if he was a Popsicle. Instead I’m writing a book.
That’s why no amount of wealth and power can silence me for very long. Desperation is the source of the fount. What if all this is meaningless? What if high-gloss French furniture with ormolu and inlaid leather really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things? You can shudder with desperation in the rooms of a palace as well as in a crash pad. Not to mention a coffin! But forget the coffin, baby. I’m not what you’d call a coffin vampire anymore. That’s nonsense. Not that I didn’t like them when I slept in them, however. In a way, there’s nothing like it -- but what was I saying:
Ah, yeah, we’re going to move on, but --.
Please, before we proceed, let me whine about what was done to my mind by my confrontation with Memnoch.
Now, pay attention, all of you, new readers and old:
I was attacked by the divine and sacramental! People talk about the gift of faith, well, I’m telling you it was more like a car crash! It did sheer violence to my psyche. Being a full-fledged vampire is a tough job once you’ve seen the streets of Heaven and Hell. And you guys should give me some metaphysical space.
Now and then I get these little spells: I DON’T WANT TO BE EVIL ANYMORE!
Don’t all respond at once: “We want you to be the bad guy, you promised!”
Gotcha. But you must understand what I suffer. It’s only fair.
And I’m so good at being bad, of course, the old slogan. If I haven’t put that on a T-shirt, I’m going to. Actually, I really don’t want to write anything that can’t be put on a T-shirt. Actually, I’d like to write only on T-shirts. Actually, I’d like to write whole novels on T-shirts. So you guys could say, “I’m wearing chapter eight of Lestat’s new book, that’s my favorite; oh, I see, you’re wearing chapter six --.”
From time to time I do wear -- Oh, stop it!
IS THERE NO WAY OUT OF THIS?
You’re always whispering in my ear, aren’t you?
I’m shuffling along Pirates’ Alley, a bum covered with morally imperative dust, and you slip up beside me and say: “Lestat, wake up,” and I pivot, slam bang! like Superman dodging into the all-American phone booth, and voilà! There I stand, full-dress apparitional, in velvet once again, and I’ve got you by the throat. We’re in the vestibule of the Cathedral (where did you think I’d drag you? Don’t you want to die on consecrated ground?), and you’re begging for it all the way; oops! went too far, meant for this to be the Little Drink, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Come to think of it. Did I warn you?
All right, okay, yeah, forget about it, so what, stop the hand wringing, sure sure, knock it off, cool it, shove it, eh?
I surrender. Of course we’re going to revel in pure wickedness here!
And who am I to deny my vocation as a Roman Catholic storyteller par excellence? I mean, the Vampire Chronicles are MY invention, you know, and I am only NOT a monster when I’m addressing you, I mean, that’s why I write this, because I need you, I can’t breathe without you. I’m helpless without you --.
-- And I am back, sigh, shudder, cackle, tap dance, and I’m almost ready to pick up the conventional frame of this book and fix its four sides with the infallible super glue of sure-fire storytelling. It’s going to all add up, I swear to you on the ghost of my dead father, there’s technically, in my world, no such thing as a digression! All roads lead to me.
But before we cut to Present Time, let me have my little fantasy. I need it. I am not all flash and dash, boys and girls, don’t you see? I can’t help myself.
Besides, if you can’t really bear to read this, then cut to Chapter Two right now. Go on, get!
And for those of you who really love me, who want to understand every nuance of the tale that lies ahead, I hereby invite you to go with me. Please read on:
I want to be a saint. I want to save souls by the millions. I want to do good everywhere. I want to have my life-sized plaster statue in every church in the world. Me, six feet tall with glass blue eyes, in long purple velvet robes, looking down with gently parted hands on the faithful who pray as they touch my foot.
“Lestat, cure my cancer, find my glasses, help my son get off drugs, make my husband love me.”
In Mexico City, the young men come to the seminary doors clutching small statues of me in their hands, while mothers weep before me in the Cathedral: “Lestat, save my little one. Lestat, take away the pain. Lestat, I can walk! Look, the statue is moving, I see tears!”
Drug dealers lay down their guns before me in Bogotá, Colombia. Murderers fall to their knees whispering my name.
In Moscow the patriarch bows before my image with a crippled boy in his arms, and the boy is visibly healed. Thousands return to the Church in France due to my intercession, people whispering as they stand before me, “Lestat, I’ve made up with my thieving sister. Lestat, I renounced my evil mistress. Lestat, I have exposed the crooked bank, this is the first time I’ve been to Mass in years. Lestat, I am going into the convent and nothing can stop me.”
In Naples, as Mt. Vesuvius erupts, my statue is carried in procession to halt the lava before it destroys the seashore towns. In Kansas City, thousands of students file past my image pledging to have safe sex or none at all. I am invoked at Mass for special intercession throughout Europe and America.
In New York, a gang of scientists announces to the whole world that, thanks to my specific intercession they have managed to make an odorless, tasteless, harmless drug which creates the total high of crack, cocaine and heroin combined, and which is dirt cheap, totally available and completely legal! The drug trade is forever destroyed!
Senators and congressmen sob and embrace when they hear the news. My statue is immediately put into the National Cathedral.
Hymns are written to me everywhere. I am the subject of pious poetry. Copies of my saintly biography (a dozen pages) are vividly illustrated and printed by the billions. People crowd into St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York to leave their handwritten petitions in a basket before my image.
Little duplicates of me stand on dressing tables, countertops, desks, computer stations worldwide. “You haven’t heard of him? Pray to him, your husband will be a lamb afterwards, your mother will stop nagging you, your children will come to visit every Sunday; then send your money in thanksgiving to the church.”
From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Especially if you have read all of the Mayfair books. I understand what she was trying to do; give closure to different series, a two birds with one stone type of thing. It just didn't do it for me. I think they should have been kept things seperate. I wasn't thrilled with the way Taltos ended, but I would have rather left it at that than bring them into the Vampire Chronicles. I've never liked Mona Mayfair, but reading this book I really hated her. I was also dissapointed with the fate of the Taltos, I never expected them to make as a species, but I just wasn't feeling the way things ended for them. It was sad for me to read about the Mayfairs in this book because I really loved all the characters so much in the other books, and now Rowan is depressing and dissapointing and Michael is sweet, but blind and miserable. My biggest complaint though was Lestat. It's been awhile since I've read one of "his" books and maybe my memory is failing me, but he used to seem different, I can't explain it. In this book though he was really getting on my nerves especially at the beginning, it's as though he had a hard time getting his story going. It was a lot of random ramblings. I was also getting tired of him trying to convince everyone how he was so bad and evil and that there wasn't any good in him, like he so desperately has something to prove. Personnaly I didn't need the closure that this book attempted to give. I read it because I read all the others, I just figured I've come this far... It was a mistake. It left things on a bad note for me and now I'm sitting here feeling bummed out and dissapointed. Anne Rice is an excellent writer, but it was definetely not her finest hour.
I am a diehard Anne Rice fan, but the last book in the Vampire Chronicles was so disjointed and far removed from the rest of the series, that it seems like someone else wrote it. I'm sure it had a lot to do with the fact that her husband was very ill at the time. Though she may not have realized it, her focus appears to have been elsewhere because it certainly was not on the book. I have recommended almost evey book she's ever written but I would definitely not advise a potential Anne Rice convert to begin here (or even end here). Hopefully, her future efforts will be reminiscent of her past successes.
How can i say i dislike this book? I cant but i have yet to finish. My brat prince seems like a different vampire. I mean yes hes fallen for people before right? So why am i so upset about rowan? I was fine with everyone lestat. Louis. Claudia. Marius. armand. Mona. Quin. Dora. That girl you raped from that resturant. Whats her face from the body thief. David. The dog. Even your own mother. But for some reason rowan is unacceptable. I cant stand how you fawn over her. I was hoping the last book would be a blow out with all the previous characters making cameos even if they just popped in and screamed "lestat u iidiot brat prince!" Or something! I dont know....im just too sad to finish the book. I dont want my imortal to die....that way.....
I had high hopes for this book but there just wasn't enough plot for the length of the book. Th first 230 pages I struggled not to quit reading and the last 70 pages were just held my attention. I think Anne needs to develop a whole new set of inrelated characters. These characters have been squeezed dry.
After loving Blackwood Farm, this book was a huge disappointment. It was not interesting, the character development was seriously lacking, and there was little fun to be had. I think the book would have been more interesting from young Quinn's perspective.
I believe that Anne Rice ended the series as she saw fit. Personally I loved this book, everything about it. Lestat tells this last novel in the Vampire Chronicles, and reminds the reader why they fell in love with him in the first place. Anne Rice ended this series great! No one can write like this amazing woman, and she ended the series wonderfully.
The latest inter-twining of the Vampires and Mayfair Witches. This book made me realize how much I HATE Romona. There's a character that should have died 3 books back.It was nice that Anne Rice gave us some more info on the Taltos, but this book left me disappointed. And fearful. Fearful of what she could turn out next if she decides to continue this Vampire/Witch Series.
I have not been able to finish this book. Blackwood Farm was a struggle already, and this has gotten worse in all aspects. Plot: not recognizable on the first 100 pages. It's mostly a summary of what has happened before up to this point. Characters: The new ones are boring. The old ones are completely changed from what they've been like before, to the point where only the name makes them recognizable as someone from an earlier book. Style: Full of grammatical errors. Anne Rice later claimed this to be deliberate as a depiction of the way Lestat speaks, but she didn't do this in earlier novels from his point of view. It's highly distracting. Far too much description, and where there is no description there is random teenage horniness or religious preaching. Plus: It's the last book in the series. Minus: It's virtually unreadable. Summary: Faced with countless negative reviews, Anne Rice has ranted on Amazon and offered the money back to all those who are not intelligent enough to appreciate the story. This is one of the few books that come with a money-back guarantee, and it is sorely needed.
this is the last in the chronicles of the vampires series and, so far, it's just really preachy and high on catholicism. blah. it was sort of a disappointing ending to the chronicles.
Anne Rice brought Lestat back for this piece of crap? What a waste! This was utter junk.
A rambling start gives way to many colorful, emotional episodes. Anne gives us the historical data from which to draw you into her beautiful world of the richest family of witches, the legendary family of the Taltos, and her ever popular brat prince. While you can buy just one book & enjoy a good story, I firmly believe all the books should be read as an ongoing saga. In the same way that you would watch a TV series or a set of movies. Thank you, Anne.
I am a big fan of the vampire series, but this was a let down. I stuck to the books, and liked them very much (even though I strongly feel that the first three were the best). But this book is so disjointed, disorganised, and has an overall weak storyline. I tried very hard to read it, but I was too discusted with the characters. I also did not like how all the books got progressively more sexual, it is unnecessary. I recomend that people read the first three books, and some of the other ones more about individual characters like The Vampire Armand, and Merick, but just stop at Blackwood Farm. You will enjoy the others, it just that this one was a little overdone.
I really was put off by the writing style in this book. Al the glib flippancy and stupidly unnecessary remarks and "street" 'tude in how she presented this work. It was annoying and frankly embarrassing to have to plow through that crap to get to the story. The rant by Lestat at the very beginning set the tone for this annoying writing style. That being said, once you reach a point of just letting your eyes and mind move past that junk, the story itself wasnt bad. It was sad, and moving. Just very poorly presented, for Ann Rice. That so much had happened her personal life, the death if her life long love surely impacted this work, and she was off her game IMHO, and perhaps that influenced the stupid sounding tone and expressions that came from characters that didnt present themselves so idiotically in previous work. Having experienced grief myself, I was able to overlook the style and appreciate the story. And hope that future writings would be back to the quality we, who read her works, have cime to know and anticipate. And having just recently read the revival of the Vampires that was "Prince Lestat" , I'm happy to say it was the Ann Rice we know, writing again in the style we know. I reread this book because I needed a refresher to remind myself of certain storyline aspects that confused me a bit in "Prince Lestat", especially because there was a huge missing element in the new book . The Mayfaire Witches and their cknnection to the Vampires were never mentioned. I got no closure when she ended the crossover of her series. Many people didnt like the Mayfaire Witches. Many didnt like the Vampires. And a great many didnt like the combining if them in some of the novels. I believe I read somewhere that Ann Rice herself was uncomfortable with combining them, once she had done it. Myself, I loved the Witches and the Vampires and it seemed natural to me that with everyone hanging out and living in New Orleans for the most part that they would cross paths and that there would be a story there. Again, this was actually a good story, once you got over the junky writing style, and shouldn't be dismissed by anyone who has read and collected these books over the many years.
You know how sometimes you forgot you already read a book and you buy it again expecting it to be new? Only to realize at some point that you've read it before? That's what happened to me just recently with Blood Canticle. I actually read this right after it came out in paperback, maybe ten years ago. I completely forgot that I had already read this Chronicle and ordered it again. The summary does not include the incident that would have tipped me off that I had already read it, the most memorable part of the book, which is when Lestat takes two charges on an expedition to an island and discovers... well that would be spoiling it. The rest of the book is more meandering, covering Lestat's introduction to the Mayfair witches, which is surprisingly low key even though he falls in love with one of them. As with all Rice novels, there is an underlying theme to the genre trappings. In this case, it has to do with gratitude of child to parent - how much is owed, where does parental responsibility begin and end, and is attaining self realization achieved at the cost of the relationship to the parent? All worthy questions to bring up in a book about a vampire who wants to be a saint, and witches who deliver Walking Babies. The plotting has been richer in previous Chronicles, but Lestat's irrepressible voice carries the book past most of the plotting flaws in this one. This is not the most memorable of the Chronicles, but it's put me in a mood to seek out the upcoming sequel.