Anne Rice is the author of thirty-two books. She lives in Palm Desert, California.
Relating Queen Vampire Akasha's scheme to subjugate the world by murdering almost all mena scheme opposed by the other remaining vampiresthis book neatly concludes the story begun in The Vampire Lestat ( LJ 10/1/85) and lays the groundwork for the next volume in the ``Chronicles of the Vampires.'' Don't let the title or the subject matter fool you; this is quality fiction written with care and intelligence. There are no false steps or wasted words in the multilayered plot, and the many characters each have a distinct voice. It's not absolutely necessary to have read the other ``Chronicles'' to understand this one, but it would add greatly to the richness of the whole. Rice is doing for the vampire genre what Dashiell Hammett did for that of the private detectiveraising it from the dregs of the penny dreadful to the heights of A fiction. Michael Rogers, ``Library Journal''
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. (October)
"Mesmerizing . . . a wonderful web of dark-side
mythology."-San Francisco Chronicle
"With The Queen of the Damned, Anne Rice has created universes within universes, traveling back in time as far as ancient, pre-pyramidic Egypt and journeying from the frozen mountain peaks of Nepal to the crowded, sweating streets of southern Florida."-Los Angeles Times
"Imaginative . . . intelligently written . . . This is popular fiction of the highest order."-USA Today
"A tour de force."-The Boston Globe