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The Vampire Lestat

Author: Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles, Book 2
Published: September, 1986
Review by: CL4 Kaysa

Lestat de Lioncourt was born in the 18th century. He was the third son in his family, a family whom at one time had money, but now, are poor. His family was still seen as the bourgeoisie in town. Of course being the third son, meant he really had no power, so he became the hunter of the family, and the town. But Lestat's love was the stage, he wanted to be an actor, which was unheard of in that time, actors were the work of the devil. So Lestat escaped his life by hunting, only then was he happy. He tells the story of how he killed a pack of wolves that were attacking the town. This becomes very important later in the story, this is one of the reasons Lestat was chosen to be a vampire.

Much of the story details his first years as a vampire. His devil may care attitude, made Lestat a target for older vampires, vampires from an established coven. Lestat did things that others couldn't, which led them to try to destroy Lestat. Lestat tells of how he made other vampires, first his mother Gabrielle and second his friend Nicholas, each of these vampires, are not what Lestat expected, they don't share his attitudes or ideas, and he is very unhappy.

In fact Lestat is so unhappy he wants to find other vampires, vampires to become his friend. This is not easy, many see him as a threat. Lestat is in search of Marius, an acient vampire, who may know the secrets of vampires. Eventually Lestat finds Marius, or rather, Marius finds Lestat. Marius tells Lestat the history of vampires, and even shows Lestat "Those Who Must Be Kept", the mother and father of all vampires. For once Lestat is happy, he loves Marius loves Lestat, however, Marius will not allow Lestat to stay with him. He tells Lestat he must leave, he must live one mortal life, to truly know what life is about, then he can return. This is when Lestat heads to New Orleans, where he met Louis. He briefly describes the same thing that went on in Interview with a Vampire. The story ends in a climactic cliffhanger at a rock concert in the 1980's. We are left guessing about what is going to happen to everyone.

All of this is told through Lestat's eyes. It is told in first person, told with Lestat's charming style and attitude. We relive everything that he has lived, the happiness, the sorrow, the excitement and the fear. We even get a little mythology and history lesson. We meet several interesting characters in this story, and we learn much more about the vampire Armand. This story is complex and intense. It isn't a real thick book, but Anne Rice can place a lot of words and thoughts in her stories.

I loved this book because this is where the whole Vampire Chronicles started. Everything starts and ends with Lestat in Anne Rice's books. I also like the fact that we find out that Lestat really isn't the bad guy we think he is, he's just highly misunderstood.