Pandora begins, reluctantly at first and then with increasing passion, to recount her mesmerizing tale, which takes us through the ages, from Imperial Rome to eighteenth-century France to twentieth-century Paris and New Orleans. She carries us back to her mortal girlhood in the world of Caesar Augustus, a world chronicled by Ovid and Petronius. This is where Pandora meets and falls in love with the handsome, charismatic, lighthearted, still-mortal Marius. This is the Rome she is forced to flee in fear of assassination by conspirators plotting to take over the city. And we follow her to the exotic port of Antioch, where she is destined to be reunited with Marius, now immortal and haunted by his vampire nature, who will bestow on her the Dark Gift as they set out on the fraught and fantastic adventure of their two turbulent centuries together.
From a historical perspective, the book is fascinating. As usual, Rice did her homework on the time periods she covers. If you're a history buff (like me), then this book is well worth the read.
I know of a lot of people who would disagree with me in saying that this book is good. When compared to the "Chronicles", it's lacking, sure, but it still is a good read. I read this book in less than a day, I couldn't put it down. That is how I gauge how good the novel is. If I can put it down for more than a couple days, then it's not worth my time. If I stay up until 5am finishing a novel, then I consider it to be a good read.
I believe that hopefully this is a start to Anne Rice's comeback to her original days of writing, when she wrote dazzling, sensual novels that suck you into her imaginary world. If that's so, I can't wait to read the next book in this series, Vittorio the Vampire.