The Queen of the Damned Essay - Critical Essays

Anne Rice

The Queen of the Damned

The Vampire Lestat was never one for modesty; in fact, in the course of his two hundred years as one of the Dead Ones, he seemed determined to court discovery. As recounted in the previous volume of the Vampire Chronicles, THE VAMPIRE LESTAT, his latest endeavor is to become a rock star and expose the vampires’ secrets to the world. In consequence, vampires from around the world are assembling to put a final end to Lestat’s apostasy. They plan to infiltrate Lestat’s gala Halloween concert in San Francisco and destroy him. Lestat discovers, in the course of the concert and its bloody aftermath, that he has unexpected allies. On the one hand, there is the Talamasca--a secret order whose purpose is to collect data on “paranormal” experiences and save those individuals who would otherwise be persecuted. Still, the members of the Talamasca are mortal, and Lestat will need the assistance of one who is omnipotent.

Fortunately, Lestat’s activities have reawakened the mother of all vampires--Akasha. Akasha abandons her six-thousand-year sleep to save Lestat and implement a plan which she believes will save the human community from itself. Lestat is willing to be rescued, but Akasha’s plan is so heinous that he resolves to join with his few remaining friends to thwart her before she succeeds in changing the course of human and inhuman history.

Anne Rice’s first two books in this series, INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE and THE VAMPIRE LESTAT, quickly gained cult status. THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED may attract a broader audience as well, as the novel demonstrates an imaginative talent and a literary skill that should appeal to many readers. Moreover, while THE QUEEN OF THE DAMNED is thoroughly entertaining, it is also intellectually interesting.