Even though I had wrote it down in my calendar when “Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis” was set to be released, I forgot until a couple of weeks went by. Not being anywhere near a bookstore at the moment, I ended up requesting it on my Kindle.
To be honest, based on the title alone, I worried that Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles had finally ‘jumped the shark’. There have been some outlandish circumstances, true, but did this one take the cake?
I enjoyed about 75% of “Prince Lestat” – which was the novel preceding this one. While I hate to really say anything negative, I thought that some sections seemed very much like fanfiction from the internet. I’m not the first person to have thought that either judging from comments from fellow fans.
What I love about Anne Rice is how descriptive she is when talking about people, locations, scenes. She works hard to really let you see every detail and to immerse you in this world.
“In my dreams, I saw a city fall into the sea. I heard the cries of thousands. I saw flames that outshone the lamps of heaven. And all the world was shaken . . .”
–Anne Rice, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
At the novel’s center: the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, hero, leader, inspirer, irresistible force, irrepressible spirit, battling (and ultimately reconciling with) a strange otherworldly form that has somehow taken possession of Lestat’s undead body and soul. This ancient and mysterious power and unearthly spirit of vampire lore has all the force, history, and insidious reach of the unknowable Universe.
It is through this spirit, previously considered benign for thousands of vampire years and throughout the Vampire Chronicles, that we come to be told the hypnotic tale of a great sea power of ancient times; a mysterious heaven on earth situated on a boundless continent–and of how and why, and in what manner and with what far-reaching purpose, this force came to build and rule the great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean.
And as we learn of the mighty, far-reaching powers and perfections of this lost kingdom of Atalantaya, the lost realms of Atlantis, we come to understand its secrets, and how and why the vampire Lestat, indeed all the vampires, must reckon so many millennia later with the terrifying force of this ageless, all-powerful Atalantaya spirit.
It took me a week to finish “Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis” reading a bit here and there when I could. I could not get into the first third of the book. I even sent a slew of texts to my best friend and fellow Anne Rice enthusiast expressing my… concerns… I don’t know what it was, maybe it took a while for me to warm up to the whole premise.
But then something happened. Anne Rice worked her magic and I started to fall in love with the novel. The outlandish events started to almost make sense. Instead of just focusing on Lestat, Ms. Rice spoke about Marius, Armand, and the other characters I have come to love. When the novel ended, I just wasn’t ready to let go.
It’ll be interesting to see where the Vampire Chronicles go from here. Everything seems to be wrapped up in such a neat little bow at the ending that the only new stories that I can envision are if we go back into the character one-offs, like “The Vampire Armand”, “Blood and Gold”, “Pandora”, etc. or maybe following the journey of some of new characters introduced.
Synopsis and book image were taken from Anne Rice’s website.