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Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

Title Queen of the Damned
Author Anne Rice
Publisher Ballantine Books
Year 1988
ISBN-10 0345419626

Teaser/Reader Annotation While the vampire Lestat prepares for his first concert, the vampires across the world prepare themselves for war. But can the original vampire be defeated?

Plot Summary Following the events in The Vampire Lestat, the book opens with vampire-turned-rocker Lestat preparing for his first and only concert just days away in San Francisco. When Lestat awakens the six-thousand year old vampire Akasha, however, events begin to spiral out of control. In pre-dynastic Egypt, Queen Akasha and her husband, Enkil – who are revealed to be the original vampires – nearly drained the earth in their bloodlust. Re-awakened, maddened by the degeneration of vampire-kind, and determined to rule the world once more, Akasha slaughters all but a select group of vampires around the world with a focus upon reaching Lestat. Those that remain are linked by an odd dream that no one understands: a pair of red-headed twins weeping over the body of a woman. All the while, the Talamascan Jesse has been striving to make the connection. When Akasha kidnaps Lestat and reveals her plan for a new world order, the vampires must gather together to stop her once and for all.

Critical Evaluation Unlike the first two books in the series which were written in the first-person narrative, Queen of the Damned saw Rice experimenting with the third-person perspective, and readers got to follow multiple characters through a number of story lines within the novel. While the main plot, itself, concerned Lestat, there was very little told through his point-of-view. Instead, the story follows the path of the characters surrounding his tale, spanning thousands of years back in mythology all the way up to the present time of the book. This, unfortunately, makes for a much less cohesive tale than the first two novels and detracts from the reading in several places. As in Interview With The Vampire and The Vampire Lestat, the prose is almost erotic in its sensuality and detail, layered on top violence and mystery. Though not for the faint of heart, Queen of the Damned is an excellent third part in the series and sets up well for the next book.

About the Author Anne Rice, the pseudonym for Howard Allen O'Brien, was born October 4, 1941 in New Orleans. After spending the majority of her life in various areas of the United States, she returned to the city in 1989 and lived there until 2004 when she moved to Rancho Mirage, California. She has kept a personal tie with the city of New Orleans throughout her life, and many of her novels – including several in The Vampire Chronicles – are set there.

While the majority of her renown comes from the twelve-volume Vampire Chronicles series, she has written a number of other novels. The majority of her works deal with the paranormal, vampires and witches, she also wrote three erotic novels under another pseudonym. In 2004, however, she returned to her Roman Catholic roots and now writes only religious novels.

Primary Genre Paranormal

Secondary Genre Horror

Curriculum Ties English, History

Booktalking Ideas

1) In what way was Akasha linked with Egyptian mythology and goddesses?

2) Some people greatly enjoy the intricate plot lines throughout the book, others feel the reader can easily get lost in it despite how well she pulls everything together in the end. Do you feel this added or detracted from the novel?

Reading Level/Interest Age This is an adult-fiction cross-over novel. I would recommend it for high-grade readers ages fifteen and up.

Challenge Issues violence, homosexual undertones

1) Become familiar with book and its content.
2) Refer to library's collection policies.
3) Refer to reviews from School Library Journal, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobles.
4) Get reviews from teenagers who are familiar with the book.

Why is it included? This book has been a favorite of mine since I was fifteen.