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The Vampire Chronicles

The Vampire Chronicles is a series of novels by Anne Rice that revolves around the character Lestat de Lioncourt, a French |nobleman made into a vampire in the 18th century.

The chronicles have gained a large fanbase since the publication of the first volume in the 1970s. The first five books, which feature Lestat prominently, are especially popular; the later books have been criticized as having lost some of the sparkle and vitality of the earlier works.

Books in the series

The Vampire Chronicles:

New Tales of the Vampires: (Other vampire tales that are not within the main sequence, but in the same fictional world)

Vampiric properties

Anne Rice's vampires are different in several ways from classic vampires like Dracula. Rice's creatures are not affected by the usual weapons against classic vampires: garlic, crosses or silver, and they cannot be killed with wooden stakes.

They need blood, but not every night. Human blood is preferred as it is more nutritious, but animal blood is also used. They do not age physically (instead becoming more "statuesque" as they age), in all but a few cases, vampires younger than a thousand years old can usually be killed by exposure to sunlight or fire.

They do not possess stereotypically "vampiric" magical powers, such as changing into bats or casting spells, but some of the stronger, older ones do have the power to fly. Most of them also have the power to read thoughts of mortals and weaker vampires. They have other physical abilities: they can move very quickly (faster than human eyes can see), possess great strength and extremely keen senses. Very old vampires or ones who have been made or strengthened by feeding on blood that is close to the root of the vampiric mother may have additional gifts like the ability to move matter with the mind (Mind Gift) and the ability to set things ablaze by the force of will (Fire Gift). They have many artistic talents, like singing, painting and acting.

The main characteristic of Rice's vampires is that they are all excessively emotional, sensitive, and sensual, being easy prey to intense emotional suffering and aesthetic passions. They are usually very beautiful, as older vampires avoid making new ones out of old or ugly mortals.


The Vampire Chronicles

Interview with the vampire

This is the story of the vampire Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even "settle down" for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia's struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.

Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires--a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined.

Originally begun as a short story, the book took off as Anne wrote it, spinning the tragic and triumphant life experiences of a soul. As well as the struggles of its characters, Interview captures the political and social changes of two continents. The novel also introduces Lestat, Anne's most enduring character, a heady mixture of attraction and revulsion. The book, full of lush description, centers on the themes of immortality, change, loss, sexuality, and power.

Interesting Fact: The original manuscript for Interview was quite different than the final published version. After the rights had been sold to Knopf, Anne rewrote the book, adding the entire Theater of the Vampires section and bringing Lestat back after his supposed death by fire.

The Vampire Lestat

The Vampire Lestat, whom we first met in Interview With the Vampire , has his own story to tell. Anne Rice's second book in The Vampire Chronicles follows Lestat through the ages as he conducts his own search for his origins and to find meaning in what has happened to him. Unlike the cruel and dark Lestat we saw in Interview, this book reveals a sympathetic figure with his own blend of morality, romanticism, and bravery. Lestat has been asleep for fifty-five years and awakes entranced with the modern world. He becomes a superstar rock musician and millions of fans fall under his spell. Breaking the vampire code of silence, Lestat reveals himself to the world in the hopes that the world's immortals will rise and join together to solve the mystery of their, and his, existence.

The novel moves back in time to eighteenth century France, the world of Lestat's childhood artistocracy, as he tells his story. From his childhood struggles against his father through free and easy eighteenth century Paris as an actor, and his making into a vampire. We travel with Lestat as he searches for other vampires, sometimes alone, sometimes with the haunting Gabrielle, sometimes with the devastating Nicolas. Lestat circles Europe searching for his origins, and for clues to the birth of the vampire, but he finds that the seminal answers elude him. Through his travels and searches, Lestat also makes enemies of vampires who are terrified that his wanderings and searchings will disrupt their coexistence with mortals, or that he will attempt to rule them all. And when Lestat finds the very first vampires, he finds his seminal truths, but also unleashes ancient forces and the wrath of his enemies. Lestat, hunter, has become the hunted.

The Queen of the Damned

The third book in The Vampire Chronicles, Queen of the Damned, follows three parallel storylines.

The rock star Vampire Lestat prepares for a concert in San Francisco, unaware that hundreds of vampires will be among the fans that night and that they are committed to destroying him for risking exposing them all.

The sleep of a group of men and women, vampires and mortals, around the world is disturbed by a mysterious dream of red-haired twins who suffer an unspeakable tragedy. The dreamers, as if pulled, move toward each other, the nightmare becoming clearer the closer they get. Some die on the way, some live to face the terrifying fate their pilgrimage is building to.

Lestat's journey to a cavern deep beneath a Greek Island on his quest for the origins of the vampire race awakened Akasha, Queen of the Damed and mother of all vampires, from her 6,000 year sleep. Awake and angry, Akasha plans to save mankind from itself by elevating herself and her chosen son/lover to the level of the gods.

As these three threads wind together, the origins and culture of vampires are revealed, as is the length and breadth of their effect on the mortal world. The threads are brought together in the twentieth century when the fate of the living and the living dead is rewritten.

The Tale of the Body Thief

Returning to Lestat as the main character, the fourth in the Vampire Chronicles series finds Lestat impulsive and careless in the pursuit of what he wants: a serial killer in Southern Florida. Lestat is surrounded by mortals in this tale, an a new worthy counterpoint character to Lestat is introduced, Raglan James. James is a vampire hunter, and a formidable adversary for Lestat. James offers Lestat the opportunity to switch bodies temporarily with a young mortal. Against Louis' advice, Lestat accepts and discovers he hates everything about being human. He also finds that James has disappeared with Lestat's powerful vampire body. Louis refuses to help Lestat become a vampire again, and he turns to another mortal to help him trick James into switching souls, and giving up Lestat's body.

Centering on the themes of body and soul and soul migration, The Tale of the Body Thief is a novel of action.

Interesting Fact: Anne planned and wrote large parts of The Tale of the Body Thief while on a Caribbean cruise, recalling later that she became Lestat, figuring how to escape from this deck to that.

Memnoch the Devil

In the fifth Vampire Chronicle, Lestat is searching for Dora, the beautiful and charismatic mortal daughter of a drug lord. Dora has moved Lestat like no other mortal ever has, and he cannot get her out of his visions. At the same time, he is increasingly aware that the Devil knows who he is and wants something from him. While torn betwen his vampire world and his passion for Dora, Lestat is sucked in by Memnoch, who claims to be the Devil himself. Memnoch presents Lestat with unimagined opportunities: to witness creation, to visit purgatory, to be treated like a prophet. Lestat faces a choice between the Devil or God. Whom does he believe in? Who does he serve? What are the elements of religious belief? Lestat finds himself caught in a whirlpool of the ultimate choice.

From Anne: "As of August, 2000, I can tell you sincerely that Memnoch the Devil is my favorite of the Vampire Chronicles. Have any of you connected Veronica's Veil to Lestat's unusual assault on Dora after his freedom from Memnoch? I am speaking of the folklore of the veil. I am speaking of a blood connection. Of course, Lestat's blood lust is also connected to the blood of Christ in this novel. Much as I love all my books, this is--I repeat--my favorite of the Chronicles."

The Vampire Armand

In this installment of The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice brings us the story of Armand -- eternally young, with the face of a Botticelli angel. We travel with Armand across the centuries to the Kiev Rus of his boyhood -- a ruined city under Mongol dominion -- and to ancient Constantinople, where Tartar raiders sell him into slavery. And in a magnificent palazzo in the Venice of the Renaissance we see him emotionally and intellectually in thrall to the great vampire Marius, who masquerades among humankind as a mysterious, reclusive painter and who will bestow upon Armand the gift of vampiric blood.

As the novel races to its climax, moving through scenes of luxury and elegance, of ambush, fire, and devil worship, to nineteenth-century Paris and today's New Orleans, we see its eternally vulnerable and romantic hero forced to choose between his twilight immortality and the salvation of his immortal soul.


At the center is the beautiful, unconquerable witch, Merrick. She is a descendant of the gens de colors libres, a cast derived from the black mistresses of white men, a society of New Orleans octaroons and quadroons, steeped in the lore and ceremony of voodoo, who reign in the shadowy world where the African and the French--the white and the dark--intermingle. Her ancestors are the Great Mayfair Witches, of whom she knows nothing--and from whom she inherits the power and magical knowledge of a Circe.

Into this exotic New Orleans realm comes David Talbot, hero, storyteller, adventurer, almost mortal vampire, visitor from another dark realm. It is he who recounts Merrick's haunting tale--a tale that takes us from the New Orleans of the past and present to the jungles of Guatemala, from the Mayan ruins of a century ago to ancient civilizations not yet explored.

Anne Rice's novel weaves a story of two worlds: the witches' world and the vampires' world, where magical powers and otherworldly fascinations are locked together in a dance of seduction, death, and rebirth.

Blood and Gold

The Vampire Chronicles continue with Anne Rice's new novel, in which the great vampire Marius returns.

The golden-haired Marius, true Child of the Millennia, once mentor to The Vampire Lestat, always and forever the conscientious foe of the Evil Doer, reveals in his own intense yet intimate voice the secrets of his two-thousand-year existence.

Once a proud Senator in Imperial Rome, kidnapped and made a "blood god" by the Druids, Marius becomes the embittered protector of Akasha and Enkil, Queen and King of the vampires, in whom the core of the supernatural race resides.

We follow him through his heartbreaking abandonment of the vampire Pandora. Through him we see the fall of pagan Rome to the Emperor Constantine and the horrific sack of the Eternal City itself at the hands of the Visigoths.

Bravely, Marius seeks a new civilization in the midst of glittering Constantinople, only to meet with the blood drinker Eudoxia. We see him ultimately returning to his beloved Italy, where after the horrors of the Black Death, he is restored by the beauty of the Renaissance. We see him become a painter living dangerously yet happily among mortals, giving his heart to the great Botticelli, to the bewitching courtesan Bianca, and to the mysterious young apprentice Armand.

Moving from Rome to Florence, Venice, and Dresden, and to the English castle of the secret scholarly order of the Talamasca, the novel reaches its dramatic finale in our own time, deep in the jungle where Marius, having told his life story, seeks some measure of justice from the oldest vampires in the world.

Blackwood Farm

In this novel, perennial bestseller Anne Rice fuses her two strains of narrative -- her Vampire legend and her lore of the Mayfair witches -- to give us a world of classic deep-south luxury and ancestral secrets.

Welcome to Blackwood Farm: soaring white columns, spacious drawing rooms, bright, sun-drenched gardens, and a dark strip of the dense Sugar Devil Swamp. This is the world of Quinn Blackwood, a brilliant young man haunted since birth by a mysterious doppelganger, "Goblin," a spirit from a dream world that Quinn can't escape and that prevents him from belonging anywhere. When Quinn is made a Vampire, losing all that is rightfully his and gaining an unwanted immortality, his doppelganger becomes even more vampiric and terrifying than Quinn himself.

As the novel moves backwards and forwards in time, from Quinn's boyhood on Blackwood Farm to present day New Orleans, from ancient Athens to 19th-century Naples, Quinn seeks out the legendary Vampire Lestat in the hope of freeing himself from the spectre that draws him inexorably back to Sugar Devil Swamp and the explosive secrets it holds.

Blood Canticle

Welcome back to Blackwood Farm. Here are all of the brilliantly conceived characters that make up the two worlds of vampires and witches: Mona Mayfair, who’s come to the farm to die and is brought into the realm of the undead; her uncle, Julian Mayfair, guardian of the family, determined to forever torment Lestat for what he has done to Mona; Rowan Mayfair, brilliant neurosurgeon and witch, who finds herself dangerously drawn to the all-powerful Lestat; her husband, Michael Curry, hero of the Mayfair Chronicles, who seeks Lestat’s help with the temporary madness of his wife; Ash Templeton, a 5,000-year-old Taltos who has taken Mona’s child; and Patsy, the country-western singer, who returns to avenge her death at the hands of her son, Quinn Blackwood. Delightfully, at the book’s centre is the Vampire Lestat, once the epitome of evil, now pursuing the transformation set in motion with Memnoch the Devil. He struggles with his vampirism and yearns for goodness, purity and love, as he saves Patsy’s ghost from the dark realm of the Earthbound, uncovers the mystery of the Taltos and unselfishly decides the fate of his beloved Rowan Mayfair.

New Tales of the Vampires


Anne Rice, creator of the Vampire Lestat, the Mayfair witches and the worlds they inhabit, now gives us the first in a new series of novels linked together by the fledgling vampire David Talbot, who has set out to become a chronicler of his fellow Undead. The novel opens in present-day Paris in a crowded cafe, where David meets Pandora. She is two thousand years old, a Child of the Millennia, the first vampire ever made by the great Marius. David persuades her to tell the story of her life.

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.

Vittorio the Vampire

Educated in the Florence of Cosimo de' Medici, trained in knighthood at his father's mountaintop castle, Vittorio inhabits a world of courtly splendor and country pleasures -- a world suddenly threatened when his entire family is confronted by an unholy power.

In the midst of this upheaval, Vittorio is seduced by the vampire Ursula, the most beautiful of his supernatural enemies. As he sets out in pursuit of vengenace, entering the nightmarish Court of the Ruby Grail, increasingly more enchanted (and confused) by his love for the mysterious Ursula, he finds himself facing demonic adversaries, war and political intrigue.

Themes and Concepts


Blood is seen as the ultimate relief. Through blood-taking, the vampires experience the only relief and rapture that they can know. It may also be seen as a substitute for sex and other mortal pleasures that are not available to vampires, a tradition that has |many precedents in vampire literature. In particular, vampires who are in love (e.g., Marius and Pandora) exchange their blood in a manner that suggests sexual intercourse. With the taking of the blood, it is also possible for the vampire to learn about the lives of their victims; a kind of instant life review, the vampire can experience the key parts of the victim's life.

Emotional Effects of Time's Passage

Many of the vampires remain on cordial terms with their colleagues, even when they have done horrible things in the past. The reason - as related by Marius - is that the passage of time dulls anger and desires for revenge. As a result, many of the vampires become emotionally stunted, which is sometimes interpreted as sociopathy.

Practically all the vampires have counterparts that a normal person would not be able to abide. Louis remains with Lestat despite his many abusive actions towards him. Talbot proves incapable of hating Lestat for making him into a vampire against his will. Marius even forgives Santino for trying to kill him and kidnapping Armand (another vampire takes revenge on his behalf). However, the older the vampire, the less likely they are to show strong emotion as, in the long run, such things become unimportant.

An unfortunate side effect of this is that the vampires find it hard to experience "good" emotions, such as love, as well as bad emotions. For example, Marius and Pandora spent several centuries as lovers; after that long together, Pandora no longer wants anything to do with Marius. Likewise, it isn't until Blood Canticle that Lestat can even experience love in the conventional sense.


Many of the vampires struggle to find some "higher purpose" in their existence. Lestat and Armand turn to religious revelation. Talbot becomes a chronicler, attempting to write the histories of all the vampires. Marius, for most of his time on earth, was the custodian of “Those Who Must Be Kept”.

Even more jaded characters, as the Chronicles progress, find some belief they want to cling to. Only a handful (such as Pandora) have actually embraced their entire nature, and are able to kill innocent people for blood without remorse.


Practically all the vampires are extremely materialistic, and revel in expensive houses, clothes, technology, cars, entire islands, etc. One exception would be Louis, who constantly criticizes Lestat for his crass consumerism. However, Louis is also rather unhappy with himself.


Australian music duo Savage Garden derived their name from the books.

See also