The return of the brat prince

Photo by peculiar paolo, via flickr 

Jennipher Schafer/Staff Writer 

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a fan of them.  They stalk the night looking only for the “evildoer” in the hunt.  Long before these newer incarnations like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “The Vampire Diaries,” or “Twilight” held sway over audiences, Lestat ruled this realm.

On Sunday, March 9, 2014, author Anne Rice made an announcement that has fans wishing it were October already.  On her son’s radio talk show “The Dinner Party Show” she made the comeback announcement of the undead rock star’s long life. Lestat is back. On Oct. 28, 2014 her twenty-eighth novel Prince Lestat will be on the shelves.

Lestat’s life has been chronicled alongside his undead brethren since the late 1970’s when Louis de Point du Lac emerged in “Interview With A Vampire.” Lestat played a more sinister role from Louis’ point of view even as the bond between them was still strong. Lestat returned to tell his side of things in the book’s sequel and “The Vampire Chronicles” were born. No doubt Lestat was central to the series. The books dealt with religion, death, history, love, homosexuality, and culture.

Most of the characters seem to have a fluidity to their romantic interests which ignores gender altogether. In the fourth book of the series (currently in the process of becoming a film) “The Tale of the Body Thief,” Lestat even tells David Talbot “I have always loved both men and women.”  In a 2012 interview with i09, Rice told fans that yes, Louis and Lestat were in fact same-sex parents to Claudia, who Lestat first referred to as their daughter in “Interview With A Vampire.” In a world that is only just now accepting marriage equality, the fact that this novel was written over thirty years ago, rings as a foretelling of changes yet to come.

Many times Rice has said that she would never write about her vampires again leaving Lestat, Louis, Marius, Armand, Gabrielle, Daniel, David, Jesse, Maharet, Mekare, and Khayman to the imagination of fans.  With this announcement an eleven year silence comes to an end.  The last book of the series, Blood Canticle was released in 2003 and was met with mixed feelings from fans who felt the work pushed too far in a religious direction.  The book also ended somewhat awkwardly.  Normally the books are ended with the vampire signing off and the year.  This book ended with Rice herself signing off.

So large is the love for her creations that every Halloween in New Orleans the famous “Vampire Ball” is held in Rice’s name and in honor of Lestat.  While she had not been writing more of the vampires in recent years, she did write two solely religious texts and began a new series withThe Wolf Gift” and its sequel “The Wolves of Midwinter.”

The second book of that series was released last year which is why Rice has likely been quiet about this book.  According to her statement on “The Dinner Party Show” this latest installment has been finished since last summer but her publicist wanted her to keep quiet. She further said that this is mostly a sequel to the core five books of the original series and has already signed for the next installment.  

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