'Queen of Damned' by Anne Rice
Anne Rice is probably one of the most popular nowadays American novelists. Mostly, Anne Rice is specified in gothic fiction and some erotic kinds of stories. However, she is best known for her novels about vampires called The Vampire Chronicles and its main character a vampire, whose name is Lestat. Some of her novels from The Vampire Chronicles were even screened.
Anne Rice is not just a cult writer as some of the critics considered her to be, but she is also a whole paradox in the world literature. Despite the critic of vampirism theme in literature, when vampires in books thought about themselves being as terrible monsters, Anne Rice managed to create a whole new image of vampire. Vampires of Anne Rice are in awe from their nature, their vampires’ allure and their special supernatural skills. Exactly this image is described in Anne Rice’s The Queen of the Damned and especially in the image of Lestat and The Queen herself. The Queen of the Damned is the third novel from The Vampire Chronicles and is considered to be the continuation of the two first ones novels Interview with the Vampire and Vampire Lestat. It is rocked all book markets in the 1988 and was considered as one of the New York Times bestsellers of those times. This third book is also one of the novels that later were adapted into well-known movies. The Queen of the Damned takes its readers to the roots of the vampires’ history, to the roots of their origin and summarize the thousands years of their existence. It tells the story that had its beginning back then in the ancient Egypt. The novel is written and told in five parts. In the first part, readers meet with several different vampires, some of them including Daniel and Armand, Louis and Marius they could remember from previous books of Vampires Chronicles.
There are six chapters in the first part of The Queen of the Damned books and each of these chapters is about different characters and their own stories, their own paths. There are only two things that can combine all these chapters. The first one is about the mysterious red-haired twin sisters and the second thing is that some supernatural and a very powerful creature is killing vampires around the world with no reasons or explanations. Then a vampire Marius was trapped too and he decided to make a help call in the hope that someone from his friends would hear him and save. Santino and Pandora were the ones who rescued Marius from death.
After being saved, Marius told both vampires that the ancient from vampires, that their queen Akasha was awakened by Lestat and his music. Marius also told Pandora and Santino that Lestat joined a rock band of mortals and that he was travelling with concerts and his music and, moreover, Lestat was not hiding his true nature; on the other hand, he told the world that vampires did exist. The thing that Lestat is so rebellious along with his music intrigued and brought Akasha from her thousands years sleep. Marius also told that Akasha is considering Lestat as her new lover and a new king for her; that she has killed her king Enkil and took his powers; and that she is planning to rule the world like it was once in the past. Exactly Akasha was the reason of all these vampires’ deaths. The second part of The Queen of the Damned reveals its readers the secrets of Talamasca community and it takes its place straightforward on Lestat’s concert.
The story of the second part reveals us Marharet’s relatives and exactly one of them whose name is Jesse. Being drawn to Lestat and his nature, Jesse came to his concert during which she has got injured. Then Marharet decided to take her relative to Jesse to their sanctuary Sonoma, where Jesse was turned later into a vampire. In the Sonoma, readers also met with the vampires from the first part of The Queen of the Damned, which gathered to decide what to do next about Akasha’s awakening. The only vampires which were not present during this gathering were Lestat and the queen of the damned Akasha. The ancient vampire along with her new abducted king Lestat meanwhile are travelling around the world and compelling women to rise against their men and kill them all.
In the third part of The Queen of the Damned, readers met with the whole gathering of ancient and newborn vampires who are ready to rebel and fight against Akasha. In the third part, Maharet also told all vampires the story about red-haired twins, or the story about her and her sister Mekare, the ancient witches they were once. The vampires in Maharet’s sanctuary included Pandora and Santino, Marius and Jesse, Eric, Armand, Lois, Daniel and even from the ancients who knew the red-haired’s story Khayman and Mael. Maharet told that long ago she and her sister were witches, and they lived in the unknown and unnamed in those times area. Akasha, meanwhile, was an Egypt Queen thousands of years ago. Maharet and her sister Mekare were very powerful witches and could talk with spirits. One day an immortal bloodthirsty spirit talked to them and asked if they need his help, but witches were proud and rejected his offer immediately. Somehow, both the queen and her king found out about the knowledge that these two sisters were carrying. In their craving to know this knowledge too, they captured Maharet and Mekare and then asked their servant to rape them in order to prove that witches are not that powerful.
After all that both witches were left in the dessert, Maharet was pregnant and Mekare was trying to help and carry her tormented sister. Exactly then, Mekare cursed both the queen and her king with bloodthirsty curse. The queen and the king were tormented so much by this bloodthirsty immortal spirit, that eventually they asked advice from twins-witches. While servants along with their queen and the king were dying, this cruel spirit saw an opportunity and put queen’s soul back in her dying body, so the queen’s soul, blood and her body was combined with spirit’s one. That is how Akasha was turned into a vampire. Then, she gave blood to her king and in that way transformed him into a vampire as well. After mutual transformation, Akasha ordered one of her servants, who was Khayman himself, to find witches. Exactly after all, Khayman was the one who turned both Maharet and Mekare, so they could escape the queen’s torments. Three of them even tried to flee, but only Khaman managed to do it. Witches were put in separate coffins instead.
After all, Maharet returned to watch over her daughter first and then her other descendants, as it was called her Great Family. Now, as Akasha is awakened, first of all the queen wants to kill all of the Maharet’s descendants and with that all mankind of this world. The fourth part of this novel is about the fight against Akasha itself. The queen came to the gathering with Lestat and confronted all vampires in the sanctuary. Of course, at first Akasha offered them a chance to stay by her side in her new world where women would worship men. All gathered, vampires refused Akasha and the queen was determined to kill them all; but exactly then, Mekare stepped to her and severed Akasha’s head. Mekare consumed then queen’s heart and brain and became the new Queen of the Damned. The last one, the fifth part, tells its readers about vampires’ leaving Maharet’s sanctuary and the reunion of both red-haired sisters.
The Queen of the Damned is the unique story, and the unique phenomenon in the history of horror literature. Here are combined the world of mummies, the ancient history and the world of vampires. On the contrary to the first two books from the vampires’ series, this novel is not only attracting the broader audience with its entertaining part, but also it is attracting more readers because of its intellectual part as well. In this novel, action took place not only in the beginning or in the end of the novel, but it is present throughout the whole novel. You are waiting for twists and mysteries on every page of this story and, moreover, you do have them. Despite the character of the first two novels, which were both more of autobiographical character, The Queen of the Damned revealed us the history of Anne Rice’s creatures which is told in a more complex way. There are many interesting ethic debates that are faced in this novel. For instance, it is an interesting fact that Anne Rice through her plot asks her readers several social questions about the nature of humans, the goal and the reason of mankind; the author asks also the questions about the complexity of rational thinking over mystical or religious one. Through the Maharet’s decision to stay with her descendants and to watch them over the years, Anne Rice paid readers’ attention to the essential meaning of the family, to its ethical meaning. The themes of religion, feminism and other important things in our lives bring the conflict between what is good and what is evil: that is one of the main reasons why the novel The Queen of the Damned is so popular. Akasha, the queen, is the character that represents not only the evil part in the novel, but also strict feminism itself; while Maharet represents not only the good and justified part in this book, but also she is the one who represents the meaning of family. Ethics is combined in this novel with supernatural and evil, mysterious is tangled with some religious concepts.
The Queen of the Damned is a phenomenal book from the Vampires Chronicles. It combines so many themes, the history of the vampires, even the dim from the history of the ancient world, its ethics aspects and, moreover, the pain of eternal loneliness. Even Anne Rice told about this novel as the one of her best and most complex novels. In The Queen of the Damned Anne Rice represents the reader her own version of vampires’ origin and do not ever dare to compare the movie and the book as the book is far more fascinating and brilliantly written than its screened version.