Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice – Review
By Victoria Holdsworth
The mistress of the dark and queen of the vampires is back, with the latest from Prince Lestat.
There are new characters from a far off star who, like Lestat, are immortal, but they appear to be human. This means that the intruders have the ability to blend in with the mortals of this world. But why are they here, and for what purpose? What is their relationship to the spirit Amel, whose previous connection to both the vampire world, and the lost city of Atalantaya, may link not just these ceaseless beings, but all of humankind as well?
As within Anne Rice’s other vampire chronicles, there is a formidable power struggle stirring in the vampire realm. Blood drinkers from the world over congregate at a grand château in Geneva, where Lestat and his elders have called a meeting to discuss how to deal with the inhuman entities. Taking a critical risk, the newcomers reveal what their mission is to the vampires, who then must cope with a threatening force that could very well end their existence. Rice goes on to change everything you think you know about her world of vampires. It is a very bold move, but she has managed to pull it off with ease.
Anne Rice’s prose has always been lyrical and poetic, the words ebbing and flowing from page to page, calmly and rhythmically. In this latest edition, she proposes some ethical and spiritual quandaries from both sides of the sets of characters.
Her use of Atlantis folklore alongside some fresh personalities offers Rice a vast, dark and imaginative playground to work in. She sets up for the reader some fantastically exceptional scenes, and occasional gory imagery.
Rice has become renowned for confronting issues of mortality, human suffering and religious beliefs in her works – and this one is no different. The mysterious character of Kapetria learns about the role she and her siblings were intended to play in Atalantaya’s destruction. Kapetria then begins to question everything she had been taught about the city and those who dwell within it, as well as everything she believed about those who raised her.
“Real word issues”
Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis contains vast amounts of criss-crossing elements, from extraterrestrials, theology, ancient history, through to cellular regeneration and it will keep the interest of anyone with a penchant for the paranormal.
The stories and issues in the book run parallel to real world issues. There are technological and political stability imbalances where, as Rice says: “A world of justice and affluence in which innovation was driven by vision and imagination rather than brutal competition, or want, or aggression.”
It is a stern warning to all of us about the dangers inherent in elevating struggle to a level of a sacrament and worshipping it – and although more science fiction than Gothic horror, it still fits perfectly into Rice’s previous fine repertoire.
‘Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis’ by Anne Rice is published by Arrow, £8.99 paperback