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How to read The Vampire Chronicles, the Lestat Novels by Anne Rice?

I’ve read that there will be a TV Show based on Anne Rice’s novels, The Vampire Chronicles series. Since the first Interview with the Vampire adaptation, there are talks about doing more movies and some novels did get bad big-screen versions. Now, we are talking about television, there’s a long way to go before the project become something real. Nevertheless, I thought that it may be the right time to read more than the first book of the series (I never got the courage to do so sooner). So I did some research to build a reading order and this is what I found, if you have some modification to suggest, you are welcome to do so in the commentary section of course. But first…

What are The Vampire Chronicles?

The story of The Vampire Chronicles is about Lestat de Lioncourt, a French nobleman turned into a vampire in the 18th century. Also known as The Brat Prince, Lestast is an antihero at the beginning, but he doesn’t see himself as monstrous as people might have described him.

The series chronicles the adventures of Lestat and other characters he influenced or just met. Some books are mainly about other vampires, but Lestat is the heart of the series.

The Vampire Chronicles Reading Order

  

  1. Interview with the Vampire – This is the story of Louis as he 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.
  2. The Vampire Lestat – Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now a rock star in the demonic, shimmering 1980s, Lestat rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his eternal, terrifying existence.
  3. The Queen of the Damned – The story of Akasha, the queen of the damned, who has risen from a six-thousand-year sleep to let loose the powers of the night. Akasha has a marvelously devious plan to ‘save’ mankind and destroy the vampire Lestat.
  4. The Tale of the Body Thief – For centuries, Lestat – vampire-hero, enchanter, seducer of mortals – has been a courted prince in the dark and flourishing universe of the living dead. Now he is alone. And in his overwhelming need to destroy his doubts and his loneliness, Lestat embarks on the most dangerous enterprise he has undertaken in all the years of his haunted existence.

  

‘The Lives of the Mayfair Witches’ is another series from Anne Rice that will crossover with ‘The Vampire Chronicles’ later on. I put the three books of this series here, They introduced concepts and characters that will connect to the Lestat story later, but you can skip them if you really want to.

  1. The Witching Hour – The story of the Mayfair family of New Orleans, generations of male and female witches, where a death of one strengthens the others with his/her knowledge. One Mayfair witch per generation is designated to receive the powers of ‘the man,’ known as Lasher who gives the witches gifts, excites them, and protects them. Lasher’s current witch is Deirdre, who lies catatonic from psychological shock treatments.
  2. Lasher – The Talamasca, documenters of paranormal activity, is on the hunt for the newly born Lasher. Mayfair women are dying from hemorrhages and a strange genetic anomaly has been found in Rowan and Michael. Lasher, born from Rowan, is another species altogether and now in the corporeal body, represents an incalculable threat to the Mayfairs. Rowan and Lasher travel together to Houston and she becomes pregnant with another creature like him, a Taltos.
  3. Taltos – The Talamasca seek to preserve the nearly extinct Taltos race by bringing together a male and female. Their searching catches the attention of an ancient Taltos named Ashlar entwined with Lasher’s identity. Ashlar reveals the taltos mythology and lineage and enlists the help of Michael and Rowan in his battle against evil.

 

  1. Memnoch the Devil – 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 between his vampire world and his passion for Dora, Lestat is sucked in by Memnoch, who claims to be the Devil himself.
  2. Pandora – First book from the New Tales of the Vampires series that connects with The Vampire Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair Witches. In present-day Paris in a crowded cafe, where the vampire David Talbot 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.
  3. The Vampire Armand – The story of the vampire Armand across the centuries to the Kiev Rus of his boyhood 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.
  4. Vittorio the Vampire – Second book from the New Tales of the Vampires series. Vittorio inhabits a world of courtly splendor and country pleasures that is 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 vengeance, 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.

   

  1. Merrick – Vampire/Mayfair Crossover. David Talbot recounts the tale of the beautiful, unconquerable witch, Merrick is a descendant of a society of New Orleans octaroons and quadroons who reign in the shadowy world where the African and the French – the white and the dark – intermingle. It’s 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.
  2. Blood and Gold – Once mentor to The Vampire Lestat, Marius reveals 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.
  3. Blackwood Farm – Vampire/Mayfair Crossover. 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, his doppelganger becomes even more vampiric and terrifying. 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.
  4. Blood Canticle – Vampire/Mayfair Crossover. 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.

 

  1. Prince Lestat – Old vampires, roused from deep slumber in the earth, are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn their kin in cities across the globe, from Paris to Mumbai, Hong Kong to San Francisco. Left with little time to spare, a host of familiar characters including Louis de Pointe du Lac, Armand, and even the vampire Lestat, must embark on a journey to discover who—or what—is driving this mysterious being.
  2. Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis – A strange otherworldly form has somehow taken possession of Lestat’s undead body and soul. This ancient and mysterious power and unearthly spirit of vampire lore has all the force, history, and insidious reach of the unknowable Universe. It is through this spirit that we come to be told the hypnotic tale of a great sea power of ancient times. As we learn of the mighty, far-reaching powers and perfections of this lost kingdom of Atalantaya, the lost realms of Atlantis, we come to understand its secrets, and how and why the vampire Lestat, indeed all the vampires, must reckon so many millennia later with the terrifying force of this ageless, all-powerful Atalantaya spirit.
  3. Blood Communion – Lestat tells the tale of his coming to rule the vampire world and the eternal struggle to find belonging, a place in the universe for the undead, and how, against his will, he must battle the menacing, seemingly unstoppable force determined to thwart his vision and destroy the entire vampire netherworld.

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  1. Kat

    It’s easy to get lost in the long string of Mayfair and Vampire Chronicles — not to mention the crossovers! This article, with it’s listing of each, and descriptions, is immensely helpful; thank you so much!

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