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An Introduction to Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles

Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series has entranced readers all over the world since the release of Interview with the Vampire in 1976. Now, the eagerly anticipated fifteenth book in the series, Blood Communion, has been released in hardcover, delighting readers with the story of how Prince Lestat came to rule the vampire realm.

With the help of painstaking research, and an enviable imagination, Rice built an entire world, complete with its own history, genealogy, and customs, not to mention a dizzyingly extensive cast of beloved characters. When an author creates a universe this complex, it can be difficult for readers to keep track of past characters and details. Now, Becket, a dedicated Anne Rice scholar (and former long-time assistant), has compiled Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles: An Alphabettery, an annotated cosmology of her entire Vampiredom. The Alphabettery details the who, what, where, why, and how of Rice’s world, and it’s an ideal companion for devoted and first-time readers alike.

To help you navigate the series, whether you’re rereading or just getting started, we’ve provided a brief summary of each book below, in recommended reading order. This guide, combined with Becket’s Alphabettery, will get you and your reading group up to speed on the Vampiredom in no time.

 

Interview with the Vampire

The book that started it all introduces readers to the legendary vampire Lestat through the confessions of Louis, his progeny.

 

The Vampire Lestat

Get to know Lestat more intimately in this enthralling account of his life as he seeks out answers to the mystery of his own immortality.

 

The Queen of the Damned

Meet Akasha, the mother of all vampires, and learn of her plan to “save” mankind and destroy the vampire Lestat after waking from a six-thousand-year-long sleep.

 

The Tale of the Body Thief

Lestat, alone and lonely, embarks on his most dangerous adventure yet to regain his lost humanity.

 

Memnoch the Devil

As Lestat searches for Dora, a mortal who has claimed his heart, he comes face to face with the Devil himself, who tells him the story of creation (from his perspective) in an effort to convince Lestat to serve his cause.

 

Pandora

Learn the life story of Pandora, a two thousand-year-old vampire, in her own words. This is the first book in Rice’s offshoot series New Tales of the Vampires.

 

The Vampire Armand

Armand, who first appeared in Interview with the Vampire, tells us his own story, stretching from ancient Constantinople to Venice during the Renaissance to present-day New Orleans.

 

Vittorio, the Vampire

The second of Rice’s New Tales of the Vampires tells the tragic tale of Vittorio, a vampire in the Italian Age of Gold.

 

Merrick

Merrick is a descendant of the great Mayfair witches, bringing us our first crossover tale between The Vampire Chronicles and Rice’s other series The Lives of the Mayfair Witches. Her haunting story of sorcery stretches from New Orleans to the jungles of Guatemala.

 

Blood and Gold

The great vampire Marius, once mentor to Lestat, reveals the secrets of his own existence after two thousand years of life.

 

Blackwood Farm

This is another crossover novel between The Vampire Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair Witches. Rice takes us into the Deep South to tell the tale of Quinn Blackwood, a young man (and later vampire) haunted by a mysterious spirit named Goblin. Quinn sets out to find the vampire Lestat in the hopes of ridding himself of the creature.

 

Blood Canticle

Picking up where Blackwood Farm left off, Blood Canticle continues Lestat’s quest for redemption as he sets out to help the Mayfair family. The witches are grappling with a genetic plague that has afflicted their family for generations.

 

Prince Lestat

Prince Lestat picks up where Queen of the Damned left off. The vampire world is in crisis and Lestat has been called upon to reestablish order. Familiar characters reappear, including Armand, Pandora, and Marius, to name a few.

 

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis

Lestat now rules the world of vampires. In this, the fourteenth installment of The Vampire Chronicles, he explores one of the great legends of modern times: Atlantis.

 

Blood Communion

Finally, in the latest installment of the series, Prince Lestat tells the story of how he came to rule all of vampiredom, and his eternal struggle to find belonging. Meanwhile, a seemingly unstoppable force determined to destroy the entire vampire world plots against him.