The Black Company, The Return of Lestat, and Regret

So…

Remember how I was wading through this book?

Chronicles of the Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #1-3)

I didn’t make it.

I SHOULD have liked this book. What was there not to like? People of color, magic, a goddess (or goddess-like Lady-leader-person). Non-binary gender characters, guys with names like Croaker, One-Eye, and Raven. Action, strange creatures, flying carpets. Awesome, right? Right? *sigh* Perhaps my failure was in getting the omnibus instead of each individual novel (the omnibus contains the first 3 books in the series).

In other news, the Brat Prince is back.

Prince Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #11)

Anne Rice has returned to the world that made her famous. I anxiously awaited this release. I eagerly dove into this book, intending to read it in one day, and trumpet the triumphant reunion of our favorite vampire, Lestat de Lioncourt.

Nope.

I struggled with this book. As the time of this writing, I still haven’t finished it. For starters, the book reads more like a collection of individual, interconnected short stories of various persons (who have been involved with Lestat at some point or another in his somewhere around 300 years of existence) and go careening toward the same conclusion. Many events get rehashed. And rehashed. And rehashed again. Some characters are well-known, like David Talbot, he of the Talamasca, and Armand, former coven leader, and Jesse, niece of the ancient red-haired twins. Some were only mentioned in passing in the previous Vampire Chronicles. A few were never mentioned at all.

The year is now 2013. Akasha is long dead, Mekare is the new Queen of the Damned, Maharet has shut herself off from people, and there is a mysterious, ancient Voice manipulating Old Ones into burning fledglings, and turning fledglings against one another. The vampire community is calling on Prince Lestat to become their leader. He, of course, has other plans, hence the “brat” part of his nickname.

Oh, Anne. If having so many voices and points of view cluttering the book weren’t bad enough, there is the issue of how the (few and far inbetween) characters of color are presented. For example: a Black vampire named David is mentioned (at this point) six (6) times. Five (5) of those times, it is necessary, apparently, to describe him by color. One (1) of those times, his (maker? lover?) feels it necessary to call him “…gentle black companion…” Really? Another character (remember, in this version of the world, vampire skin grows pale and marble-like after so long out of the sun) is referred to as having a “pale Oriental cast.” REALLY? We do learn, FINALLY, how the Talamasca came to be. We learn the fate of several beloved characters. We learn that Lestat is not, and has not always been, a self-absorbed prat.

File both of these under “books I regret.”

 

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