"In my dreams, I saw a city fall into the sea. I heard the cries of thousands. I saw flames that outshone the lamps of heaven. And all the world was shaken . . ." --Anne Rice, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
At the novel's center: the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, hero, leader, inspirer, irresistible force, irrepressible spirit, battling (and ultimately reconciling with) a strange otherworldly form that 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, previously considered benign for thousands of vampire years and throughout the Vampire Chronicles, that we come to be told the hypnotic tale of a great sea power of ancient times; a mysterious heaven on earth situated on a boundless continent--and of how and why, and in what manner and with what far-reaching purpose, this force came to build and rule the great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean.
And 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.
In the traditional folktale of "Sleeping Beauty," the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind's unconscious. In the first book of the trilogy, Anne Rice (author of Beauty's Kingdom), writing as A.N. Roquelaure, retells the Beauty story and probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince awakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty's complete and total enslavement to him . . . as Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes, with her skillful pen, a compelling experience. Readers of Fifty Shades of Grey will indulge in Rice’s deft storytelling and imaginative eroticism, a sure-to-be classic for years to come.
Praise for The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty:
"Articulate, baroque, and fashionably pornographic." —Playboy
"Something very special . . . at once so light and yet so haunting." —The Advocate
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.
Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.
Praise for Interview with the Vampire
“A magnificent, compulsively readable thriller . . . Rice begins where Bram Stoker and the Hollywood versions leave off and penetrates directly to the true fascination of the myth–the education of the vampire.”—Chicago Tribune
“Unrelentingly erotic . . . sometimes beautiful, and always unforgettable.”—Washington Post
“If you surrender and go with her . . . you have surrendered to enchantment, as in a voluptuous dream.”—Boston Globe
“A chilling, thought-provoking tale, beautifully frightening, sensuous, and utterly unnerving.”—Hartford Courant
Mega-bestselling author Anne Rice, writing as A. N. Roquelaure, returns to the mysterious kingdom of Queen Eleanor in this new chapter of her Sleeping Beauty series. When the great queen is reported dead, Beauty and Laurent return to the kingdom they left twenty years before. Beauty agrees to take the throne, but she insists that all erotic servitude be voluntary. Countless eager princes, princesses, lords, ladies, and commoners journey to Beauty’s realm, where she and her husband usher in a new era of desire, longing, and ecstasy. Provocative and stirring, Rice’s imaginative retelling of the Sleeping Beauty myth will be adored by her longtime fans and new readers of erotica just discovering the novels.
This book is intended for mature audiences.
From the Hardcover edition.
This sequel to The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, the first of Anne Rice's (writing as A.N. Roquelaure) elegantly written volumes of erotica, continues her explicit, teasing exploration of the psychology of human desire. Now Beauty, having indulged in a secret and forbidden infatuation with the rebellious slave Prince Tristan, is sent away from the Satyricon-like world of the Castle. Sold at auction, she will soon experience the tantalizing punishments of "the village," as her education in love, cruelty, dominance, submission, and tenderness is turned over to the brazenly handsome Captain of the Guard. And once again Rice's fabulous tale of pleasure and pain dares to explore the most primal and well-hidden desires of the human heart. Preceding the visceral eroticism of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey and Sylvia Day's Bared to You, and even more haunting than her own novel Belinda, this second installment is not to be missed.
The vampire hero of Anne Rice’s enthralling novel is a creature of the darkest and richest imagination. Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now a rock star in the demonic, shimmering 1980s, he rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his eternal, terrifying exsitence. His is a mesmerizing story—passionate, complex, and thrilling.
Praise for The Vampire Lestat
“Frightening, sensual . . . Anne Rice will live on through the ages of literature. . . . To read her is to become giddy as if spinning through the mind of time, to become lightheaded as if our blood is slowly being drained away.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Fiercely ambitious, nothing less than a complete unnatural history of vampires.”—The Village Voice
“Brilliant . . . its undead characters are utterly alive.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Luxuriantly created and richly told.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Demonstrating, once again, her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches--a family given to poetry and to incest, to murder and to philosophy; a family that, over the ages, is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being.
On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking . . . and The Witching Hour begins.
It begins in our time with a rescue at sea. Rowan Mayfair, a beautiful woman, a brilliant practitioner of neurosurgery--aware that she has special powers but unaware that she comes from an ancient line of witches--finds the drowned body of a man off the coast of California and brings him to life. He is Michael Curry, who was born in New Orleans and orphaned in childhood by fire on Christmas Eve, who pulled himself up from poverty, and who now, in his brief interval of death, has acquired a sensory power that mystifies and frightens him.
As these two, fiercely drawn to each other, fall in love and--in passionate alliance--set out to solve the mystery of her past and his unwelcome gift, the novel moves backward and forward in time from today's New Orleans and San Francisco to long-ago Amsterdam and a château in the France of Louis XIV. An intricate tale of evil unfolds--an evil unleashed in seventeenth-century Scotland, where the first "witch," Suzanne of the Mayfair, conjures up the spirit she names Lasher . . . a creation that spells her own destruction and torments each of her descendants in turn.
From the coffee plantations of Port au Prince, where the great Mayfair fortune is made and the legacy of their dark power is almost destroyed, to Civil War New Orleans, as Julien--the clan's only male to be endowed with occult powers--provides for the dynasty its foothold in America, the dark, luminous story encompasses dramas of seduction and death, episodes of tenderness and healing. And always--through peril and escape, tension and release--there swirl around us the echoes of eternal war: innocence versus the corruption of the spirit, sanity against madness, life against death. With a dreamlike power, the novel draws us, through circuitous, twilight paths, to the present and Rowan's increasingly inspired and risky moves in the merciless game that binds her to her heritage. And in New Orleans, on Christmas Eve, this strangest of family sagas is brought to its startling climax.
--New York Daily News
"Like Interview with the Vampire, Memnoch has a half-maddened, fever-pitch intensity. . . . Narrated by Rice's most cherished character, the vampire Lestat, Memnoch tells a tale as old as Scripture's legends and as modern as today's religious strife."
"SENSUAL . . . BOLD, FAST-PACED."
"Rice has penned an ambitious close to this long-running series. . . . Fans will no doubt devour this."
--The Washington Post Book World
"MEMNOCH THE DEVIL OFFERS PASSAGES OF POETIC BRILLIANCE."
"[MEMNOCH] is one of Rice's most intriguing and sympathetic characters to date. . . . Rice ups the ante, taking Lestat where few writers have ventured: into heaven and hell itself. She carries it off in top form."
--The Seattle Times
From the Paperback edition.
Look for a special preview of Anne Rice’s Prince Lestat in the back of the book. The Vampire Chronicles continue in Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, available for pre-order now.
Praise for The Queen of the Damned
“Mesmerizing . . . a wonderful web of dark-side mythology.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“With The Queen of the Damned, Anne Rice has created universes within universes, traveling back in time as far as ancient, pre-pyramidic Egypt and journeying from the frozen mountain peaks of Nepal to the crowded, sweating streets of southern Florida.”—Los Angeles Times
“Imaginative . . . intelligently written . . . This is popular fiction of the highest order.”—USA Today
“A tour de force.”—The Boston Globe
From the Trade Paperback edition.