As an avid Anne Rice fan, I know shes written great, mesmerizing tales of unnatural creatures who fascinate and enthrall us. Shes done it again with her next masterpiece in the Vampire Chronicles.

The tale begins when a Viking-made- Vampire awakens from a long sleep and finds himself needing some information. He turns to Marius, the 2000-year-old vampire from Interview with the Vampire, where he had been Lestats mentor.

Once known as the guardian of Those Who Must Be Kept, dutiful follower of the King and Queen of the Vampires, Marius has lived and suffered for countless centuries. His journey starts from the days when he was a Roman aristocrat and the fall of the Empire to Constantinople, to his appearance in Renaissance Venice then Paris and Dresden, to the present day when Marius creates both Pandora and Armand.

It is his grand passion for Pandora that sends him on a long and painful quest to find his beloved; a journey that leads him to become Lestats teacher, to a secret English society, and finally to the jungle where the oldest vampires reign.

Though readers know some of Marius history through the other novels in the Chronicles, it is his vibrant and unique voice that will hold readers spellbound. Ms. Rices exquisite prose and special talents for crafting stories that ignite the imagination holds true here as it has done in each new tale. She is as unique a writer as there can be with a voice and an outlook no other can create. (Now available, 460 pp., $26.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin