pandoraAnne Rice
Ballantine
1998

Part of the “new” Vampire Chronicles, Pandora was a character that was mentioned in Queen Of The Damned. Here, her story is told, in diary form, with the ancient vampire recounting her childhood as the daughter of a Roman Senator, her exile to Antioch and her new life, her encounter and turning by the vampire Marius (the keeper of the Ancient Vampires), and her life beyond…

Gotta love them thrift shops. Got this in hardcover for a buck. Figured, while I’m not a wild fan of Anne Rice and (especially) her vampire series, I figure at that price it’s worth a look. Considering this is part of a new chronicles (which, I’ve come to realize, is only two books), Pandora does have ties to the regular Vampire Chronicles. To be sure, the only ones I’ve read from that grouping are Interview With The Vampire, and the one I’m currently working on, Queen Of The Damned…

As a novel, in and of itself, Pandora didn’t exactly capture my imagination as completely as some adherents to Rice’s works. This is mostly due to the narrative, and while I find the first-person method quite interesting (I’ve written a majority of my own short stories in this way), there’s not a lot of action, and the majority of the book deals with her pre-vampire life. We’re taken through the life of a 10-year-old aristocratic daughter of a Roman Senator, her surviving the family’s destruction at the hands of her brother, her new life in the ancient city of Antioch…and then her subsequent turn as a vampire. And save for a battle with a vampire cult that tries to extract the powerful blood of the two Vampire Elders that are in the basement vault, most of that is spent discussing her exploring her vampire life, the verbal and mental arguments with Marius, and the all-too-brief summaries of her centuries spent after leaving him. Then the book ends after a mention of the attack by Akasha, which is detailed in Queen Of The Damned.

As always, from the little that I’ve read of Rice’s work, her words flow with an elegance and beauty that I find rare in horror and fantasy fiction. A treat to be sure, but something tells me, as I’m working on one of the classics in the series, that Pandora doesn’t come close to her best effort.

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