Book Review: “The Vampire Armand” by Anne Rice

Cover of "The Vampire Armand" by Anne Rice.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reading “The Vampire Armand” from the Vampire Chronicles series by Anne Rice! I’ve read previous books in this series before and enjoyed them, so I look forward to reviewing this one! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“In the latest installment of The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice summons up dazzling worlds to bring us the story of Armand – eternally young, with the face of a Botticelli angel. Armand, who first appeared in all his dark glory more than twenty years ago in the now-classic Interview with the Vampire, the first of The Vampire Chronicles, the novel that established its author worldwide as a magnificent storyteller and creator of magical realms.

Now, we go with Armand across the centuries to the Kiev Rus of his boyhood – a ruined city under Mongol dominion – and to ancient Constantinople, where Tartar raiders sell him into slavery. And in a magnificent palazzo in the Venice of the Renaissance we see him emotionally and intellectually in thrall to the great vampire Marius, who masquerades among humankind as a mysterious, reclusive painter and who will bestow upon Armand the gift of vampiric blood. As the novel races to its climax, moving through scenes of luxury and elegance, of ambush, fire, and devil worship to nineteenth-century Paris and today’s New Orleans, we see its eternally vulnerable and romantic hero forced to choose between his twilight immortality and the salvation of his immortal soul.”

Character Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This book focuses on Armand’s backstory for approximately two thirds of the book before it displays his thoughts on the events of “Interview With The Vampire” and onwards, and because of this, it shows us much of how he came to be a vampire, what his life was before that, etc. I also do enjoy reading his relationships with Sybelle and Benji in particular, as well as the complicated relationship Armand has with Marius.

Because the book solely focuses on Armand, however, we don’t get a lot of insight on characters such as Marius and Bianca, for instance. Other characters are mentioned, especially in the latter third of the book where Armand gives his thoughts on them and the events in previous books involving them, but we don’t see much development from them otherwise.

Plot Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The plot has a lot of continuity to it due to some parts of the plot taking place during the events of “Interview With The Vampire” and even the previous book, given that a third of the book focuses on Armand explaining how he felt about those events. The rest of the book before that is made up of his entire backstory. Because of this,  the plot does come off as slow at times, even if it does allow great depth to Armand this time around. Usually I like continuity, but because it was so Armand-centric, it felt more like a backstory filler as opposed to a story that can stand on its own. I do like how it does tie up some plot points from previous books, however, such as what happened with Armand’s relationship with Daniel as well as how he survived the events of “Memnoch the Devil.”

Worldbuilding Development: 3 out of 5 stars!

The worldbuilding was very intricate and sometimes can be hard to keep up with. Thankfully, it’s not as confusing as “Memnoch the Devil” was due to not having as much religious-related content. However, I still think as a reader that it would be good to have some basic understanding of Christianity in particular before reading this book, mainly because there are many Christian themes in this book. It’s not as heavy as the previous book, but it’s still pretty heavy in Christian content and religious dialogue from time to time.

Overall, I’m rating this book 3.5 out of 5 stars!

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