The Queen of the Damned

From Academic Kids

The Queen of the Damned is a novel by Anne Rice. It is the third book of The Vampire Chronicles series, in order behind Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat. This novel is a continuation of the story left off from The Vampire Lestat, and explores the rich history and mythology of the origin of the vampires, dating back to Ancient Egypt.

Like Interview, The Queen of the Damned was also made into a film, released in 2002, featuring Aaliyah and directed by Michael Rymer. Most film critics were less than impressed by the film. In an eerily appropriate note, by the time the film was released, Aaliyah (who played the undead Queen) had died in a plane crash. The film featured original songs written and sung by Jonathan Davis of Korn.



The Origin of Vampires

The Queen of the Damned, the novel, deals with the origins of vampires themselves. Being ancient, these creatures fittingly come from an ancient civilization. The mother of all vampires, Akasha begins as Egyptian queen many thousands of years ago. During this time, a spirit who is blood-thirsty seeks to drink the blood of Akasha. However, this spirit in fact merges with Akasha's blood and her heart and brain are where the spirit's essence is absorbed.

In the time that follows, Akasha turns her king into a vampire as well. This process is done by drinking almost all of the blood and then returning it to the victim. This creates a new vampire and results in much of the strength of the maker being passed on. Vampiric strength is gained only by age or by drinking from a powerful vampire.

Once vampires are created as a race, it becomes clear that Akasha and Enkil are the source of all. As a result of a desire to commit suicide, Akasha and Enkil are exposed to sunlight after being several thousand years old. This merely gives them a tan. However, all of the vampires that are the children of Akasha are wounded and many die, depending upon their strength. They are only restored by continuing to feed upon victims.

Those who have lived for more than a thousand years are by far the most powerful of the vampires; they are called the Children of the Millennia. After several hundred years, and depending on their maker, vampires begin to exhibit special gifts.

Vampyric Gifts

Telepathy. This is the ability to communicate and read thoughts, especially of humans. This gift is used largely to obtain food since via telepathy, the human who sins can be sensed, and this provides the best nourishment. It is also impossible for a maker to contact his child via telepathy.

Super speed, vision, hearing. All vampires have these super senses and are able do things much better and faster than humans can without trying very hard.

Mind Gift (also known as telekinesis). This is a more powerful gift although it is able to be achieved, usually by a child of the millennia.

Fire Gift (also known as pyrokinesis). This is also a powerful gift, usually developed by a child of the millennia.

Flying. Depending on whether you stick to the novels or the cinematic depiction, not all vampires have this ability. According to the books, it is not clear that Lestat or Louis have any of these abilities until they taste the old blood.

Plot Summary

After a desire to find Those Who Must Be Kept, who Lestat discovers actually refers to the mother and father of vampires, Akasha and Enkil, he meets Marius. Marius, one of the children of the millennia, tells Lestat of Akasha and Enkil and the story of the beginning.

After a short time, Lestat plays the violin for Akasha. Akasha is roused from her slumber and decides once more to live. She destroys her husband Enkil, since she is the true source of the vampires. Lestat, who is at this time living as a rock star, is taken by Akasha and a plot is hatched for a new world order.

Akasha confronts the gathering of vampires at Maharet's compound in Sonoma. There she lays down her plans and offers the gathering of vampires a chance to be her 'angels' in her New World Order. The others state that they will not join her, and before she can make good on her promise to destroy them,Mekare destroys her, to become the new vampiric mother by devouring, with her sister Maharet, the brains and heart of Akasha.

The 2002 film deviated from this storyline and killed off some of the characters, but none of those gathered at Sonoma died apart from Akasha in the novel.

After the events of the book, the vampires gather at Armand's Night Island in Florida to recover from the events. They slowly disband, and at the end, Lestat takes Louis to see David Talbot in London before they make off into the night, and incensed Louis and his angry words firing Lestat with glee.

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