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A Tale to Die for?
The Vampire Armand - Anne Rice
Member Name: carolinesite
The Vampire Armand - Anne Rice
Date: 05/04/01, updated on 05/04/01 (214 review reads)
Advantages: Very interesting, very descriptive, a must for Anne Rice fans and for fans of the vampire chronicles, excellent reading
Disadvantages: None really
I am really enjoying reading Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and this is the latest book that I have just finished reading.
The last two books were a bit boring in places, but this one I enjoyed immensely.
It tells the story of the vampire Armand. If you have seen the film ‘Interview with the Vampire’, he was the vampire that lead the Theatre of Vampires in Paris. Portrayed by Antonio Banderas, he did not look anything like the character that Anne Rice describes in her books.
Armand is a young 17 year old boy when he becomes a vampire, with curling red hair. The cover of the book shows him well, with his whitened face, pouting lips, and soft red curling hair. I borrowed this book from my sister, why pay when you can read it for free? It is the first edition hardback, and I found it a lot easier to read than a paperback. The cover shows as I’ve explained, Armand, and on the back sleeve there is a picture of Anne Rice herself, with black hair cut into a bob, looking very gothic-like. The way she describes some of her characters.
The book starts with all the vampires congregating at Lestat’s chapel, where he lays on the floor, not speaking, and not moving. His tour of Heaven and Hell in the book ‘Memnoch the Devil’ has had some effect on him, and they all come to make sure that he is OK.
Armand meets with David Talbot (he was once a 74 year old man that was head of the psychic investigation organisation, the Talamasca. In the book ‘Tale of the Body Thief’, he jumps into the body of a 25 year old man, and was then given the Dark Gift by Lestat). Armand then dictates his story to David.
He was of Russian origin, living in Kiev. When he was 15 years old, he was captured by the Mongols and sold to the Turks. He was sexually abused by them and then sold to a Venetian brothel. Here he was treated very badly, and you can’t help but feel sorry for him. He was ke
pt in darkness, and began to loose all memory of who he was.
He was finally rescued by Marius. (Marius has appeared in previous books, an old Roman vampire, who was the keeper of the king and queen of all vampires, and lover of Pandora).
Marius took Armand and showered him with riches, education, and knowledge. There were other boys living at Marius’s home too. He began to realise that his Master only appeared at night, and knew he was different. He finally learnt what he was, a vampire, and wanted Marius to give him the Dark Gift. Marius told him that he was too young, he would have to be ‘ready’ before this could be done.
At 17 years old, Armand became very ill. He was dying. Marius didn’t want to loose him, so he did what he did not really want to do, gave Armand the Dark Gift.
They remained together for many years until a group of other vampires came to the house and burnt it to the ground. Armand watched as Marius was set alight, and he was taken captive by them.
They were underground vampires that thought the vampires living among humans were blasphemous. They were evil and cruel, burning his young human friends that lived with him at Marius’s home, before his eyes. He hated them.
For years he was kept with them, and thinking that his Master was no more, he finally joined with them and became the leader of the coven of vampires in Paris.
This is where he meets Lestat and is set up in the Theatre of Vampires by him.
As all the other books start to come together, we now are told of when Louis and Claudia came to them in Paris. How Louis had burned the theatre, destroying the vampires that has sent little Claudia to her death in the sun. How he saved Louis from the morning sun, and how they spent time together. But Louis could never forgive Armand for not preventing what had happened to Claudia, so they parted ways.
He then starts to bring his story up to d
ate. He tells how he and David Malloy, the boy who had interviewed Louis in ‘Interview with the Vampire’, became friends, how he gave him the Dark Gift that David so much wanted, and how after, David had despised him for it. He tells of how he went into the morning sun, because of what Lestat had brought back from his tour of Heaven and Hell in ‘Memnoch the Devil’, and how he had survived. And how he met his two new companions, Sybelle and Benji, and what they meant to him. They were both human and he wanted to keep it that way.
What I have written is basically the outline of the book. There is much to be coloured in for you. I found Armand to be a very caring, loving vampire, and Anne Rice has again filled the book with excellent descriptions of things and places. There is also a twist at the end of the book, which found me feeling so very sorry for Armand.
I loved this book, but I didn’t really like the fact that Armand was abused. But I guess in those times, it was common place for young boys to be abused, especially pretty boys like Armand.
I look forward now to the next instalment, ‘Merrick’.
(388 pages - Hardback first edition)