See the difference, read #1 bestselling author Anne Rice in Large Print* About Large PrintAll Random House Large Print editions are published in a 16-point typefaceIn 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.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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October 03, 2000
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Excerpt from The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice
They said a child had died in the attic. Her clothes had been discovered in the wall. I wanted to go up there, and to lie down near the wall, and be alone. They'd seen her ghost now and then, the child. But none of these vampires could see spirits, really, at least not the way that I could see them. No matter. It wasn't the company of the child I wanted. It was to be in that place. Nothing more could be gained from lingering near Lestat. I'd come. I'd fulfilled my purpose. I couldn't help him. The sight of his sharply focused and unchanging eyes unnerved me, and I was quiet inside and full of love for those nearest me--my human children, my dark-haired little Benji and my tender willowy Sybelle--but I was not strong enough just yet to take them away. I left the chapel. I didn't even take note of who was there. The whole convent was now the dwelling place of vampires. It was not an unruly place, or a neglected place, but I didn't notice who remained in the chapel when I left. Lestat lay as he had all along, on the marble floor of the chapel in front of the huge crucifix, on his side, his hands slack, the left hand just below the right hand, its fingers touching the marble lightly, as if with a purpose, when there was no purpose at all. The fingers of his right hand curled, making a little hollow in the palm where the light fell, and that too seemed to have a meaning, but there was no meaning. This was simply the preternatural body lying there without will or animation, no more purposeful than the face, its expression almost defiantly intelligent, given that months had passed in which Lestat had not moved. The high stained-glass windows were dutifully draped for him before sunrise. At night, they shone with all the wondrous candles scattered about the fine statues and relics which filled this once sanctified and holy place. Little mortal children had heard Mass under this high coved roof; a priest had sung out the Latin words from an altar. It was ours now. It belonged to him--Lestat, the man who lay motionless on the marble floor. Man. Vampire. Immortal. Child of Darkness. Any and all are excellent words for him. Looking over my shoulder at him, I never felt so much like a child. That's what I am. I fill out the definition, as if it were encoded in me perfectly, and there had never been any other genetic design. I was perhaps seventeen years old when Marius made me into a vampire. I had stopped growing by that time. For a year, I'd been five feet six inches. My hands are as delicate as those of a young woman, and I was beardless, as we used to say in that time, the years of the sixteenth century. Not a eunuch, no, not that, most certainly, but a boy. It was fashionable then for boys to be as beautiful as girls. Only now does it seem something worthwhile, and that's because I love the others--my own: Sybelle with her woman's breasts and long girlish limbs, and Benji with his round intense little Arab face. I stood at the foot of the stairs. No mirrors here, only the high brick walls stripped of their plaster, walls that were old only for America, darkened by the damp even inside the convent, all textures and elements here softened by the simmering summers of New Orleans and her clammy crawling winters, green winters I call them because the trees here are almost never bare. I was born in a place of eternal winter when one compares it to this place. No wonder in sunny Italy I forgot the beginnings altogether, and fashioned my life out of the present of my years with Marius. "I don't remember." It was a condition of loving so much vice, of being so addicted to Italian wine and sumptuous meals, and even the feel of the warm marble under my bare feet when the rooms of the palazzo were sinfully, wickedly heated by Marius's exorbitant fires. His mortal friends . . . human beings like me at that