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A Vampire Chronicles novella from the internationally bestselling Anne Rice
In a cafe in modern-day Paris, in the aftermath of a fresh kill, the fearless and beautiful Pandora begins to tell her tale of treachery, vengeance and love stretching across two millennia. As a young mortal in Imperial Rome in the time of Caesar Augustus, Pandora was first introduced to the blood-tainted cult of Isis. Later, in exile in Antioch, she was drawn even further into the dark, ancient rites. Now looking back across the centuries, Pandora decides to return once more to New Orleans, to find the love of her early life, Marius, and to see once again the Vampire Lestat...
Although Rice bid goodbye to the vampire Lestat in Memnoch the Devil, her fifth novel in The Vampire Chronicles, she has not abandoned vampires altogether. Two installments are planned this year in her New Tales of the Vampires series, and in the first of these, the ancient vampire Pandora tells her story. Urged on by David Talbot--fledgling vampire, self-appointed chronicler and former psychic detective--Pandora documents in sophisticated detail her pre-vampire existence as the privileged daughter of a Roman senator. She's a curious character, first introduced in The Queen of the Damned, in which Marius described her as the Greek courtesan who seduced him into making her a vampire and helped him care for the vampire progenitors until strife forced them apart. Here, Pandora herself sets the record straight. Born early in Augustus's reign, the educated, spirited Pandora was no courtesan--though we do see her challenge the sexual mores of her moment. When Tiberius brings chaos to Rome, and dishonor and death to Pandora's family, she goes to Antioch and tries to solve the mystery of her compelling blood dreams about Egypt. There, she reunites with her childhood crush, Marius, and learns from him what it means to be a vampire. Along the way, we find little of Rice's trademark eroticism, but Pandora has long been one of her more elusive characters, so fans will relish this vivid rendering of her life and times. Random House audio.