Tonight I want to discuss The Vampire Armand. The Vampire Armand's entire story was told in a chapter of The Vampire Lestat novel over twenty years earlier. That chapter had been called The Vampire Armand.
This new version of Armand's story changes quite a few things.
For starters it completely ignores that Armand (an eternally seven-teen-year-old vampire) has told us that Marius never hurt him. Now a good chunk of the new book is kinky s and m fun involved with an under-age Armand being whipped (and liking it) by the eternal forty-year-old, Marius. I've debated this content with people who tell me the times were different then and it was socially acceptable. That still doesn't make me comfortable with little boy Armand and S and M scenes.
Other changes from the version of the story told to Lestat are:
In The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the damned it's claimed that Marius' big mistake was making Armand a vampire before he was an adult, that he had done it because he was too impatient and felt terrible about it. But in The vampire Armand novel it's obvious that he had no other choice or Armand would have died from poisoning. Would he have rather Armand died than make him young? If it was to save his life why did he react as if he had done it out of impatience and should have waited until he was older?
In The Vampire Armand novel, Armand claims that he tried to 'help' Claudia by sewing her head on to the body of an adult female vampire. Is Armand really supposed to be that unintelligent that he'd think a tiny four-year-old head, sewn on to an adult body with black thread like a Frankenstein doll would be better than being trapped as a child? If he had done it it would have only been out of cruelty. Also in Interview with The vampire Louis saw Claudia's body. Armand did say he had put the head back before burning her so Louis never knew what he had done but Louis said her body was just like charcoal, he'd have noticed if the head had been removed and put back, wouldn't he? If Armand had so badly wounded Claudia she would not have been able to have clutched to Madeline as she died the way she had. Being as weak as Claudia was, she would have needed the time to heal to even move.
That's another little inconsistency of Anne Rice's. Decapitation CAN kill a vampire. Ignoring the fact that Akasha was dying when she was decapitated in The Queen of the damned and the only thing that saved the vampires was Mekare eating her heart and brain as the vampires wilted and lost consciousness around her- Anne Rice now has it (since The vampire Armand) that a vampire's decapitated head can be reatatched IF it's put back in place within a few seconds of it being removed. After all, a human head lives five seconds after it's chopped off. So I guess she twisted this scientific knowledge for vampire physiology. But seriously, could Armand sew a head onto a body in under five seconds? Seriously. That's a delicate operation, even with preternatural speed, sewing flesh. She seriously goofed with this nonsense. Armand could not have conducted his experiment on Claudia in The Vampire Armand.
Armand could never have done the sewing Claudia's head on to an adult body that he discribes in The Vampire Armand. Louis, Madeline and Claudia were captured in the pre-dawn. There was little time for the mock trial and then sealing Louis in the wall, and shoving Claudia outside. Certainly not enough time for an elaborate torture to 'help' her. Armand would pass out at dawn.
Armand, as a character, never appealed to me. He's too sadistic and too obsessed with dominating those he supposedly loves. I guess I never entirely got over what he did to Nicolas in The Vampire Lestat novel. Nicolas, a violinist, was left in Armand's care so Armand cut off his hands and locked him in a room with his violin he couldn't touch. It was already established that Nicolas could be restrained with rope but Lestat had justified it to himself that Armand was trying to restrain Nicki. I think Lestat just wanted a reason to not bother with revenge.
Armand is such a 'nice guy' he considers blood raping the person he's telling his story to.
Armand's sadism always gets the better of me but aside from a dislike for the character himself, it's the inconsistencies that get to me most of all.
One funny line in the novel though is when Armand says 'I promised I would never drink again.' And the start of the following paragraph (the next line of the novel) was 'I got drunk the next day.' I also liked that Lestat finally woke up from his coma at the end but went right back into it before the next book somehow...
Also it doesn't REALLY explain how Armand survived the events of Memnoch The Devil. It's like 'I tried to burn in the sun and then I woke up over here somewhere else.' What the...?!?
In my opinion you're better off sticking to the version of Armand's story told in The Vampire Lestat. Before it was stretched out because of Anne's contractual obligations of the 1990s to have two books a year for five years (one Vampire Chronicle a year and one other, which she cheated twice with her New Tales of the Vampires which were really thinly disguised Vampire Chronicles and fit in the continuity of The Vampire Chronicles.
The full The Vampire Chronicles are
Interview with the vampire (Made into a film)
The Vampire Lestat (Adapted into two different plays called Lestat)
The queen of the damned (Not to be confused with the awful film of the same name)
Tale of the body thief
Memnoch The Devil
Pandora (New Tales of the vampires. It has to be read at this point in the books because it tells you that Armand is still alive, important to know before The Vampire Armand and Lestat's comditiion and that David Talbot is now collecting the stories.)
The Vampire Armand
Vittorio the vampire (New tales of the vampires)
(At this point it's best to have read The lives if the Mayfair witches which are The witching hour, Lasher and Taltos)
Merrick (Mayfair witches cross over)
Blood an gold
Blackwood Farm (Mayfair witches cross over)
Blood Canticle (Mayfair witches cross over)