February 10, 1999
By: Anne Rice
Pandora is a novel written by Anne Rice. It was the latest book in the series of Vampire novels and was written quite recently. It is the story of an ancient vampire by the name of Pandora, the main character. While in Paris a young vampire, named David, asked her to write her story. It was to be from her birth into the world to her rebirth into the dark world. In short the novel is nothing more than the autobiography of Pandora at the request of David.
At first Pandora did not wish to write of her past, for fear being hurt by the memories that would be invoked. However, she began her tale and once started could not stop. She begins with her birth in Rome during the reign of Augustus Caesar, about 15 BC. She tells of a time of great philosophy and good living. Her father was a well-known Senator. Her family was wealthy and respected. She grew up motherless but does not recall ever grieving over the fact. She was tutored by a group of wise Greek teachers and given everything she could ask for. Unlike women of other cultures, Pandora was given the best education offered. As a result she grew up a very wise and cherished daughter.
One dramatic scene in the book was the most heartbreaking scene as well. Pandora returned home from the market one day to find her father in full battle dress. With sword in hand, he told her to leave. She had also learned that her brothers and their families had been killed. With little explanation she was ushered onto a boat full of her fathers belongings. Before leaving, she saw her father slash his wrists and walk in circles, letting his blood coat the floor. He fought and killed two of his attackers before he was run through.
Another notable scene was when Pandora had been in town at Antioch, Greece (after her father was murdered) and she was introduced to a tall dark stranger. She was to later realize it was the only man she had ever loved, Marius. Her father had forbid their marriage in Rome when she was but twelve years old. As can be expected, Pandora was trilled to learn she had found her long lost love. However, she had also encountered another person, her brother. He had escaped the murder of her family somehow. She found that he had set the whole thing up. He had come to Antioch to kill her as well. Being a wimp, he hired soldiers to help him but she turned it around and had the soldiers kill her brother.
The most dramatic scene in the book would have to have been when Marius gave Pandora the Dark Gift, as Armand would call it. This means that Marius turned her into a Vampire. First, Pandora was drained of most of her blood by a rouge, burnt, vampire. Once released from his grasp Marius fed her his blood. She drank until she was full and he was weak. Afterwards, she collapsed in pain. This is because her mortal body was dying. After the exchange of blood Pandora was now a Child of the Night. Later Pandora and Marius would again share their blood with one another. This act signified their marriage.
The point of this story was to get Pandoras life on paper for others to read. At the request of David she, like so many others, wrote out her life. It was written from her birth in 15 BC to her present life now in 1997. It told of her family, teachings, and her journey to Greece at the behest of her soon-to-be-killed father.
I believe that the ending was very well done. It was left open, and for a reason. The Vampire chronicles go on to this day. The next novel is titled, The Vampire Armand and begins where this book left off. The only difference is it will be set in another character perspective. So in truth, the story is not really over, but the book ended well.
In the course of the story Pandora had a dramatic change in her life, aside from being turned into a vampire. After her families death she was alone. Pandora was a very intelligent person, due to her schooling, and could readily take care of herself. She had all she needed for her father had loaded the boat with gold, jewels, and weapons. He had a house for her to live in and friends she could seek out for help. But she did not have servants to dress her, tie her sandals, or put her make-up on. She had to do this all herself. It was a life she had to adapt to, quickly, and she did. Because of the outcome of events, her life was changed forever.
This story set over a matter of time, from 15 BC to 1997. A majority if the novel was set in Rome at the time of 15 BC. Most of the customs and styles reflect those of Greek and Roman times. This reflected the outcome greatly. Pandora could speak Latin and Greek fluently. And her beliefs reflect the time period. It would be most difficult for the story to have taken place at any other time.
The title, Pandora, is so because it is the life story of the main character, Pandora. The only real symbolism in the book is the reference to Vampires as actual beings. It tells of how they live in our world without our knowing of their actual existence.
This book is part of a larger story. The actual series started about 13 books ago. There are stories of other vampires and events that take place throughout history. In order to get a better idea of everything going on one should probably read the rest of the series as well. It gives an interesting view of how vampires could live in our world today. It is all fictional but a very good story.
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