First of all, I have to say that this is my very first Anne Rice experience. I have only contacted with her vision of vampires through the "Interview with the Vampire" film, which is why I knew who Lestat was (he is mentioned throughout "Pandora"), but had never heard of Marius and Akasha. This is a stand alone, so I didn't need any "Vampire Chronicles" knowledge to understand the novel, yet I felt intrigued about these characters and their evolution.
Meet our main character:
"Pandora" isn't, as advertised, an epic love story between Marius and Lidia (Pandora's birth name). Yes, they met twice in Rome as mortals, and found each other again later in Antioquia, when Marius was already a vampire and protector of Isis and Osiris (or Akasha and Enkil, Mother and Father to vampires), but there is more to this story than their assexual relationship.
This is a two thousand year-old vampire's testimony of the world and its many metamorphosis. Of Augustus' prosperous Imperial Rome and the later sucession of delirious emperors. Of Rome's fall. Of the dawn of Christianity among the pagan cults. Of merciless beings who drink blood to survive and are condemned to walk the Earth across eternity. Of human and supernatural cruelty.
I'll leave you with my beloved Lestat: