The Vampire Lestat chronicles Lestat de Lioncourt's mortal life, his transformation and his immortal life as well as his internal struggles. The books also offers a differing perspective on the events of Louis' Interview with the Vampire.
The story follows Lestat's early life in the 18th century France, through his trials and tribulations as a vampire, to his resurrection as a rock star in 1984. Leaving his unappreciative family, he runs to Paris with his friend and companion Nicolas "Nicki" de Lenfent. Lestat is chosen by the mad rogue vampire Magnus, who orphans him soon after turning him. Left with a fortune and immortality, Lestat abstains seeing anyone from his former life, until his dying mother Gabrielle comes to visit one last time. He transforms her to save her, but abandons Nicki for fear of destroying him. Disaster strikes when Lestat gives in to his urges and adds Nicki to his growing family of undead, and the two soon grow apart due to Nicki’s deteriorating mental health.
"In the winter of my twenty-first year, I went out alone on horseback to kill a pack of wolves." - Lestat's first words recounting his time with his family.
Lestat is the youngest of the children of the Marquis of Auvergne to survive into adulthood. He has a warm but distant relationship with his mother Gabrielle, and is often antagonized by his brothers, particularly Augustine.
Lestat's early life is spotted with, as he tells it, the oppression of his brothers's and father's love on him. From being removed from his passion of clergy at a young age, to foiling his attempt to escape with a theater troupe, the two sides are often at odds. When Lestat’s actions meet with cruelty at his family’s hands, his mother is his sole comfort, often selling the family jewels to buy gifts. Lestat, aided by his mother’s gifts of rifles and dogs and being the sole hunter and provider, takes pleasure in knowing that his family is fed by his hand.
One such venture to keep the village livestock safe from a pack of wolves that Lestat nearly meets his death, loosing his prized dogs and horse, but killing eight wolves. This experience drives him into depression and he becomes a very cynical and fatalist person.
In thanks for his sacrifice, the local aristocracy, and in particularly Nicolas de Lenfent, make a fur coat and boots from his wolves skin. Lestat soon befriends the violinist Nicki and the two go on philosophical drinking binges which Lestat calls their Conversation. One such Conversation soon turns sour in Lestat’s mind, leaving him with a great fear of death and the dark. The two soon leave for Paris, a dream of Lestat's, at the request of Gabrielle.