Anne Rice – Taltos

Taltos
Taltos
Author: Anne Rice
Series: Lives of the Mayfair Witches #3
Publishing date: 19 September 1994
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Status: to-read

In the third chronicle of the Mayfair Witches, the Talamasca seek to preserve the nearly extinct Taltos race by bringing together a male and female. Their searching catches the attention of an ancient Taltos named Ashlar entwined with Lasher’s identity. Ashlar reveals the taltos mythology and lineage and enlists the help of Michael and Rowan in his battle againsst evil. Ashlar longs to make right the sufferings of his people. To help Ashlar, Michael must keep his coupling with Mona Mayfair (a precocious teenager who loves sex and computers equally) a secret, for it has produced a new female Taltos. Rowan attempts to assist him, but the task is difficult given that Morrigan, the Taltos, has been named the heir to the Mayfair fortune. Morrigan becomes the new monster of the Mayfair family.

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Anne Rice – Lasher

Lasher
Lasher
Author: Anne Rice
Series: Lives of the Mayfair Witches #2
Publishing date: 12 September 1993
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Status: to-read

The Talamasca, documenters of paranormal activity, is on the hunt for the newly born Lasher. Mayfair women are dying from hemorrhages and a strange genetic anomaly has been found in Rowan and Michael. Lasher, born from Rowan, is another species altogether and now in the corporeal body, represents an incalcuable threat to the Mayfairs. Rowan and Lasher travel together to Houston and she becomes pregnant with another creature like him, a Taltos. Lasher seeks to reproduce his race in other women, but they cannot withstand it. Rowan escapes and becomes comatose as her fully-grown Taltos daughter is born. The Mayfairs declare all-out war on Lasher and try to nurse Rowan back to health.

Michael remains entwined in the Mayfair family and learns how he comes by his strange powers. Michael’s ghostly visiting from a long-dead Mayfair reveals the importance of destroying Lasher. In the investigation, Lasher’s origins are revealed, the new Taltos Emaleth returns, and the climax of death and life engulfs the family.

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Anne Rice – The Witching Hour

The Witching Hour
The Witching Hour
Author: Anne Rice
Series: Lives of the Mayfair Witches #1
Publishing date: 16 October 1990
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Status: to-read

The first in the Mayfair Witches series, The Witching Hour introduces the fictional Mayfair family of New Orleans, generations of male and female witches. This tight-knit and deeply connected family, where a death of one strengthens the others with his/her knowledge. One Mayfair witch per generation is also designated to receive the powers of “the man,” known as Lasher. Lasher gives the witches gifts, excites them, and protects them. Unsure as to exactly what this spirit is, the Mayfair clan knows him variously as a protector, a god-like figure, a sexual being, and the image of death. Lasher’s current witch is Deirdre, who lies catatonic from psycological shock treatments.

Deirdre’s daughter, Rowan, has been spirited away from this “evil” and has happily become a neurosurgeon and has an uncanny gift to see the intent behind the facade. Rowan also has a gift few doctors possess – she can heal cells. Yet, though she uses it to save lives, she also fears that she has caused several deaths. She rescues Michael from drowning. Michael then develops some extraordinary powers that compel him to seek New Orleans and to seek Rowan. He finds both, and pulls the tale closer together by meeting people connected to the Mayfair family who now fear Rowan because she is the first Mayfair who can kill without Lasher’s help.

Michael dives into learning the history of the Mayfair witches: Deborah, Charlotte, Mary Beth, Stella, Antha, and many others across hundreds of years and three continents. When Michael looks up from his reading, he learns that Rowan has come to New Orleans to attend her mother’s funeral. Rowan learns of her family history, her ancestral home in shambles, and Lasher waiting for the next one. Rowan dedicates herself to stopping Lasher’s reign. Michael too has his own mission, but it is foggy and unclear to him. But Lasher is seductively powerful and Rowan’s gifts offer him the opportunity to achieve his ultimate goal.

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Anne Rice – Prince Lestat

Prince Lestat
Prince Lestat
Author: Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles #11
Publishing date: 28 October 2004
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Status: to-read

A stunning departure, a surprising and compelling return… From Anne Rice, perennial best seller, single-handed reinventor of the vampire cosmology-a new, exhilarating novel, a deepening of her vampire mythology, and a chillingly hypnotic mystery-thriller.

“What can we do but reach for the embrace that must now contain both heaven and hell: our doom again and again and again…” -from The Vampire Lestat

The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis… vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned… Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire – mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco.

As the novel moves from present-day New York and the West Coast to ancient Egypt, fourth century Carthage, 14th-century Rome, the Venice of the Renaissance, the worlds and beings of all the Vampire Chronicles – Louis de Pointe du Lac; the eternally young Armand, whose face is that of a Boticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet, Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true Child of the Millennia; along with all the other new seductive, supernatural creatures – come together in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel to ultimately rise up and seek out who-or what-the Voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why…

And, at the book’s center, the seemingly absent, curiously missing hero-wanderer, the dazzling, dangerous rebel-outlaw-the great hope of the Undead, the dazzling Prince Lestat…

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Anne Rice – Blood Canticle

Blood Canticle
Blood Canticle
Author: Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles #10
Publishing date: 28 October 2003
Publisher: Knopf
Status: to-read

Anne Rice continues her astonishing Vampire Chronicles in a new novel that begins where Blackwood Farm left off — and tells the story of Lestat’s quest for redemption, goodness, and the love of Rowan Mayfair.

Welcome back to Blackwood Farm. Here are all of the brilliantly conceived characters that make up the two worlds of vampires and witches: Mona Mayfair, who’s come to the farm to die and is brought into the realm of the undead; her uncle, Julian Mayfair, guardian of the family, determined to forever torment Lestat for what he has done to Mona; Rowan Mayfair, brilliant neurosurgeon and witch, who finds herself dangerously drawn to the all-powerful Lestat; her husband, Michael Curry, hero of the Mayfair Chronicles, who seeks Lestat’s help with the temporary madness of his wife; Ash Templeton, a 5,000-year-old Taltos who has taken Mona’s child; and Patsy, the country-western singer, who returns to avenge her death at the hands of her son, Quinn Blackwood. Delightfully, at the book’s centre is the Vampire Lestat, once the epitome of evil, now pursuing the transformation set in motion with Memnoch the Devil. He struggles with his vampirism and yearns for goodness, purity and love, as he saves Patsy’s ghost from the dark realm of the Earthbound, uncovers the mystery of the Taltos and unselfishly decides the fate of his beloved Rowan Mayfair.

A story of love and loyalty, of the search for passion and promise, Blood Canticle is Anne Rice at her finest.

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Anne Rice – Blackwood Farm

Blackwood Farm
Blackwood Farm
Author: Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles #9
Publishing date: 29 October 2002
Publisher: Knopf
Status: to-read

In this novel, perennial bestseller Anne Rice fuses her two uniquely seductive strains of narrative – her Vampire legend and her lore of the Mayfair witches – to give us a world of classic deep-south luxury and ancestral secrets.

Welcome to Blackwood Farm: soaring white columns, spacious drawing rooms, bright, sun-drenched gardens, and a dark strip of the dense Sugar Devil Swamp. This is the world of Quinn Blackwood, a brilliant young man haunted since birth by a mysterious doppelganger, “Goblin,” a spirit from a dream world that Quinn can’t escape and that prevents him from belonging anywhere. When Quinn is made a Vampire, losing all that is rightfully his and gaining an unwanted immortality, his doppelganger becomes even more vampiric and terrifying than Quinn himself.

As the novel moves backwards and forwards in time, from Quinn’s boyhood on Blackwood Farm to present day New Orleans, from ancient Athens to 19th-century Naples, Quinn seeks out the legendary Vampire Lestat in the hope of freeing himself from the spectre that draws him inexorably back to Sugar Devil Swamp and the explosive secrets it holds.

A story of youth and promise, of loss and the search for love, of secrets and destiny, Blackwood Farm is Anne Rice at her mesmerizing best.

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Anne Rice – Blood And Gold

Blood And Gold
Blood And Gold
Author: Anne Rice
Series: The Vampire Chronicles #8
Publishing date: 9 October 2001
Publisher: Knopf
Status: to-read

The Vampire Chronicles continue with Anne Rice’s spellbinding novel, in which the great vampire Marius returns.

The golden-haired Marius, true Child of the Millennia, once mentor to The Vampire Lestat, always and forever the conscientious foe of the Evil Doer, reveals in his own intense yet intimate voice the secrets of his two-thousand-year existence.

Once a proud Senator in Imperial Rome, kidnapped and made a “blood god” by the Druids, Marius becomes the embittered protector of Akasha and Enkil, Queen and King of the vampires, in whom the core of the supernatural race resides.

We follow him through his heartbreaking abandonment of the vampire Pandora. Through him we see the fall of pagan Rome to the Emperor Constantine and the horrific sack of the Eternal City itself at the hands of the Visigoths.

Bravely, Marius seeks a new civilization in the midst of glittering Constantinople, only to meet with the blood drinker Eudoxia. We see him ultimately returning to his beloved Italy, where after the horrors of the Black Death, he is restored by the beauty of the Renaissance. We see him become a painter living dangerously yet happily among mortals, giving his heart to the great Botticelli, to the bewitching courtesan Bianca, and to the mysterious young apprentice Armand.

Moving from Rome to Florence, Venice, and Dresden, and to the English castle of the secret scholarly order of the Talamasca, the novel reaches its dramatic finale in our own time, deep in the jungle where Marius, having told hi slife story, seeks some measure of justice from the oldest vampires in the world.

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