Welcome back to Blackwood Farm. A story of love and loyalty, of the search for passion and promise, Blood Canticle is Anne Rice at her finest. Synopsis courtesy of randomhouse. This is highly informal, please understand, in keeping with the tone of this website and I hope it may interest someone.
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My recent reading of the Beauty trilogy coincidentally led up to picking up Blood Canticle on the bargain rack. Oh, the horror. The Vampire Lestat has always been the star of the Vampire Chronicles, creating new vampires, finding the original two vampires, losing his vampire body to a mortal, and journeying to Heaven and Hell. The Mayfair Witches stories involve a rather inbred family of Louisiana witches, who, when certain family members meet, create what is known as the Taltos, a child who unfolds to a full adult upon its birth, knowing its name and the full history of the Taltos, also leaving its human mother unable to bear more children.
In Blood Canticle, the story begins with Lestat "saving" the dying Mayfair witch Mona, the most recent bearer of a Taltos. Mona has been dying in a hospital for two years. Of course, before we even get to the plot itself, we are subjected to an over-colloquialized raving from Lestat who narrates the Chronicles about his desire to be a saint.
And visit the Pope. And be worshipped. Once Mona is made a vampire, we meet Rowan Mayfair, the de facto head of the Mayfair witches and Mayfair Medical, a huge sprawling complex of medical services and research. Rowan bore her own Taltos, a child possessed by the spirit who haunted the Mayfair House, Lasher.
For over pages, the reader is held at bay to hear the story of Rowan and Mona and the Taltos, which any devoted reader of the Mayfair Witches stories already knows.
I mean that. This is the first book that Rice wrote after the death of her husband, the poet Stan Rice to whom she dedicates this book and sorry, Stan, but she dedicated one horrendous book to you.
The Mona we met in the Mayfair books was a child genius. She was sexually precocious, but at the same time, almost a small adult. The Mona Mayfair that Mayfair Witches fans knew and loved is gone. The first half of the book drags on endlessly, making you wonder if the book is even going to have a conclusion or just end ambiguously, leaving the reader to find the fate of the Taltos in some forthcoming book. But much like an old rickety roller coaster, the climb is much longer than the descent.
The plot contrivances that Rice uses to get Mona, Quinn, and Lestat to where they will find the fate of the Taltos are numerous, unbelievable, and far too convenient, and for good measure, Rice tosses in a gratuitous sex scene.
I actually laughed out loud at the conclusion of this book. I kept reading it only to find out how Rice would merge the series and so I could write this review. It has NEVER taken me a week to read a book this short, but I could only read it in small doses; sometimes a page or two were all I could manage in one sitting. As a long-time Rice fan, I have to say this book is best suited to use as toilet paper.
Prince Lestat Blood Canticle is a horror novel by American writer Anne Rice , which incorporates the new characters from her novel Blackwood Farm with those from her previous Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches series. As the novel plays out, Mona and her guardian, Rowan Mayfair , reveal more and more about the powerful genetic plague that has haunted the Mayfairs for generations: their connection to the Taltos , an advanced species of human to which both women have given birth. Mona and the young vampire Tarquin "Quinn" Blackwood are in love. Lestat turns a dying Mona into a vampire so that the lovers can be together forever, also knowing that if Quinn had done it himself, he and Mona could not have delighted in sharing their most intimate thoughts as most vampires are capable of doing. Lestat, Quinn and Mona arrive at the remote island colony of the Taltos, but instead of finding a secluded utopia they discover that years of criminal intrigue and civil war have taken their toll. The remaining Taltos join the Mayfair clan at their New Orleans Mayfair Medical Center where they safely learn and grow and be together as a family.
Blood Canticle (Vampire Chronicles, Book 10)