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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 Ho 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 heatlth. 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. --annerice.com


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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 Ho 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 heatlth. 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. --annerice.com

30 review for Lasher

  1. 4 out of 5

    Silvana

    This is a difficult book to write a review about. I've been an avid fan of Anne Rice's books since I was in junior high, since I love her style of writing and of course her gothic themes (vampires, demons, witches). Lasher is the second novel of the Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy. The first is "The Witching Hour" and the third is "Taltos". I guess I have to find Taltos a.s.a.p. in order to complete this whole er...journey. Lasher is a Taltos, which is an almost extinct super-human race who l This is a difficult book to write a review about. I've been an avid fan of Anne Rice's books since I was in junior high, since I love her style of writing and of course her gothic themes (vampires, demons, witches). Lasher is the second novel of the Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy. The first is "The Witching Hour" and the third is "Taltos". I guess I have to find Taltos a.s.a.p. in order to complete this whole er...journey. Lasher is a Taltos, which is an almost extinct super-human race who lived on a tropical island north of the British Isles, but forced to flee to Scotland, where they established their own kingdom, which was finally overthrown by the Christians. Lasher and the Mayfair witches shared a long history, full with weird mysterious occurrences, including incest and struggle to find their true identity. Lasher was summoned by Suzanne Mayfair, the first Mayfair witch, to help her establish a strong, wealthy family. That fatal decision made her descendants to carry the family legacy/curse of having the "obligation" to conceive Lasher's children (other Taltos). In this novel, Rowan Mayfair, the 13th designee of the Mayfair clan (also the most powerful witch, was kidnapped by Lasher, and her suffering was like....between heaven and hell. The description of her "tortures" was...so enthralling. If you've read Rice's novels, you'll see what I mean, hahaha...This book also introduced to the 14th designee, Mona Mayfair, whom I must say, a very er...courageous little girl. Anyway, what I love about this book is that it provides clearer explanation on the history of the clan itself. I was a bit shocked when I read the part about Julien Mayfair's life story. He is the only male "witch" in the family, yet very powerful and influential. Moreover, as always, Rice uses historical events & real people to decorate her story on how Lasher came into being and the journey of Mayfair witches in dealing with this sensual demonic character. And I thank God because Rice did not put her (in)famous Lestat de Lioncourt in this novel. I do not really like when she mixed her vampires with the Mayfair witches. It is just too much. I guess I won't be reading "Blood Canticle" then.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Reynolds

    Boy was this a letdown after reading The Witching Hour. It was really long and drawn out. I felt like the entire book was just two very long rehashings of the first story with a couple of blanks filled in. It was almost like re-reading the first book and became quite tedious at times. I guess it was important to develop the character of Lasher, but I think it could have been done effectively by just adding another chapter or two to the already long first book. I haven't read the Queen of the Dam Boy was this a letdown after reading The Witching Hour. It was really long and drawn out. I felt like the entire book was just two very long rehashings of the first story with a couple of blanks filled in. It was almost like re-reading the first book and became quite tedious at times. I guess it was important to develop the character of Lasher, but I think it could have been done effectively by just adding another chapter or two to the already long first book. I haven't read the Queen of the Damned yet, but my feeling was that this book was the filler book until she could come up with a plot for the third book. I liked hearing Lasher's story, Julien's story could have been pared down alot. Way too much repetition from the first book. I'm also a bit disturbed by Anne Rice's apparent obsession with kinky and illegal sex (with minors) It's an obvious theme in both books so far and would make me wary of leaving my children alone with her. I don't think it is necessary to write about sexual encounters with children - I don't care if they are witches. It didn't add anything to the story. I think I would have been more impressed if Lasher treated them with kindness as children therefore encouraging loyalty. That part was a little too sordid for me. I'm going to give it a break for a while before I read the last book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cody | CodysBookshelf

    The follow-up to The Witching Hour, 1993’s Lasher, continues the masterful world-building of that precious volume while fully standing on its own: it is a cold, horrifying treat filled to the brim with Anne Rice’s signature gothic, sensual overtones. The daemon that is Lasher — He who has bestowed wealth and punishment upon the Mayfair clan for centuries — wants nothing more than to reproduce, but it has been a challenge. In Rowan, the most powerful Mayfair witch yet and current keeper of the an The follow-up to The Witching Hour, 1993’s Lasher, continues the masterful world-building of that precious volume while fully standing on its own: it is a cold, horrifying treat filled to the brim with Anne Rice’s signature gothic, sensual overtones. The daemon that is Lasher — He who has bestowed wealth and punishment upon the Mayfair clan for centuries — wants nothing more than to reproduce, but it has been a challenge. In Rowan, the most powerful Mayfair witch yet and current keeper of the ancestry, He has found his vessel, the would-be bearer of his spawn. And He will force her to keep trying, if attempts prove unsuccessful — no matter the cost. Though this book did not immediately grab me, unlike its predecessor, I did soon fall into its groove and could not put it down. As is Rice’s way, I was spellbound by her luscious prose, the unfolding, understated horrors; I was once more captured by the Mayfair family history (and future). This a more than worthy follow-up to the first novel in the Mayfair Witches trilogy, and I will soon read the finale.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joey

    This book kind of surprised me. As I wrote in my review for The Witching Hour, I really loved THAT book as a young adult (13-15 I'd guess), and had for many years after considered it one of my favorite novels ever written. However, re-reading it at age 31 revealed a number of fatal flaws that I could not get over. I was not expecting much from Lasher by consequence, as I read it as a young adult too, though I do not believe I ever finished it. Imagine my surprise when I re-read it and found Lash This book kind of surprised me. As I wrote in my review for The Witching Hour, I really loved THAT book as a young adult (13-15 I'd guess), and had for many years after considered it one of my favorite novels ever written. However, re-reading it at age 31 revealed a number of fatal flaws that I could not get over. I was not expecting much from Lasher by consequence, as I read it as a young adult too, though I do not believe I ever finished it. Imagine my surprise when I re-read it and found Lasher to be more compelling than the first novel in the series. Now this does not mean the book doesn't have its flaws. I find it hilarious the way one of the protagonists (Mona Mayfair) talks about her computer; it's obvious that the author sat down for a five minute conversation (in the 90s) with someone who knew computers and simply copied his interview words into her book. She is painfully inexperienced with computers and it's obvious from the dialogue she creates for her tech-savvy savant, who says ludicrous things like "I'm going to boot up my directory," and "it has max hard drive and max memory." Mona presents other problems for me as a protagonist as well. She is supposed to be this genius of a thirteen year old, but it's obvious that she's being used as a voice through which the author's own idealized personality and opinions are expressed; what ends up happening (to me, anyway) is that when Mona (a thirteen year old girl) starts waxing haughtily about the failure of modern architecture as compared to ancient, or about how she hates modern music or modern culture or modern clothing, all I can envision is a stunted version of Anne Rice, looking tired and old, spouting these things herself. The idealization of author-as-protagonist-Mona is also apparently intended to make it easier for us to condone the rampant paedophilia that goes on throughout this book, mostly in relation to Mona herself. A character that was so faultless, who was literally "too good" (as the first book repeated numerous times over its hundreds of pages) cannot help himself but to fall dick-first into a thirteen year old girl because she kissed him on the lips. He expresses some MILD concern that he's just raped a child, presumably so that we know he's still all moral and junk, and then he promptly rapes her again and again, because clearly thirteen-year-old vagina is much like heroin in that one taste is all you need to be hooked. This character, by the way, is about 50 years old if I remember right. And we're supposed to just wink and say "Oh those Mayfairs," as he repeatedly rapes his niece in his marriage bed shortly after his own wife has been abducted. And then there are other characters that have sexual encounters with Mona, including Randall, an ancient and elderly old Mayfair whom we are supposed to believe was a poor victim in an act of seduction initiated by this precocious thirteen-year-old girl. Poor Randall didn't stand a chance, because this CHILD vixen, this inescapable Anne-Rice-as-an-early-teen Lolita decided she wanted to sleep with an old man and of course men are not able to resist the sexiness of a pre-teen. Then there's Yuri, who is described as in his early twenties perhaps, and as soon as he sees Mona he wants to tear off her clothes even though she's a baby; the same is true of her cousin Pierce, in his twenties as well, who cannot bring himself to stop staring at Mona's thirteen-year-old legs WITHIN HOURS of his own mother's brutal murder. It's a normalization of paedophilia that kind of bothers me; it seems that the author believes that all men are secretly attracted to pre-pubescent girls, and that all pre-pubescent girls are just raging sluts, and sexualizing them causes no harm at all. It makes me shudder whenever it comes up, which is disturbingly often. Also, the end of the book is absolutely absurd. Making historical connections to incredibly famous kings and queens, Rice jumped the shark with her main character Lasher. I don't want to give any spoilers, but when it came time that he revealed his origins (again in Rice's typical, boring thirty-pages-of-expositional-monologue style) I rolled my eyes so hard that I think I strained them. Not very highly recommended really, but better than The Witching Hour.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Penelope Douglas

    Can't rate this one, since I'm still weirded out I buddy-read it with my father. *ahem* Lots of sex in this one. On to Taltos. ALONE this time! Can't rate this one, since I'm still weirded out I buddy-read it with my father. *ahem* Lots of sex in this one. On to Taltos. ALONE this time!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Smith

    This is the worst book I have ever read. If you are considering reading this book, please do not read it. I will never ever get those hours of my life back again- please do not waste yours! I would honestly rather gouge my own eyes out with a rusty fork than read this again. My husband read the book before me, hated it, but mischievously encouraged me to read it even though he knew I would hate it, as some sort of psychological test of endurance. I have never forgiven him for this. If you think t This is the worst book I have ever read. If you are considering reading this book, please do not read it. I will never ever get those hours of my life back again- please do not waste yours! I would honestly rather gouge my own eyes out with a rusty fork than read this again. My husband read the book before me, hated it, but mischievously encouraged me to read it even though he knew I would hate it, as some sort of psychological test of endurance. I have never forgiven him for this. If you think that all sounds rather melodramatic I don't blame you, but Lasher really is that bad. I have never read an Anne Rice book before, and quite honestly if Lasher is typical of her output then I am at a loss to understand how she is so popular. I would like to assume that Lasher is atypical though. The plot (well, what plot there is) is ludicrous. Now obviously Anne Rice specialises in a genre that isn't exactly ground in realism, so I was willing to overlook the notion of a family ghost (the eponymous Lasher), and even the idea that various family members would regularly have sex with said ghost, despite the physical impossibility of an actual human being and a supernatural being being able to do so. However, the book is poorly-written miss-mash of miscarriages, deaths, and historical detours that never actually seems to go anywhere. It's far too long. There are too many pointless, meandering descriptions of stuff that isn't anything to do with the plot (or perhaps they are in there to distract from the utterly nonsensical plot. The incest/underage sex subplots are ridiculous. I mean, I know they're witches and all, but really, a 13 year old girl has sex with an 80 year old granduncle and no-one bats an eye? Really? Even if she did 'seduce' him? I read afterwards that Anne Rice had a very strict Catholic upbringing, and the overabundance of pseudo-risque sex makes a little sense in that it seems like she is still rebelling against that upbringing. However, I think an adult would be a bit past that though- there's nothing wrong with sex, but the way Anne Rice writes about it come across as a sniggering 12 year old boy going: 'Look everyone- sex! No, look, sex! SEX!!! SEX!!! SEEEEEX!!!!' Looking back, I should have given up when my instincts told me to about 100 pages in. Instead, I persevered, thinking it had to get going some time. I was wrong. It never gets going. Also, my husband (see above) kept saying stuff like 'Oh, no, you just haven't got to the good part yet, it starts to get really good!'. The lying scoundrel. i don't know what happens in at the end though because I eventually gave up with about 100 pages to go (only then did my husband finally admit he thought it was a s*** book too). I reiterate: this is the worst book ever. I have only given it one star because I cannot give it none.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leontine

    !!WARNING!! This review can contain spoilers if you haven't read The Witching Hour!! In Lasher, Anne Rice immediately picks up where she left me in The Witching Hour. The first half of the story there are lots of events rapidly following each other. Of course things happen which are dark, which stretch the boundaries and speak of untold mysteries. Especially the erotic encounter between Michael and teenager Mona may go against the grain for some readers. The storytelling holds this fusion of dis !!WARNING!! This review can contain spoilers if you haven't read The Witching Hour!! In Lasher, Anne Rice immediately picks up where she left me in The Witching Hour. The first half of the story there are lots of events rapidly following each other. Of course things happen which are dark, which stretch the boundaries and speak of untold mysteries. Especially the erotic encounter between Michael and teenager Mona may go against the grain for some readers. The storytelling holds this fusion of distinctive, edgy characters in a strange situation that defies logic, which is all happening against the lush setting of New Orleans that ensnares me so. The vibe Anne Rice creates is unlike anything I have ever read! Michael, Rowan, Aaron, Lasher, Mona all come alive via this authors voice. I may not always understand their actions, I may not always agree with them but the affect me nonetheless. As the title of this episode suggest the focus is on Lasher. Not only did I get his present but I also got his past. While he may have held me between love and hate for his persona in The Witching Hour, he has tipped that scale to hate in his own story. Even when he relays his own past he fails to redeem himself. And believe me, Anne Rice gradually laid all of him bare for me to take in. Weighing his past, his present, his feeling and his actions. But his actions are so self-served. The contempt Lasher shows for life and for the Mayfairs, the very people he claims to love and serve, is despicable. He uses them as he sees fit and it made him an SOB of the first order! I could only take in the strife and anguish he rained down on the Mayfairs in the hope he would get his comeuppance. He was truly one of those formidable adversary who makes me cheer for the other side. Anne Rice keeps adding or deepening the backstory of the main cameo of characters. Especially all powerful Mayfair, Julien, has an important role to play. His life intrigued me so in The Mayfair Hour but it wasn't told in depth until now. Satisfying my everlasting curiosity. In the second half of the story she peels away layers of mystery and secrets in a more languid pace of storytelling. It weaves its own kind of magic with rich settings, various time periods and again the mesmerizing characters. The mythology behind this second story in The Mayfair Trilogy speaks to my imagination. I love Celtic lore and though I don't know if it is based on an actual lore, Anne Rice makes me believe it is so. The Mayfair family have a lot to deal with but they also discover some truths about their own lineage. Michael, the tragic hero was a true Irish bleeding heart. His convictions and his love for Rowan burns fierce, even if he has his weak moment. I wanted him to succeed, to be reunited again because faults and all, he is a man who is the veritable rock in the ocean. I thought he could weather it all and through sheer tenacity could achieve his hearts desires. All the other characters tribute to Michael and Rowan's journey in one way or another. Even when Mona becomes a key characters in the future storyline, even with other Mayfair women paying a steep price, it is Michael and Rowan's love for each other that becomes a shining beacon amidst all the hurt, darkness and power play. Lasher has quite a plan and part of the suspense is; will he succeed or not? There are three big parties involved, namely Lasher himself, the Talamsca and the Mayfairs. Each has an own agenda and wants to find out certain truths. And if they get in the way of one another, well violence is also a part of Anne Rice's storytelling. Casualties will fall but it only got me more emotionally invested and rooting for various characters. The Talamasca, for all that I knew about them, there was so much more I didn't! They definitely triggered my conspiracy button and I never trust them further then I can see them. They are just as much an integral part as the Mayfairs and Lasher but only till the end truths were revealed that shed a different light on the Talamasca. I may not like it but it gives fuel for thought and probably story # 3; Taltos. With Lasher, Anne Rice gave me an attention grabbing story that takes me even deeper in to the world of the Mayfairs. It may not have made me eat, sleep and breathe the story like The Witching Hour did but it was a worthy successor!

  8. 4 out of 5

    RNOCEAN

    So stunningly bad is the first third of this book that only the lunatic and the true devotee are likely to get beyond it. It is actually a riot of Rice's worst sins: strained and wooden characterizations, the abandonment of plot for the sake of a tangled and murky history, and a sort of mutant prose stumbling between a modern person's idea of old-fashioned elegance and an old-fashioned person's idea of how people actually talk in the 1990s. Part of the purpose of this 200-page cancer is to make So stunningly bad is the first third of this book that only the lunatic and the true devotee are likely to get beyond it. It is actually a riot of Rice's worst sins: strained and wooden characterizations, the abandonment of plot for the sake of a tangled and murky history, and a sort of mutant prose stumbling between a modern person's idea of old-fashioned elegance and an old-fashioned person's idea of how people actually talk in the 1990s. Part of the purpose of this 200-page cancer is to make the transition from the novel's progenitor, The Witching Hour (1990), but this could have been accomplished in 10 or 15 pages. Well, let's say you made it through. What you get now is the best of Rice: a deliciously perverse image of an infant, Lasher, who grows to sexual maturity within days of his birth and immediately starts copulating with his mother even while she swoons with the pleasure of his suckling. Of course, it's always nice to read about sex, and Rice's romantic imagination doesn't let her down: Lasher is dark, handsome, sadistic, childlike, and tender. His mother cannot resist him even after she has twice miscarried in the space of three months. But Rice cannot quite bring home the promising story of Lasher's desire to repopulate the earth with his own kind, and the story limps to an unsatisfying conclusion. By the end, then, we've had a bit of everything: the good, the bad, and the truly ugly. Indeed, without her reputation, Rice would never have found a publisher for this wretched mess. ***Rate this 3 out of 5 by comparing it to The Witching Hour. Too much in depth on backgrounds of the characters, including Lasher. However, I will continue to read her books as they are so well-written and entertaining.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    My hatred of this book knows no bounds.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    Oh Anne, I wanted to love your Mayfair witches so very much but I just can't. We pick up right where The Witching Hour left us. Running after Rowan and piecing together an extencive family history from every possible angle. On and on we trudge, listening to Julian then Little Mona even Lasher himself. So many stories about the same events from different points of view. I almost shelved this as DNF when reading about Mona. I didn't finnish Lolita because I don't like reading about pre teen (yes she Oh Anne, I wanted to love your Mayfair witches so very much but I just can't. We pick up right where The Witching Hour left us. Running after Rowan and piecing together an extencive family history from every possible angle. On and on we trudge, listening to Julian then Little Mona even Lasher himself. So many stories about the same events from different points of view. I almost shelved this as DNF when reading about Mona. I didn't finnish Lolita because I don't like reading about pre teen (yes she was 13 but still) sexuality. It is just ~yick~ to me. The story of Lasher and Rowan also had me making ~icky~ faces. He calls her 'Mother' all the time and then swaps between beating her to 'loving' her to acting like a baby. I do love Anne's passion for the South. The sounds, the sights and the feelings that you get just walking to the flower shop on the corner. The way the warm nights call to you, enticing you to play under the stars and dance in the streets. That is what keeps me reading. This will be my last visit to the Mayfairs. I will not enter the house again and wander the rooms. I am off to other adventures. My questions have been answered to my satisfaction and I have no desire to learn any more about the Taltos.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    I'm a huge fan of Anne Rice, and loved The Witching Hour along with many of her other books, but for some reason had never gotten around to reading Lasher. When I first started it, I was fully absorbed. I love Rice's detailed and luscious writing style, and her ability to create fully fleshed-out, interesting characters. These are some of this book's best elements, along with a additions to the Mayfair history in the back stories of Julian and Evelyn, and new, engaging characters like Mona and Y I'm a huge fan of Anne Rice, and loved The Witching Hour along with many of her other books, but for some reason had never gotten around to reading Lasher. When I first started it, I was fully absorbed. I love Rice's detailed and luscious writing style, and her ability to create fully fleshed-out, interesting characters. These are some of this book's best elements, along with a additions to the Mayfair history in the back stories of Julian and Evelyn, and new, engaging characters like Mona and Yuri. In pieces, this is a great book, but unfortunately, the parts never really come together. The pacing becomes awkward and slow, and the story's best characters don't get enough page time. The book took me forever to finish, because I would get bored, and after putting it down would not go back to it for several days. Most of all, the title character, Lasher, as he develops to show his true flaws, fostered a deep loathing in me, despite his sympathetic characteristics, and I became overly anxious for him to meet his end. When his back story is finally revealed, it should have been a dramatic moment, because his story is the great mystery that the saga of the Mayfair witches is founded on, but I found myself not caring at all. I wish this was a better book since it has so many great elements, and the writing, as usual for Rice, is beautiful, but because of the poor pacing it was a rather tedious read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Barrett

    Having just finished 'The Witching Hour' I found myself still liking the novel, but it didn't impact me the way it did the first time I read it. I even understood the extensive details and character development for its set-up to the series. In the case of this second book of the series, not so much. This was detail and development overload. I can only imagine what it would be like to see a ghost, or to actually hear one speak, but what I can't seriously imagine is someone nonchalantly sitting by Having just finished 'The Witching Hour' I found myself still liking the novel, but it didn't impact me the way it did the first time I read it. I even understood the extensive details and character development for its set-up to the series. In the case of this second book of the series, not so much. This was detail and development overload. I can only imagine what it would be like to see a ghost, or to actually hear one speak, but what I can't seriously imagine is someone nonchalantly sitting by while a ghost spends 4 hours relaying their past life story... especially when the ghost sounds like a whiny bitch. I've read about 20 of Rice's novels, and though I was smitten with her work in the beginning, there is one pattern with her writing that I have noticed and one which has really turned me off; most of her characters are whiny bitches. And by 'whiny bitches' I am mostly referring to the male characters in her stories. I will complete the series with 'Taltos' but I don't think I can handle any more of Rice for awhile. As it is, I feel like Don Corleone wanting to slap the weeping Johnny Fontaine and tell him to act like a fucking man! Or like Mona Mayfair! Sheesh, she's only 13 years old, but she's the toughest character in the whole story. This book is dead without her.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Utterly mesmerising from start to finish (to the point that I actually took a day off work just to read it!), and brings yet more depth and complexity to the series than I previously thought possible. The writing is absolutely spellbinding, and never more so than throughout the stories recounted by Julien and Lasher - both two characters whom I had previously thought of as unsympathetic, depraved and sinister, though seductive (when seen through the file on the witches compiled by the Talamasca i Utterly mesmerising from start to finish (to the point that I actually took a day off work just to read it!), and brings yet more depth and complexity to the series than I previously thought possible. The writing is absolutely spellbinding, and never more so than throughout the stories recounted by Julien and Lasher - both two characters whom I had previously thought of as unsympathetic, depraved and sinister, though seductive (when seen through the file on the witches compiled by the Talamasca in the first book). Through these stories my ideas of both of them changed completely - Julien suddenly became courageous, clever and all too human, whilst Lasher was an innocent monster. My ideas of the Talamasca went through a transformation too - no longer an institution of harmless old scholars but something altogether more mysterious and possibly dangerous. Full of vivid characters (the two above, along with Emaleth and Mona in particular), a real sense of place and a boat-load of tension (I kept having to put the book down to catch my breath), I can't wait to read the final part of the trilogy. I've definitely become a bit of an Anne Rice superfan, so thanks Jade for recommending!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    In my opinion this was the weakest book in the series. I HATED Lasher, the immortal idiot who never seems to learn, or care, about his mistakes. And I was still so mad about what Rowan did at the end of the first book that I found it hard to sympathise with what Lasher puts her through (Hard, but not impossible. Rowan has it ROUGH through most of this book). Mona is an odd character, fun to read but difficult for me to like since she skates the fine edge between precocious free-spirit and self-e In my opinion this was the weakest book in the series. I HATED Lasher, the immortal idiot who never seems to learn, or care, about his mistakes. And I was still so mad about what Rowan did at the end of the first book that I found it hard to sympathise with what Lasher puts her through (Hard, but not impossible. Rowan has it ROUGH through most of this book). Mona is an odd character, fun to read but difficult for me to like since she skates the fine edge between precocious free-spirit and self-entitled sex addict. There's more history of the Mayfair witches scattered throughout this book; these are usually my favorite parts, but I was so bored or annoyed with the rest of the book that I can't really remember anything else. I'm glad I read this, but for my money you could get the same effect from reading the first and the last in the trillogy, and just skimming a summary of the second.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    The second in the series of Mayfair Witches, this is another solid offering from Gothic Mistress Anne Rice. There are many characters and personalities that make up the charismatic and trouble Mayfair family - sometimes too many to keep them all straight, but each of the family members is fully fleshed out - there are no throw-aways. A chilling, terrifying and at times erotic tale of the lust for revenge, power, and above all - love.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    OK.. WEIRD, story line is unlike anything I've ever read. But I loved it! The story was so unusual, had me eager to turn the page. Not for the faint of heart, but entertainment value truly high up on the scale. OK.. WEIRD, story line is unlike anything I've ever read. But I loved it! The story was so unusual, had me eager to turn the page. Not for the faint of heart, but entertainment value truly high up on the scale.

  17. 5 out of 5

    11811 (Eleven)

    My favorite demon next to Captain Howdy. Looking forward to book three.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel

    Within the first hundred pages, you know if you are willing to read the rest of this book. You know that you have entered a whole new realm, one that is much removed from the characters and love and themes and hopes of The Witching Hour. Within those hundred pages, you begin to feel the darkness seeping out of each printed word, flowing over your hands and onto your lap. Whether you embrace this change or not determines whether you finish this book or not. I gave it a chance. I allowed the author Within the first hundred pages, you know if you are willing to read the rest of this book. You know that you have entered a whole new realm, one that is much removed from the characters and love and themes and hopes of The Witching Hour. Within those hundred pages, you begin to feel the darkness seeping out of each printed word, flowing over your hands and onto your lap. Whether you embrace this change or not determines whether you finish this book or not. I gave it a chance. I allowed the author to have her way with the characters she had created. I watched as she destroyed them piece by piece and all they stood for. In true Anne Rice fashion, we lose sight of who is evil and who is good. The story is relayed ... the true story. Who is Lasher? Who are The Talamasca? What part does Michael really have to play in this? Is Oncle Julien really a Mayfair Witch? Yes, Anne Rice plays with all of these questions and, if you are willing to let go of the wonders that the first book held as truth, you can find joy in the pitch black of this book. If love was the theme of The Witching Hour then darkness - maybe even hatred and revenge - rules this book. The story of the estranged Mayfairs is one such example (one that doesn't act as a huge spoiler, thus I bring it forth as an example). It appears that the Mayfairs had splintered their family when Julien shot his (given how intricate the bloodlines are here, I'm going to bypass what specific family member he was) "family member" and that man's family went off to live on Amelia Street. The grudge they held becomes a factor in one of the many subplots and creates one of the subtle conflicts that peppers this novel. Yes, the grudge and the hatred and revenge that created it is stronger than the (possible) redemption for the family. The redemption that seemed so obvious in the last book, now rejected here. I still stand behind the first of the trilogy. It is an excellent read on its own. This book is for a specific crowd, one that doesn't mind reading how Anne Rice deals with the death of her daughter (VERY clear subtext throughout this book) and the darkness and misery she [must have?:] fought. Readers, you know if you are willing to let someone destroy the characters you came to love so much. Think of this book as the "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" movie companion to The Witching Hour's "Twin Peaks" the series and you have a good idea of what to expect. For some, we enjoy the added dimension. But I won't say that I don't miss the innocence of the first novel.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Osborn

    What can't I say about Anne Rice. Another great novel. This is the second book in the Witching Hour series. We now get more indepth detail into the spirit known as Lasher. The first book Witching Hour leaves off on christmas day when Michael and Rowan Mayfair gets married. The demon Lasher runs off with Rowan. Lasher is wanting to interbreed between the family of witches so that he can become stronger and become flesh. He breeds on Rowan and they both have a child. The first part of this book is What can't I say about Anne Rice. Another great novel. This is the second book in the Witching Hour series. We now get more indepth detail into the spirit known as Lasher. The first book Witching Hour leaves off on christmas day when Michael and Rowan Mayfair gets married. The demon Lasher runs off with Rowan. Lasher is wanting to interbreed between the family of witches so that he can become stronger and become flesh. He breeds on Rowan and they both have a child. The first part of this book is long and is about finding Michael Curry's wife Rowan. In the middle part of the book we finally get a detailed version of what happened on Christmas Day. Rowan is found in a coma and eventually comes out of it and all is well. There is more that happens in the book but I don't want to spoil it. Does Lasher continue on in flesh or does he get killed? I guess you'll have to read it to find that answer out.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jude Arnold

    This review is of the 1993 edition by Ballentine International and has a woman's body wrapped in a sheer sheet on the cover. OMG! Wow! Thank you Anne Rice for Lasher! Anne Rice is my favorite female author, for sure. And she lives. And I watch videos of her, so I feel like I “know” her. I have total respect for her. She fascinates me. Now talk about writing good and evil; she’s the best. Do I ever wish I could write like she does! I’m a huge fan. I started reading her Lasher on Thursday and just fi This review is of the 1993 edition by Ballentine International and has a woman's body wrapped in a sheer sheet on the cover. OMG! Wow! Thank you Anne Rice for Lasher! Anne Rice is my favorite female author, for sure. And she lives. And I watch videos of her, so I feel like I “know” her. I have total respect for her. She fascinates me. Now talk about writing good and evil; she’s the best. Do I ever wish I could write like she does! I’m a huge fan. I started reading her Lasher on Thursday and just finished it on Sunday. It’s a small, fat paperback of 628 pages. I needed a “retreat” and I got one; it got my mind off myself, it did! Lasher is the sequel to The Witching Hour, Anne Rice’s grand tale of the Mayfair family. It is both “Seductive magic…Spellbinding” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “Compelling…Wickedly irresistible” (The Washington Post.) It’s also everything I expect from an Anne Rice read; totally entertaining, plenty of beautiful, divine feminine energy, plenty of sexy devils and thought provoking questions. Anne Rice is really quite a historian; her stories always have some basis in reality. Lasher gets in to the religious wars in ancient Europe between Pagans, Little People and races of non-human beings, Catholics and Protestants. We travel around the world from the West Indies, to New Orleans, California, New York, and on to Scotland, Ireland and Amsterdam. Some of the interesting moral and ethical dilemmas, Anne Rice touches on have everything to do with our current political situation of non-separation of church and state. Are there ever situations where euthanasia, abortion and murder are good? How do we care for people who do not have a conscience, who do evil, or who are mentally ill? Do scholars and scientists have any social responsibilities? What about cloning, GMOs and stem cell research? Could the Sufi’s have it right? Is there no difference between God and Devil, good and evil? Is Allah actually the creator of the harmful and evil, as well as the creator of good and beneficial? Is life really all a test until the final exam when one inhales one’s last breath?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Sworen

    The novel Lasher came out in 1993 and it is the second installment in the series known as Lives of the Mayfair Witches. The book basically explains what happened to Rowan Mayfair after she left the House on First Street in New Orleans with her titular son (if one might call him that way) and how her husband Michael Curry – together with the rest of the Mayfair family and some people from the Talamasca Order – tries to find her. As was the case with The Witching Hour, Anne Rice’s writing is elegant The novel Lasher came out in 1993 and it is the second installment in the series known as Lives of the Mayfair Witches. The book basically explains what happened to Rowan Mayfair after she left the House on First Street in New Orleans with her titular son (if one might call him that way) and how her husband Michael Curry – together with the rest of the Mayfair family and some people from the Talamasca Order – tries to find her. As was the case with The Witching Hour, Anne Rice’s writing is elegant and compelling, reflecting a more classical style, rather than the direct and unadorned style we see so much of in more popular books nowadays, and that’s why it felt so satisfying and refreshing. What I also loved about Lasher was the fact that, besides the horror and the erotica, it included an attempt to explain what the antagonist was in a bit of a scientific manner, and that made the book read like a mixture of Barker and Preston/Child, all of whom I, as a reader, greatly admire. What I didn’t like was the fact that the stories of Julien and Lasher, although interesting and insightful, dragged on quite a bit, but that’s probably just me trying to find something to hate here because it is a good book, after all! Especially because right after Lasher’s story comes the ending, which gave me a sense of a final resolution to the conflict that kind of lacked in the first book of the series, in my estimation. A worthy sequel to an amazing novel. I was surely not let down!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    The beginning of this novel left me with some confusion over how much time had passed since the end of The Witching Hour. Lasher does in fact pickup right were The Witching Hour ends. This confusion originated because one minor character in the first book was continually referred to as a "little girl"; However in the second book she plays a bigger role and is a teenager. After the first few chapters it became clear why the initial thoughts were of a little girl in the first book. I will let you The beginning of this novel left me with some confusion over how much time had passed since the end of The Witching Hour. Lasher does in fact pickup right were The Witching Hour ends. This confusion originated because one minor character in the first book was continually referred to as a "little girl"; However in the second book she plays a bigger role and is a teenager. After the first few chapters it became clear why the initial thoughts were of a little girl in the first book. I will let you read to find this for yourself. If you are looking into reading this book, hopefully you have already read or are reading the first in the series. Then you should already be aware of what Lasher is and the involvement with the Mayfair family. Further details are discovered about the family history through old family members, past & present. There are also more insights into The Talamasca where we find out that they are not exactly what they seem. I found this book was not quite as gripping as the first, however it was not a disappointing read. It did leave me wanting to continue to the third and final book in the series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Lehto

    After reading the Witching Hour, I was prepared to be highly let down by this book. I was pleasantly surprised after I got through the first few chapters and found it hard to put the book down. Some sections of the book I found more exciting than others. Like the Witching Hour, there was several sections of background. While interesting at times, I feel that some of the description was needlessly long. This was especially true when it came to Lasher's story, it felt like the background descripti After reading the Witching Hour, I was prepared to be highly let down by this book. I was pleasantly surprised after I got through the first few chapters and found it hard to put the book down. Some sections of the book I found more exciting than others. Like the Witching Hour, there was several sections of background. While interesting at times, I feel that some of the description was needlessly long. This was especially true when it came to Lasher's story, it felt like the background descriptions were so long that when something finally started to happen it was over far too soon. That being said, I found the plot compelling and exciting, and I can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina Rutter

    I had meant to review this book right after I finished reading it but didn't have a chance to because I've been so busy, and of course I'm already well into the next book Taltos! I love the Mayfair Witches, and am really excited to get to the next book which will tie The Vampire Chronicles and this series together!!! Two of my favorite series in one book, this is going to be amazing!!! Unlike most people I didn't read these books years ago when they first came out so this is all new to me, and I I had meant to review this book right after I finished reading it but didn't have a chance to because I've been so busy, and of course I'm already well into the next book Taltos! I love the Mayfair Witches, and am really excited to get to the next book which will tie The Vampire Chronicles and this series together!!! Two of my favorite series in one book, this is going to be amazing!!! Unlike most people I didn't read these books years ago when they first came out so this is all new to me, and I get to enjoy it now! I find it pretty amazing that when I take up the series (The Vampire Chronicles) Anne Rice starts writing for it again, I'm very happy about that. If you're someone like me that maybe still hasn't read these don't keep missing out!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dorian Jandreau

    An incredible masterpiece as always. A stunning story you cannot put down so easily. I loved every single page of this book. It took me into it's own world and locked forever. It's hard to write this review since I just finished reading and my feelings are still fresh. It is incredible talent to create such thrilling story. What else can I say? It made me think of many things in life: life, death, birth, love, hate... It inspired me a lot. An incredible masterpiece as always. A stunning story you cannot put down so easily. I loved every single page of this book. It took me into it's own world and locked forever. It's hard to write this review since I just finished reading and my feelings are still fresh. It is incredible talent to create such thrilling story. What else can I say? It made me think of many things in life: life, death, birth, love, hate... It inspired me a lot.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nikki Moorehead

    Much better than book one. Still took me like a month to read. I don't know why these books take me forever! I would recommend this series if you have a lot of time on your hands. Much better than book one. Still took me like a month to read. I don't know why these books take me forever! I would recommend this series if you have a lot of time on your hands.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    I love Anne Rice's writing, the ending of Lasher was perfect and it wants you to start Taltos even more than before! I love Anne Rice's writing, the ending of Lasher was perfect and it wants you to start Taltos even more than before!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alex Ankarr

    Woah like bonkers dudie! So very, very bonkers. Time for a re-read!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bailey

    (Warning: this book, therefore my review, contains graphic and violent action towards women. Violence, rape, incest, statutory rape and horror to do with childbirth and miscarriage. Be warned.) This is the worst book I have ever read. No exaggerating, no humour. I am appalled. Where to start. Every single character in this book is irredemable. Even Michael the only character I liked in the first novel has been reduced into a horrible person, cheating on his wife due to having been seduced by and (Warning: this book, therefore my review, contains graphic and violent action towards women. Violence, rape, incest, statutory rape and horror to do with childbirth and miscarriage. Be warned.) This is the worst book I have ever read. No exaggerating, no humour. I am appalled. Where to start. Every single character in this book is irredemable. Even Michael the only character I liked in the first novel has been reduced into a horrible person, cheating on his wife due to having been seduced by and repeatedly having sex with a THIRTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL. The child in question, Mona is no saint either, being incestuous as well. Poor Rowan, who did the least wrong here. Having sex with a ghost is nothing compared to this books plot. In the previous book, the spirit Lasher killed her unborn baby and crawled inside her to be reborn in the fetus' body. You then find out hes a freaky humanoid baby thing called a Taltos. They drink milk from a breast into adulthood, so it was disturbing having the full grown Lasher facial hair and all breastfeed on an unconsenting Rowan and have it described as sexual. Oh, and the main plot of the story is Lasher having sex with every female member of Rowans family in an attempt to create a female of his species. But he ends up killing every woman brutally via vaginal hemorrhage or miscarriage. He kills at least five woman violently this way. AND ANNE RICE HAS THE AUDACTIY TO TRY TO MAKE HIM SYMPATHETIC Thats not all this monster does. He kidnaps and brutally tortues Rowan, not letting her eat for days and tying her up to the bed. He repeatedly rapes her trying to impregnate her and she suffers from many miscarriages because of it, it almsot kills her. When this happens Lasher beats her horribly. He finally impregnates her (while unconscious) and forces her to have his kid, a female of his species. Her birth almost kills Rowan. Lasher tells his story about being alive in Medieval times or some shit and how he was religious and viewed as a saint to Micheal, Rowans husband. And luckily he isn't immediately charmed by the "special little sympathetic and fascinating and religious creature" that Anne is trying to portray him as. Even Michaels colleuges refuse let him murder the demon at first cause they think hes too historically or scientifically important. SCREW YOU GUYS. Michael killing Lasher with a hammer was the greatest part of this book and gave me immense joy at seeing the little bastard smashed to bits with a hammer to the fontanel (DID I MENTION TALTOS ARE ESSENTIALLY SEVEN FOOT TALL BABIES. HAHAH GROSS) Never read this book. Even out of morbid curiousity like I did. Burn every copy and scream in terror if its ever brought up to you. One I finish the third in the series "Taltos" I am donating these books to curse another poor innocent victim. I gave it one star because thats the minimum rating you can give. Real rating is NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO/5

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Though not as compelling as its prequel, Lasher is an entertaining read. Again shifting back and forth from past to present, Lasher tells his own story, Julian tells his, and we meet the enchanting present-day Mona. While in "The Witching Hour" the method of telling about past events was unique, the historical documents of the Talamasca, in "Lasher" we are told about the past in narrative fashion from the ghost of Julien, as well as Lasher himself. It's a perfectly acceptable convention, but not Though not as compelling as its prequel, Lasher is an entertaining read. Again shifting back and forth from past to present, Lasher tells his own story, Julian tells his, and we meet the enchanting present-day Mona. While in "The Witching Hour" the method of telling about past events was unique, the historical documents of the Talamasca, in "Lasher" we are told about the past in narrative fashion from the ghost of Julien, as well as Lasher himself. It's a perfectly acceptable convention, but not quite as unique. It was good to get more back-story, although Julien's is more fill-in-the-blank as we know most of that from the first book. What this volume does have over it's predecessor is a much more satisfying ending, one I really didn't see coming, considering the existence of a sequel.

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