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Lasher by Anne Rice
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Lasher (original 1993; edition 1993)

by Anne Rice

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5,861381,186 (3.56)40
At the center of this dark and compelling tale is Rowan Mayfair, queen of the coven, who must flee from the darkly brutal, yet irresistable demon known as Lasher.
Member:TheCriticalTimes
Title:Lasher
Authors:Anne Rice
Info:Alfred A. Knopf (1993), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Horror

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Lasher by Anne Rice (1993)

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English (36)  Catalan (2)  French (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
In my ongoing effort to get back into Anne Rice, I sat down and read LASHER, the second book in her Mayfair Witches trilogy, and another tome which has sat on my shelf more than a few years. Rice might be an acquired taste – for very good reasons – but I greatly admire her abilities as a story teller and a creator of compelling characters, mainly on the strength of her VAMPIRE CHRONICLES. Having read the first book in the trilogy, THE WITCHING HOUR, and not liking it quite as much as her vampire epics, I picked up LASHER with lower expectations. And I can honestly say that I was not disappointed.

To start off, at just over 600 pages, LASHER, is shorter than the over long THE WITCHING HOUR by a third, and that is a plus. This book centers on the missing Rowan Mayfair, her new husband Michael Curry, and the creature named Lasher, a demon bound to the wealthy Mayfair family of New Orleans for generations, ever since Scotland in the time of Queen Mary. The major portions of this book elaborates upon what we learned in THE WITCHING HOUR, mostly through Rice’s patented set piece where one character sits and listens to another tell a long tale, filled with much detail in the first person POV. Through multiple chapters, the spirit of Uncle Julian, the one male witch in the Mayfair line, tells Michael a story that stretches from ante bellum New Orleans to the 20th Century, which illuminates the family’s dark relationship with Lasher, even as it travels over ground already covered. Then Lasher himself, now flesh and blood again, tells his story, and we learn something of his true origin and nature, that he is a member of an ancient race called the Taltos that inhabited Scotland before the arrival of Christianity. Among their attributes is that they are born fully formed, with an overwhelming desire to mate, but that can only successfully happen with those of a certain genetic type, hence the long history of incest in the Mayfair line. This is where Rice’s talent really shines in her ability to recreate history in absorbing detail, especially in Lasher’s account of a Scotland in the time of Elisabeth the 1st and Mary Queen of Scots, and a country and culture torn apart by a civil war between Protestants and Catholics. The novel’s plot revolves around three entities – the Mayfair family, the Talemasca, and Lasher himself – and what their true motives might be. The novel introduces some new characters, such as Mona Mayfair, a precocious 13 year old designated as the new “witch,” and Ancient Evelyn, another one of the endless elderly Mayfairs who have seen much and knows more.

But the thing about LASHER that most reviewers mention, and what most readers had a problem with, is its sexual content, more to the point, its casual use of rape and underage sex. The worst case of this is when Mona has sex with Michael, who is described as being in his 40’s. It does not matter that he is not in his right mind, and that the girl is attempting to seduce him; this pushes a button with many people, and I don’t begrudge anyone their outrage. Even if, like me, you are willing roll with it for the sake of the story, this passage stops the book cold. As some others have noted, only an author as successful as Rice could have gotten by with this in the 90’s, and I don’t know if it would fly today. She does like her erotica; the inhuman Lasher is often described in words one would use for a lover. I think Rice is deliberately trying to shock people, but more than that, to make the reader feel as if the they have entered a world where the forbidden is commonplace, where the bonds of conventional morality do not hold, especially behind closed doors and in the dark of night, and in this, I think she succeeds.

The climax of LASHER does bring more of a sense of resolution than most second books in a trilogy; a plot thread that I thought would be left dangling for the next book appears to have been neatly snipped off. Yet there is a third book in the trilogy of the Mayfair Witches, titled TALTOS, and I do look forward to reading it just to see how Anne Rice wraps her saga of incest, rape, and ancient super humans. I’m predicting two characters will sit around while one tells the other a long story. ( )
  wb4ever1 | Aug 26, 2019 |
I really enjoyed The Witching Hour and meant to pick this one up and keep going with the series, but I got about halfway through and got distracted by other things and other books (per usual). I will pick this one back up at some point though because I'd like to see how this story ends.
  justagirlwithabook | Aug 2, 2018 |
If you stripped down this novel and eliminated all of the extraneous parts to it (which means you would probably have to cut it in half), Lasher is a pretty good novel. The novel, about a demonic creature who haunts the females of the Mayfair witches in an attempt to have an offspring with them, now has a child with Rowan Mayfair, the matriarch of the Mayfair witches. This follows The Witching Hour in a long-winded saga that seems like it will never end.

The problem is that the novel is horribly overwritten with rambling narratives about the history of the Mayfairs and the Donnelaith clan from Scotland. There is so much material that doesn’t belong in this novel. It’s hard to even boil down what the actual story is at times. This is what has plagued Anne Rice’s writing since about her fifth novel. It seems as if she gets paid by the word at times. It’s still a solid novel that I would recommend if you like Rice’s work.

Carl Alves – author of Blood Street ( )
  Carl_Alves | Mar 21, 2017 |
Wow, is all I have to say! Anne Rice really knows how to get a grip on a reader!
This book introduces you to Mona Mayfair, a 13 year old Mayfair with talents and secrets that could make your head spin. She may look sweet and innocent, but looks can be deceiving!

It then goes into where the last book ended. With Rowan Mayfair on the run and her husband Michael and the family now desperately looking for her. We get to see what exactly happens to Rowan while she is on the run with Lasher. Michael also gets a visit from an unexpected visitor, or ghost to say. And that's when you get to hear Julian's story. And how wanted to learn all he could on the history of Ashler or St. Ashler to try to rid the family of him.

All the while you still hear bits of what is going on with Rowan, and we even get to hear the story of Lasher! What happened to him in the beginning.

And all the while the family is searching for Rowan, there was a sudden spring of deaths of female Mayfairs. Which sent the family in to panic and went into protection mode. The blocked out the Tallmasca, which are not being like their normal polite selves.

When Rowan finally surfaces but is in a coma, the family is still on lock down. But Michael is ready, he has Julian's words to keep him going and his love for Rowan. But when the time comes will he be able to do what is to be done, will Rowan wake? I know all these answers, but definitely don't want to give anything away. But have to say that you will not be disappointed by this book! ( )
  AmandaPete | Jan 31, 2017 |
The novel begins shortly after the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Rowan Mayfair, who only recently was married to contractor Michael Curry. Michael, feeling betrayed by Rowan, has sunk into a depression helped along by the useless drugs prescribed to him after his close-encounter with death.

Along comes the sexually adventurous Mona Mayfair, a thirteen-year-old witch more powerful than Rowan with more lines of descent from Julien than anyone else in the family. She seduces Michael, causing him to snap out of his stupor and renew his vow to find his wife at all costs. He is now convinced that wherever she has gone, she hasn't gone willingly.

And though it was she who dragged Lasher away from the house, she is now a prisoner of the monster she has created. He impregnates her twice, both times ending in miscarriage, and is successful the third time. As he drags her throughout Europe, she manages to send off DNA samples to colleagues in San Francisco, who discover that Lasher is a completely different species, and that Rowan herself has a genetic abnormality, polyploidy, or 92 chromosomes, which may have assisted in Lasher's supernatural birth.

The duo returns to the States, where Lasher sets out to impregnate other female members of the Mayfair family. All attempts are unsuccessful as the women immediately miscarry and hemorrhage to death. Rowan manages to escape Lasher, and after hitchhiking to Louisiana, collapses in a field and gives birth to Emaleth, a female Taltos. Rowan's last words to Emaleth are to find Michael, which she sets out to do, thinking that Rowan has died.

Rowan is found, and is rushed to a hospital, where she is diagnosed as being in toxic shock. An emergency hysterectomy is performed to save her life, eliminating all chances of her ever giving birth again. She is taken home to Michael, where she remains in a coma, though, unbeknownst to all, she is still aware of her surroundings.

Lasher returns to the house to tell Michael and Aaron his story of his past life. Born to Queen Anne of England, the second wife of Henry VIII, and a man from Donnelaith, Lasher is believed to be a saint known as Ashlar, and is quickly taken away by his father to Donnelaith. His father is the son of the Earl of Donnelaith, and from there he is sent to Italy to become a priest. He returns to Scotland after Elizabeth I takes the throne, and is killed there while performing Christmas Mass by followers of the Protestant reformer John Knox. He knows nothing again until Suzanne calls him back into existence.

Michael patiently hears Lasher out, and when his story is complete, Michael wastes no time in killing him and burying him under the great oak in the yard. Soon after, he discovers Emaleth in Rowan's room, feeding her the highly nutritious milk from her breasts. This resuscitates Rowan, but upon seeing Emaleth before her, she panics and screams at Michael to kill her. Michael refuses to, so Rowan grabs a gun and shoots her daughter in the head. Rowan immediately realizes what she's done, and crying for her daughter, insists that she be the one to bury her. She buries Emaleth next to Lasher under the oak.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
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Epigraph
The sow came in with the saddle.
The little pig rocked the cradle.
The dish jumped over the table
To see the pot swallow the ladle.
The spit that stood behind the door
Threw the pudding-stick on the floor.
"Odsplut!" said the gridiron,
"Can't you agree?
I'm the head constable,
Bring them to me!"

MOTHER GOOSE
Soen kom rendende med dukken
Mens grislingen skubbed' til vuggen
Fadet sprang fluks over teen
Og så gryden nedsvælge skeen
Spiddet som stod bag ved døren
Smed en pølsepind efter Far Søren.
"Hold så op," sagde risten,
"Hvad er det for ballade?
Jeg er overbetjent,
I kan få et par flade."

Engelsk børnerim
Dedication
FOR THESE WITH LOVE

Stan Rice, Christopher Rice and John Preston

Vicky Wilson, with thanks always for her courage, her vision, her soul

My godmother and aunt, Patricia O'Brien Harberson, the lady with the loving heart, who carried me to church

AND

in memory of Alice Allen Davisu, my mother's sister, who gave me so very much
Kærligst tilegnet
Stan rice,
Christopher Rice,
og
John Preston

Vicky Preston,
med en tak for
hendes store mod,
hendes storsind, hendes sjæl

Min gudmor og tante
Patricia O'Brien Harberson,
den kærlige hvinde,
som bar mig til døbefonden
og
mindet om min moster
Alice Allen Daviau,
som gav mig så meget
First words
In the beginning was the voice of Father.
I begyndelsen var Fars stemme.
Quotations
When a secret is that big there's nothing to it.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
    "I AM LASHER,"

he said gently, as if trying to protect her from the coarseness of his words. "I am come again, my beautiful one, my Mayfair Witch," Lovely, enunciation, careful yet so rapid. "Flesh and blood now, yes, a man, yes, again, and needing you, my beauty ... cutg me and I bleed. Kiss me and you quicken my passion. Learn for yourself .... "

at the center is the beautiful Rowan Mayfair , Queen of the coven, must flee from the darkly brutal yet irresistible demon known as Lasher. With a dreamlike power, this wickedly seductive entity draws us through twilight paths, telling a chillingly hypnotic ale of spiritual aspirations and passion ...
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