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Taltos (1994)

by Anne Rice

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5,579301,616 (3.47)74
The Mayfair witches journey through time to explore an ancient civilization of mysterious origins that finds itself at odds with mortality and immortality, justice and guilt.
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» See also 74 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Taltos by Anne Rice (1996)
  arosoff | Jul 10, 2021 |
hb
  5083mitzi | Mar 20, 2021 |
The final, and in my opinion, weakest of the trilogy. We learn about the history of the Taltos, some annoying new characters arrive on the scene and I have only read this book twice, which means it just wasn't that great. ( )
  Equestrienne | Jan 5, 2021 |
A few years ago, I got back into reading Anne Rice, and found there was huge backlog of books to catch up on. Determined to go through them in order of publication, I picked up with the second stage of the Vampire Chronicles, and then moved on to the Mayfair Witches. These were a trilogy, set in the Louisiana and New Orleans of Lestat, and Louis, and the Talamasca, but with a set of characters completely separate from her universe of bloodsuckers. And as I stated in earlier reviews of THE WITCHING HOUR, and LASHER, I much preferred her tales of the undead to the hot and heavy story of the voluminous Mayfair family, and the “ghost” who had attached itself to them. The soft core eroticism, incest, and border line pedophilia were not really my cup of tea, and it is a testament to Rice’s talents as a storyteller and creator of compelling characters that I hung in there. It’s easy to be drawn in by Rice’s style, which is heavy on detail and mood, and she uses them to their zenith in the Mayfair books. If the pace slackened, which if often did, then the next chapter usually held the promise of something interesting, if only momentarily.

The main problem with TALTOS is that it is so unnecessary after the events of the previous two books which tied up the tale of Michael Curry and Rowan Mayfair, and their relationship with the entity known as Lasher, along with telling us everything we felt we needed to know about the Mayfair family. Yet Rice seems to have not wanted to leave this world behind, so she typed out one more epic elaborating on the mythos she had created. This time around, Rowan and Michael are not center stage, although they do figure in the story. Instead, we get the story of Ashlar, a personage alluded to in the previous books. He is a seven foot tall Taltos, a survivor of an ancient race passing among humans, and of course, at one point he sits down and tells Michael and Rowan his story, which extends back before the beginning of civilization. As I have stated in other reviews, this is where Rice really shines, as she clearly knows how to do research, and more important, she knows what to do with it. We get an interesting take on Britain from the pre Roman era to the coming of Christianity. We also get a look at the Talamasca from the inside, as the plotting of certain members figures in the story; a scene where justice is meted out to the treacherous Marklin and Tommy is right out of Poe, as is as good as Rice gets. Most of the Mayfair clan is absent, except for teenage Mona, a character some readers do not like, and her country cousin, Mary Jane, a welcome addition as I thought the interaction between those two really lit up their chapters.

Unfortunately, none of this comes together for anything close to a satisfying whole. There is no sense of a strong narrative or real plot tension building toward a climax, certain elements are introduced, and then dispensed with long before the final page. The question of whether the Taltos will survive as a species is the main plot point of the story, but it is hardly feels like a compelling one by the final chapters. And I found the climax of the book to be unsatisfying, as it felt as though it were leaving the door open for another sequel. As I understand it, Anne Rice resisted that temptation, and wrote MERRICK, a book that crosses over the Mayfair witches with her vampires. Already have a copy, and it’s on my Too Read pile. ( )
  wb4ever1 | Mar 30, 2020 |
I read this book many years ago and it is still one I find myself thinking of now and then. I remember it as a lighter read than most of the vampire novels (although I loved all that angst as a teen), and one with a unique and very interesting sort of creature. It truly caught my imagination. I'd like to read again as an adult and see how it holds up. ( )
  RobinWebster | Nov 28, 2014 |
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Epigraph
THE GARDEN OF LOVE

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And "Thou shalt not" writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore;

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be;
And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briers my joys and desires.

From Songs of Experience,
William Blake
Dedication
Dedicated with Love
to Stan, Christopher, and Michele Rice,
to John Preston and to Margaret and Stanley Rice, Sr.
First words
It had snowed all day.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Mayfair witches journey through time to explore an ancient civilization of mysterious origins that finds itself at odds with mortality and immortality, justice and guilt.

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Book description
When Ashlar learns that another Taltos has been seen, he is suddenly propelled into the haunting world of the Mayfair family, the New Orleans dynasty of witches forever besieged by ghosts, spirits, and their own dizzying powers. For Ashlar knows this powerful clan is intimately linked to the heritage of the Taltos.

In a swirling universe filled with death and life, corruption and innocence, this mesmerizing novel takes us on a wondrous journey back through the centuries to a civilization half-human, of wholly mysterious origin, at odds with mortality and immortality, justice and guilt. It is an enchanted, hypnotic world that could only come from the imagination of Anne Rice . . .
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