Taltos Mass Market Paperback – Mar 31 1996
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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... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Cutting-edge gene mapping intertwines with ancient mysteries in this continuation of Rice's series of novels about witches and the supernatural. A "taltos" is the superhuman result of the crossbreeding of two human witches who possess an extra chromosome; almost a monster, the creature is capable of beastly behavior fuelled by an extraordinary sex drive. In Lasher , the eponymous offspring of Michael Curry and Rowan Mayfair of the New Orleans Mayfair witch clan proved to be just such a mutant; before he was slain, he repeatedly raped his own mother, siring a little "goblin" daughter, Emaleth. This new novel features a second taltos, also fathered by Curry, but mothered by a 13-year-old sexpot niece of Rowan's named Mona, who is herself the most powerful witch of the Mayfair clan. Other plot elements involve renegade members of the secret order of Talamasca, who want to kidnap and crossbreed two taltoses; a 200-year-old taltos from New York named Ashlar, who is posing as a toy-industry magnate specializing in dolls; and a dwarf called Samuel from the witches' holy glen in Donnelaith, Scotland. Pulsing with a persisent sense of foreboding, the novel is soggy with meandering, atmospheric prose that verges on softcore porn. And, as usual, what happens in the book is clearly less important to the author than the number of chills she can send down readers' spines. She has not lost her touch. 600,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
- Refers to the main character of Chapter 1 as "he" for pages and pages, leaving us mystified as to whether we've met this person before and annoyed at what is even *happening*?
- Inserts two chapters of 80+ pages of info-dump in the first person, even though the book is written in third person omniscient.
- Suddenly "discovers" another Mayfair offspring around Mona's age, conveniently at the time she needs a friend to assist in her crazy. Has Michael, of course, lust after the poor girl because she is, of course, completely deliciously gorgeous and wears a cowboy hat. Does not bring the Michael-lust plot point up ever again.
- Inelegantly explains the Taltos--oh, guys, they weren't what you thought for the thousands of pages of the last books--making me more confused and annoyed at what the heck the purpose of the last two books was.
And those are just the big ones.
All I can say is, thank you, Anne Rice, for teaching me never to buy all the books in a series at once. If I hadn't done that, my eyeballs would never fallen upon these pages. At least it wasn't as bad as the first one.
The main character here is Mr. Ash, who is the last Taltos alve, or so it seems. This fascinating, misterious creature's life will become intertwinned with that of the current designee of the Mayfair family legacy in and odd way, and despite all that occurs throughout the book you won't be prepared for what happens at the end.
Though the mistake made in the 2nd volume of the trilogy ("Lasher")is repeated here when Ash talks about his life - some 3 chapters devoted to describing everything in detail, which is interesting at first but then becomes boring and kind of makes you want to skip that section - this book is much more intense and involving than "Lasher", especially if you are a faithful follower of the Mayfair family. I just read the whole trilogy for the second time and I already feel like starting over again! This is the most fascinating story, full of mystery, history, love (and a pinch of erotism)... a mix that will win you over!
For centuries, Ash has been alone, never encountering another of his kind, until news from his good friend, Samuel (one of the Little People in Donnelaith), has Ash traveling overseas to London in the hopes of finding another Taltos. While abroad, Ash roots out the corruption in the Talamasca and kills those who are guilty. Aaron Lightner's murder in this book is among the many occurrences that prove the Talamasca's fall. Because he was so loyal to the Mayfair family, despite his obligations to the Order, it was sad to see Aaron go.
During Ash's search, one of the Talamasca members (Stuart Gordon) claims to have a real Taltos and entices Ash to meet her (Tessa) for his own selfish reasons. However, Tessa is barren and cannot carry on the Taltos line; yet Ash is still hopeful in finding a mate. His persistence pays off when he eventually meets Rowan and Michael, who are attempting to avenge Aaron's death. Through their meeting, Ash unknowingly makes a connection with another Taltos, one that isn't born yet. Remember Mona from "Lasher"? Well, she has a big surprise for everyone: she's pregnant with a Taltos (Morrigan).Read more ›
I have not read the other Mayfair Witches books, so I can't compare Taltos to them, though I have read most of Rice's books and a good portion of The Witching Hour (first in the Mayfair series), which is generally better written than Taltos.
Taltos has extremely well-developed and interesting characters, and more straight plot than is usual for Rice. The Taltos are a "mythical" race of near-immortal demigods, the history and exploits of which are recorded by a sort of occult research Order known as the Talamasca, who are also aware of (Rice's) vampires and the Mayfair family of witches. In fact, the Mayfairs are related to the Taltos, deriving much of their psychic ability from that genetic line. The mating of Taltos and humans is a precarious affair at best, often resulting in madness or death, which the Mayfairs have had to deal with as a sort of family curse throughout their known lineage.
In Taltos, friends of the Mayfairs in the Talamasca are being murdered by a person or persons unknown. The Talamasca are as anxious to figure out who is responsible as are the Mayfairs, themselves. Into their midst arrives Ashlar, the last known survivor of the Taltos race, which is a potentially catastrophic circumstance both for him and any of the Mayfair line, since they are compulsively drawn to breed with one another and the result is far from pleasant - the present head of the Mayfair clan only recently survived one such attempt, and is just now coming out of her trauma to rejoin the world of the living.
It's hard to say more without giving too much of the game away, and Taltos is worthy of reading.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I like all of Anne Rice books but re-reading this one has lost some of the zest it had in the beginning.Published on Dec 31 2013 by Gladys Wroblewska
anything written by Anne Rice is excellent. Book is in excellent condition and I will be able to resell laterPublished on Oct. 6 2013 by sharon wilson
A very good read as expected! Very descriptive making you feel as though you know the characters and places personally....wish there was a part 4. Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2013 by Nealz
ok, easily the best book i have ever read. all of her books just seem to lead up to this masterpiece. Read morePublished on April 27 2004 by brennan
I agree with another reviewer on this list that Rice should have stopped while she was ahead. She told a wonderful and gripping story in the Witching Hour. Read morePublished on Dec 9 2003
Haunting and mysterious. The strange non-human Tessa sent shivers up my spine, and to this day, I spend evenings wondering about her and her peculiar kind. Why does she weave? Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2003 by Susan Roche
I think that I was the odd one in my family who actually like this book. I enjoyed learning more about the main characters. Read morePublished on Aug. 2 2003 by Brandi Bechtel
Although I find this to be the weakest of the three books in the Lives of the Mayfair Witches, Rice has undoubtedly mastered the art of characterization and reinventing history. Read morePublished on June 17 2003 by Timothy M Forry