With 550 ratings
By: Anne Rice, Graeme Malcolm, et al.
Purchased At: $7
Into this exotic New Orleans realm comes David Talbot, hero, storyteller, adventurer, almost mortal vampire, visitor from another dark realm. It is he who recounts Merrick's haunting tale - a tale that takes us from the New Orleans of the past and present to the jungles of Guatemala, from the Mayan ruins of a century ago to ancient civilizations not yet explored.
Anne Rice's richly told novel weaves an irresistible story of two worlds: the witches' world and the vampires' world, where magical powers and otherworldly fascinations are locked together in a dance of seduction, death, and rebirth.
For those who have read the vampire chronicles and the Mayfair witch books, this could have been a fun and interesting off-shoot. And it is not terrible as a book, it just kind of falls flat. Nothing new or very interesting happens. Merrick is kept too mysterious to really flesh out as a character. There is a lot of flowery description of New Orleans and seductive hips and bosoms and skirts and long tapering fingers and stuff. Which is a given with any Anne Rice novel whether you like it or not, but this one has too much description and not enough plot. Things speed up and get a bit interesting in the final chapters.
Basically a middle-of-the-road Anne Rice Novel
Finally after David finished the story Louis get to meet Merrick. Louis and Merrick are taken with each other. Merrick agrees to do the spell to bring forth the spirit of Claudia. What will happen when Claudia comes forth? Will she confirm Louis' fear that she is not at peace or will she be at peace? What will be the consequences of the magic? Will anyone of our beloved characters be killed or hurt? What will happen to Merrick?
I love, love, love this book. It is one of my all time favorites and it is the book that got be started on my love of vampires. If you love books about witches, spirits, and vampires I would recommend you read this series. To fully understand Claudia you need to read Interview With A Vampire.
One last note. Anne Rice's vampires are different from any other vampire books I have ever read.(and I have read tons of vampire books) I love them!! They are the standard that I measure all other vampire books by. These books are romantic in a different level. The vampires are passionate but not in the sense of paranormal romance (and I love a good paranormal romance). They don't mate but they do stick together.
But action is not what makes up this book's pleasures. I got the sense that Anne Rice wanted to share the smells and textures and that special rich atmosphere that had enchanted her about parts of New Orleans that possibly no longer exist, and she wanted the pleasure of sharing her observation of some real life people she loved to watch in life. So she came up with an excuse, some side plot lines, to allow her to indulge herself. I, for one, am grateful she did. I just wish she didn't have to tie it with the story of Lestat, and instead spent more time observing Merrick and her close family through the centuries.
Not so good: for me she tanks on romance and "love interest", veering into sentimentality that's just not believable - l suppose it appeals to some but not to me (imo her treatment of gay attachments tends to be more credible); in this novel the transformation of the title character in Eliza Doolittle fashion by the Talamasca is cliche verging on the risible. It may appeal to those identifying with her of a narcissistic bent. From impoverished, neglected waif to brilliant scholar of "perfect Greek" and ability to speak conversational Latin in 4 years? but not without weaknesses such as a liking for the bottle (no goody-two-shoes she!) come on, Anne: in your dreams.
The original quest of Louis for Claudia also gets lost in the jungle before re-emerging towards the end almost as an after-thought. And then.....after all that, it seems to lead to a dead end as far as Louis and Claudia go. But still, an engrossing read; her pluses far outweigh her minuses for those on the same, offbeat wavelength.