Blood Canticle (The Vampire Chronicles, #10)

ISBN: 0676975976
ISBN 13: 9780676975970
By: Anne Rice

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About this book

Anne Rice continues her astonishing Vampire Chronicles in a new novel that begins where Blackwood Farm left off — and tells the story of Lestat’s quest for redemption, goodness, and the love of Rowan Mayfair.Welcome back to Blackwood Farm. Here are all of the brilliantly conceived characters that make up the two worlds of vampires and witches: Mona Mayfair, who’s come to the farm to die and is brought into the realm of the undead; her uncle, Julian Mayfair, guardian of the family, determined to forever torment Lestat for what he has done to Mona; Rowan Mayfair, brilliant neurosurgeon and witch, who finds herself dangerously drawn to the all-powerful Lestat; her husband, Michael Curry, hero of the Mayfair Chronicles, who seeks Lestat’s help with the temporary madness of his wife; Ash Templeton, a 5,000-year-old Taltos who has taken Mona’s child; and Patsy, the country-western singer, who returns to avenge her death at the hands of her son, Quinn Blackwood. Delightfully, at the book’s centre is the Vampire Lestat, once the epitome of evil, now pursuing the transformation set in motion with Memnoch the Devil. He struggles with his vampirism and yearns for goodness, purity and love, as he saves Patsy’s ghost from the dark realm of the Earthbound, uncovers the mystery of the Taltos and unselfishly decides the fate of his beloved Rowan Mayfair.A story of love and loyalty, of the search for passion and promise, Blood Canticle is Anne Rice at her finest.

Reader's Thoughts


** spoiler alert ** I was so upset with this book. It's nothing like her other ones, and I get the honest feeling that she just wanted to finish the entire vampire chronicle series, and mayfair witch series by wrapping up all the loose ends together in one book. It definitely shows. First of all, Mona. She's a character I genuinely liked, fierce, independent, intelligent, a little arrogant but wickedly fun, and full of potential. And what did rice do to tie off that end? Made her sick, turned her into a vampire, and threw her into the lovelorn arms of Quinn Blackwood.....okay... Then, there is just too much going on, extra padding, and not enough vampire to even consider this a part of the vampire chronicles. But above all, I'm sick to death of Rowan Mayfair, and it sickens me even more that this woman, who is lackluster, boring, and described as cold and rigid, is the fall of Lestat. He becomes a lovesick idiot in her "thrall". After the first mayfair book, I was already bored with her, she was idealized far too much, descriptions of her only said how tremendous a person she was, but her character never struck me the way others did. I cannot begin to express my disappointment with the way Rice wrote that even LESTAT was unable to fight the pheromones. I really wish i'd never read this book, because i'll carry this with me forever as the official, straight from the authors mind, end to a story that was a part of my childhood, adolesence, and finally, my entrance into adulthood. The only book that tops this in that category "Worst end to a promising series" is Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn.

Melissa Cavanaugh

** spoiler alert ** What a disappointing conclusion to the Vampire Chronicles and the tales of the Mayfair witches and the Taltos. It reads as though it were written by someone who had skimmed the Cliffs Notes of the previous books. The writing is terrible, the characters behave in bizarre and inconsistent ways, the text is full of errors, and the plot is full of holes. What happened to David Talbot and Louis, last ensconced in Lestat's flat on the Rue Royale? What happened to the Talamasca's declaration of enmity against the vampires? How likely is it that Dolly Jean knows not only about the "Walking Babies" but the "Blood Children"? What is that bizarre obsession with Saint Juan Diego? And are we really supposed to believe that the Taltos ended up on a Caribbean island overrun by drug lords? I should have known this one would be terrible when it began with a tirade, via Lestat, about the fact that no one liked Memnoch the Devil and pointed out that that book had outsold all of the other chronicles.

Delicious Strawberry

I was a big fan of Ms. Rice's books for a long time. Blackwood Farm was the first vampire (or Mayfair witch) novel that I didn't love. Actually, she had been declining for a couple of books before that, but it was in Blackwood that I noticed the sharp drop in quality, which only drops even further with this book.Now, I know that Ms. Rice was going through a hard time. Her husband died, she found out she had diabetes, etc etc.If Ms. Rice had said to her fans (via her website or otherwise) 'You know what, I'm just dealing with a lot right now, so I'm going to take a break from writing' or some such, I'd have supported her one hundred percent. It would have been completely understandable.But no. For whatever reason, Ms. Rice decided she wasn't going to write more vampires since she found Jeebus all over again and is now gonna write Christian tripe, so she thought she'd end the Vampire Chronicles/Mayfair witches with this book that brings them together. Normally, this idea would excite me.But this book left a sour taste in my mouth. Everyone has become flat and cardboard. Mona, Rowan, Lestat are all shadows of their former selves. And Taltos being the prisoners of drug dealers? PUH-LEEZE.Anne Rice has a ego that nobody would envy. I don't know what was worse, this book or Twilight. NO ONE is above the editorial process. When I write, I thrive off feedback and critique. No one can consider themselves 'good' at anything unless they are willing to admit to themselves that there is always room for improvement. And this is only exacerbated by the declining quality in her work... writers often get better, not worse.It is a huge shame that the Vampires and the Mayfair Witches had to end like this. A crying shame, really.

Cyndy Aleo

I swear, it isn't intentional. My recent reading of the Beauty trilogy coincidentally led up to picking up Blood Canticle on the bargain rack. I'm a long-time fan of The Vampire Chronicles as well as her tales of the Mayfair Witches, and my lust for this book, the one in which the two series merge, moved it to the top of my reading list.Oh, the horror.::: The Plot :::For those of you who are unfamiliar with Anne Rice's novels, there are two major series: one about vampires starring the Vampire Lestat, and the other about a family of witches. The Vampire Lestat has always been the star of the Vampire Chronicles, creating new vampires, finding the original two vampires, losing his vampire body to a mortal, and journeying to Heaven and Hell.The Mayfair Witches stories involve a rather inbred family of Louisiana witches, who, when certain family members meet, create what is known as the Taltos, a child who unfolds to a full adult upon its birth, knowing its name and the full history of the Taltos, also leaving its human mother unable to bear more children.In Blood Canticle, the story begins with Lestat "saving" the dying Mayfair witch Mona, the most recent bearer of a Taltos. Mona has been dying in a hospital for two years. Of course, before we even get to the plot itself, we are subjected to an over-colloquialized raving from Lestat (who narrates the Chronicles) about his desire to be a saint. And visit the Pope. And be worshipped.Once Mona is made a vampire, we meet Rowan Mayfair, the de facto head of the Mayfair witches and Mayfair Medical, a huge sprawling complex of medical services and research. Rowan bore her own Taltos, a child possessed by the spirit who haunted the Mayfair House, Lasher. For over 100 pages, the reader is held at bay to hear the story of Rowan and Mona and the Taltos, which any devoted reader of the Mayfair Witches stories already knows.Of course, Lestat falls in love with the human Rowan, and in the course of helping Mona and Rowan find out what happened to the remaining Taltos (Mona's daughter Morrigan and the centuries-old "purebred" Taltos Ash who Rowan met in the Mayfair stories), he rids Mona's cousin Quinn's farm of Quinn's mother's ghost (Quinn killed her in the previous Chronicle, Blackwood Farm), contacts Maharet, know the "ruler" of the Vampires, kills druglords and finds out the fate of the Taltos.::: There's Nothing Good Here (Why I Hated It) :::The only good thing about this book is that it is supposed to be the last Vampire Chronicle. I mean that. This is the first book that Rice wrote after the death of her husband, the poet Stan Rice (to whom she dedicates this book) and sorry, Stan, but she dedicated one horrendous book to you.Rice can never seem to find Lestat's voice in the course of this novel, and he goes back and forth from sounding like a ranting raving teenager to the cultured and demanding Lestat we know from Interview with the Vampire, to some crazy hormones-raging young adult. At points, Lestat, who has always been enamored with new things, acts like he's about to join the Society for Creative Anachronism and ignore all new technology by refusing to learn how to email.Rice also can't seem to find the character of Mona anywhere in this book. The Mona we met in the Mayfair books was a child genius. She was sexually precocious, but at the same time, almost a small adult. In Blood Canticle, Mona is a vacuous slut, flitting about almost willy-nilly, crying at the drop of a hat, baiting Lestat, and wearing odd slutty clothes that belonged to Quinn's Aunt Queen. The Mona Mayfair that Mayfair Witches fans knew and loved is gone.Worst of all is Rice's plot construction. The first half of the book drags on endlessly, making you wonder if the book is even going to have a conclusion or just end ambiguously, leaving the reader to find the fate of the Taltos in some forthcoming book. But much like an old rickety roller coaster, the climb is much longer than the descent. The plot contrivances that Rice uses to get Mona, Quinn, and Lestat to where they will find the fate of the Taltos are numerous, unbelievable, and far too convenient, and for good measure, Rice tosses in a gratuitous sex scene. I actually laughed out loud at the conclusion of this book.::: Why You Should Thank Me :::I wanted to quit reading this book by the end of Chapter 1. Really. I kept reading it only to find out how Rice would merge the series and so I could write this review. It has NEVER taken me a week to read a book this short, but I could only read it in small doses; sometimes a page or two were all I could manage in one sitting.I'm not sure if Rice has lost her touch or I've simply outgrown her, but my disappointment in this book is crushing. As a long-time Rice fan, I have to say this book is best suited to use as toilet paper. This review previously published at Epinions:

Georgia Beyers

What can I say? I just love Ann Rice. Every now and again there's a little piece of her writing that turns my stomach and it makes me seriously wonder how her sick little mind works….but I still can't get enough of her books. This is another of the vampire chronicles in which Lestat is the main character again. What I loved most about this book is that Ann Rice entwined my favourite Vampire Lestat and my favourite Mayfair witches into one book. It was a really great read which has now led me on a quest to find 'Taltos' the next book in the lives of the Mayfair witches, which I am quite sure vampire Lestat will have a starring role in :-)


** spoiler alert ** I read solely Anne Rice's vampire books, and then when it came to read this book, I decided to give a shot to the Mayfair Witches serie so I could understand the book. I read the first book and found it more like "Everything you ever wanted to know about the Mayfair family and more". While I thought the first part, the historical part, was quite interesting, I found the rest extremely dull, especially Rowan. So since I didn't want to read the other two books I read their resume on the internet, which I was happy about because the books sound crap, or I should say, extremely disappointing. There is a french expression that says "all this for this?", in other words to do all this intricate work to get crap result, that is how I feel about the Mayfair serie.So in this book I like the main character Quinn, Lestat, and the whole story, except all the additions of the Mayfair Witches, like Rowan. And that is the same thing for the next book Blood Canticle.Merrick is in the other hand really good even if she's a Mayfair Witch.

Lisa Weber

Ick. Way enough already. Can vampires be redeemed? Oh my god, if he asks this question one more time, just kill him for good and put him out of his angst. Is Anne putting a little too much of her own insecurity into her vampires?Redeemed from what? Surviving on human blood? They are predators for crissakes, a different species. Can humans be redeemed for eating red meat? It's the blood of another species, after all. Get over it already. One book, was good. 2 or 3, and I still didn't ask why vampires around since before Christianity would be obsessed with christian principles like redemption. I picked up this book to see if she had gotten anywhere yet. Apparently not, it's like watching a hamster run in a wheel for years and years. This hamster should have passed out long ago. Too bad they're immortal. But the series doesn't have to go on forever, does it?


A welcome return to narration by the Brat Prince of the Vampire Chronicles, the most excellent Lestat, as through the friendship he struck up with Quinn Blackwood in the last entry, he gets entangled with the lives and fates of the Mayfairs. The writing style has changed somewhat since the previous entries, and I must admit I found it more than a little incongruous at first to be hearing the ever articulate and flowery Lestat using words like yo, cool and dude (while flouncing around in his lacy cuffs), but this soon was set aside as I got sucked into the story - loving the eccentricity of these old wealthy families, the relationship he builds with Mona and actively despising Rowan. I never warmed to Rowan over the course of The Mayfair Witches and found her the least compelling character of the series, but my lack of interest for her has slowly crystallised into a severe dislike the more she crops up in Rice's works. I really do not see what everyone thinks is so bloody fabulous about her (apart from Mona, atta girl!) and think that both Lestat and Michael deserve far better.Once again the real lure here isn't so much the story, which nicely wraps up the fates of the Taltos and enfolds them back into the busom of the Mayfair family, but Lestat himself who has almost stopped being a fictional character for me but an (un)living creature, chock full of personality, both flawed and utterly fabulous. He's never better than when pissed off, and I can only hope that one day someone will call me a roaring revenant from Hell and a maddening little miscreant with such piqued panache.


It was kind of disappointing to read because the relationships were flat and there was just a lot of blood and gore and more cold and vain commentaries from Lestat.


che delusione -triste, tristissima delusione.

Michelle Bacon

What can I say about this book? Very little that is promising, that's for sure. I love Anne Rice's work and the Mayfair Witches are the best in my opinion. This was to be the last of the Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair Witches too. Personally, I think she should NEVER have converged the two stories to begin with. Both are great stories. I don't think Anne can let go of Lestat because she continues to write about him even after taking breaks and trying to find her Catholic roots. Now we understand that Prince Lestat will be coming out in October. I'm going to be positive about this and believe that Anne has found her voice again in Lestat and can bring him back the way we loved him back in "the day". I also am hopeful that the Mayfairs are not in this book. My fingers are crossed.This book brings Lestat to the dying Mona Mayfair where he gives her the Dark Gift. Rowan Mayfair is desperate to find her child, Morrigan the Taltos. Rowan wants to find out why they become 'walking babies' and wants to do tests at her clinic. The book is not your standard Anne Rice novel with the rich flow of words, but instead is choppy and disconnected. Lots of one word sentences and littered with extra characters that leave you wondering what their role is. I think this should have been more of the continuation of the Witch Chronicles rather than vampires. Here's to hoping Prince Lestat will be a more promising tale.


This latest installment of Rice's "Vampire Chronicles" begins with a ranting soliloquy from the infamous vampire Lestat as he addresses readers of the previous books. He excoriates those who read his chronicles but did not understand what he was trying to say. He fantasizes about being good, about becoming a saint, about speaking to the Pope. The entire first chapter is taken up with nonsense that has nothing to do with the story, and then the novel's basic plot begins where Blackwood Farm ended. In that novel, Quinn Blackwood's unique voice narrated; unfortunately, in this sequel it is a boorish Lestat who tells the tale. In order to save the dying Mona Mayfair, whom Quinn loves, Lestat bestows the dark kiss, making her one of the undead. In this way Lestat becomes involved in the complex world of the Mayfair witches, even helping them to discover the secret of the mysterious Taltos who have haunted the Mayfairs throughout their history. This is not one of Rice's better efforts. [A version of this review appeared in Library Journal, Oct. 2003]

Rachel C

To call this book part of the "Vampire Chronicles" is a misnomer. From the get-go this book was not about vampires or the Vampire Lestat, which was what I expected given that Lestat was the narrator. It was sort of about his two new fledgling vampires, Quinn Blackwood and Mona Mayfair. However, I say "sort-of" because it mainly focused on spirits/ghosts, the Mayfair witches/mortals, and an alien species - The Taltos. There were entirely too many characters, both mortal and otherwise, to make an interesting story. Rice attempts to force a tangent about Lestat's love for mortal Rowan Mayfair down your throat at the very end of the book to cover up for the fact that she hasn't written about Lestat much at all. What a disappointment. I had to force myself to finish reading this book.Now I admit that I have been reading the Chronicles out of numerical sequence, but I certainly won't bother reading Blackwood Farm, this book's prequel. It appears to be more of the same. I much prefer the true blooded vampire-only Rice books.


Anne Rice has said this is the last of the Vampire Chronicles, I'm not sure if this is the last of the Mayfair Witches, but this review is written under the belief that Blood Canticle is the end of both. Anne Rice is my favorite author. The Witching Hour is my favorite book. As I reached the end of the chronicles and the time came to read Blood Canticle I didn't want to. I wanted to stay on those cracked humid sidewalks of the French Quarter and bask in the flickering light of the gaslamps. I feel not only connected to her characters, but to my beloved New Orleans. There are always rereads, but this would be the end of my first time through the series, the book would never again have this freshness. I looked at the end of it all and started reading while aware of the polarizing reviews. I did not like the way the book started out, Lestat was way too self aware and it took me out of the story. There was a difference in the writing, for example (not in text): Night Air. Click of heels. Mosquitos. There seemed to be a lot of these short clunky pieces without the velvety smooth signature Anne Rice richness to envelop them. Lestat's new swing for slang was annoying, why would he even bother? And for that matter why would an almost godlike vampire Maharet use email instead of telepathy or a face to face encounter to deliver her news? What’s her email address? TeamEdwardxoxo@yahoo (lol just kidding)? Maybe more thought to balance it out? The book is too short, especially so considering this ties up both the Mayfair and Vampire books. Mona's transformation was superficial (aside from her wanting to reunite with Morrigan and her trials at Mayfair Medical (I would have LOVED for that to have been developed more) and so much about Aunt Queen's clothes and not enough about her possible trouble/guilt/growing pains at having to feed off the living and being undead. In one chapter she gets a computer and offers meditations but I would have prefered if it had been developed as the book progressed instead of being thrown at me all at once. While most of the plot was about Mona (her turning into a vamp, looking for the Taltos) poor Quinn fell by the wayside when he could have used more development considering the book Blackwood Farm just ended and how he was adjusting to the changes. I also did not like how Rowan fell for Lestat. I did not believe their "lovestruck" obsession until the end of the book in the last chapter when the attraction was beautifully expressed, but at the same time should it have even existed in the first place? What about Michael? I really liked him and he is just a shadow in this book- a doormat. At times it seemed like there were too many characters in the scenes, overcomplicating the plot and robbing their development. I could keep going on, Patty, the Ghosts, the search, but it all boils down to that this book was too short. Blood Canticle was supposed to be about Lestat's redemption by not being selfish in the act of turning Rowan over to the blood, it could have worked, I would not have been as peeved at Michael's neglect, Rowan and Lestat's romance would have been more believable, IF ONLY IT HAD BEEN LONGER! More development that looks like a quilt instead of a brick wall. The book ends with Lestat being hungry and I am too! I understand Anne Rice went through some tough times while finsihing this book, I hold nothing against her. I still love you Anne Rice!

Carl Alves

In the Blood Canticle, Anne Rice decided to take all of her characters: vampires from the Vampire Chronicles, witches from the Mayfair Witches and Taltos, and throw them all together and see what happens. The end result is sometimes good, sometimes bad, but often times messy. The new Lestat, using new yet not quite updated language, narrates the novel. It brings in Rowan Mayfair, who he has a thing for, and Mona Mayfair, who he recently made into a vampire. They congregate in Blackwood Farms and after a very long-winded and tedious narrative, wind up in Haiti, where the Taltos were at.As with many of Anne Rice’s later works, this novel is entirely too long with entirely too much fluff and useless information. Sometimes I get the impression that Anne Rice writes in order to impress herself with the beauty of her prose, which doesn’t exactly make for great reading. The novel isn’t all bad. Lestat is an enjoyable character and there was some decent action in this novel. It doesn’t stack up to her early Vampire Chronicle novels, but isn’t as bad as some of her recent work.Carl Alves – author of Blood Street

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