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!Alex
It's come very far since Lestat was a rock star... Nothing is the way that it used to be, nothing and no one. I do believe that some sort of evolution should take place within each soul, but experience and learning have such different effects on distinct individuals . There were some parts in the book that I didn't quite get, or perhaps I simply refused to understand. For instance, Lestat's desire to be a saint, his obsession for Saint Juan Diego and the way he wrote some of the chapters. Indeed, he talked just like a gangster, chaotically, which is just wrong. Also, Rowan used to be such an intriguing creature, intense and wonderful, but she also grew tired after everything that had happened... I don't even want to think about Mona, how annoying and dreadful she was. Fact is that I never really liked her, the single moment of compassion I felt for her was when she gave birth to Morrigan. Oh well, the tales are over... I choose to remember the characters in their "youth", when they were thrilling and offered an extraordinary universe in which to escape, in which to evade night after night...Sisi WhoWouldLikeToKnow?
Honestly, never in a million years had I ever imagined giving any of these books a 1 out of 5. But Blood Canticle is like Anne Rice woke up one day, smelled the roses, opened the balcony doors to be greeted by the shouts of her adoring fans, and then proceeded to perch on the railing and shit on all of them. I'm talking diarreah, buddy. Lestat is a pussy. No seriously, if you have one of those Edward vs. Lestat arguments, hide this and never use it in your arsenal. I've warned you. Second...hell, I can't even remember. I don't think I ever got past page 100. Maybe, maybe, I reached 150. This coming from a fan.One day, I will return and give a more coherent review other than "I'm bitter, this is a mockery of my favorite vampires". It won't be soon.Ainee Gale Tan
I know it's quite wrong that the first book I read from Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles is the last book she wrote for the series. Okay, kill me now. Haha! But because, in here where I am staying, it is difficult to find a complete collection of the chronicles. Sad. Yet I'll try my best to complete it so let's move on now. Nevertheless, I did enjoy and understand the story XpOkay... I read this and I cannot just stop... to the point that I forgot to eat my meals XD Anne Rice is awesome. The book is well written and I am truly mesmerized by it. There's no way I could miss her other books from now on :"> The story is full of knowledge, well for me. It may seem look like a blabbing from a vampire who wants to be a saint and religious servant of Christendom but, come on, Lestat stressed out why he wanted it. Oh! And I love Lestat <3 Who even doesn't? Lol The tales about Taltos are really interesting as well. And there's about the ghosts and the Light and the Dark Gift and falling in love... Bravo! I didn't regret I read this. Two thumbs up!Danielle
Do not read this book if you are very attached to the Mayfair Trilogy as it was. This book alters the direction of the trilogy completely, and you might not like where it goes -- I know I didn't. Overall, the story is interesting enough to finish the book, and if you've been hungry for the continuation of the story, you won't be able to stop yourself. There are, however, some awful AWFUL paragraphs when Lestat is speaking to the reader that made me sad that Anne Rice decided to include Mona, Rowan and Michael in this mess. I am not sure if my dislike of this book is the fault of how bad the writing seems (especially when held up against The Witching Hour) or because of how beloved the characters are to me, but either way, this book was a disappointment. Shame on you, Anne, Michael Curry deserved better!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.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: http://www.epinions.com/review/Blood_...Jason Gusman
The final book in the Vampire Chronicles? With Anne's husband, Stan, passing on, and Anne writing about Jesus instead of gothic horror, this may just be the end. For a finale it came up short. We did see a few t's crossed and i's dotted, but it didn't come with a cliffhanging turn. The sereies seemed to peter out like a Model T running out of gas. Yes, the Mayfair family members came full circle, but not much else of significance occurred besides besides wrapping up the adventures of Blackwood Farm as anyone could predict beforehand.Ali
Okay, I DID read this one. I know I did. I just can't for the life of me remember what it was about. Although knowing later Anne Rice, I am sure it contained a mixture of everything she could think of to create shock value, said mixture thrown against the wall, and Anne Rice just hoping that something would stick. I am just picturing her thought process while writing this: "Hmmm...now I have done vampires and witches together, and I have done vampires, witches, and ghosts together, where can I go from here? Wait...what if I created a novel with vampires, witches, ghosts, AND taltos? And they're all sleeping together! It can't lose!" The truth is, yes it can, Anne. And what is sad is that your fans will still keep reading your books praying for a miracle that will never come. I am really glad that this is the end of this series. She really needs to just start over and see if she can redeem herself with a completely different series that doesn't have every supernatural creature and the kitchen sink in it.Emily
A lovely and fitting end to the Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches sagas, a melding and merging of the tales that offers a satisfying resolution to both. The Vampire Lestat is back to normal, the Brat Prince himself in all his angel-looks and gangster-talk glory. His preoccupation with the Christian Religion is a bit irritating and distracting, but his descriptions of clothing and furniture are distracting in a more welcome manner. Revisiting Rowan, Michael and the Taltos is only slightly less satisfying because their lives are not as open to the view of first-person narrator Lestat. However, the mystery of the Taltos and their eventual ends are the driving plot of this tale. It's saved for the very end, but does make for a decent climax. The only character I was really irritated with was Mona, but she's always been kind of irritating, except in Blackwood Farm. She was true to her original character, though, so that was nice, even if she wasn't terribly sympathetic. Again, though, a very satisfying book.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?Patricia
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]Seklyan
** 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.NoblestRomana
It's been a long time since I read these books. But when I started these series I remember just how much I loved them. I didn't consider myself that much of a reader until that point. But I ran through these book series in a couple of months. Some of these books are well deserving of their 5 stars, specially the original trilogy. Even take of The Body Thief, while it had it's slow scenes is a strong 4 or 4.5. But then there are some weaker stories. Merrick is a good example. I enjoyed David, but sadly I didn't find his character that interesting connected with Merrick, I actually feel like introducing the Mayfair witches into the vampire series was a huge mistake. Which is one of the main reasons why I simply couldn't enjoy this book. This was not a conclusion to the Vampire Chronicles. This was a conclusion to the Mayfair Witches. Most of the focus remains in their characters. And frankly I didn't find the characters very likable and those who I did became background noise. I only read the first book and for the most part I liked Rowan in that book. But I really disliked the character in this book. I didn't care for Mona and Quinn lost what made him interesting in the previous book. Lestat was a stranger. And why should I care about the Taltos?Instead of a powerful goodbye to the characters that for 8 books (Blackwood Farm was new characters and characters from the Mayfair series too, but it was at least slightly better) we grew to love and care for. Louis, Armand, Marius, etc. We get a bunch of new characters and witches from a completely different series. If Meyer wanted to write another Mayfair Witches book, that what she should have done, and include it as part of this series. For this book to carry the title of "Vampire Chronicles" is almost an insult when we only get an OOC Lestat and small guest appearances of one or two Vampire Chronicles characters, and a couple of throw away lines about others, who get only a couple of lines before they are just as quickly gone.Caleb
A few comments... To begin by being rather summary, I can unfortunately say that my needs for satisfaction in Lestat's return have been forever suspended. It may have been sincere love for the dazzling performances demonstrated by Rice in the primary "Chronicles" that propelled me into the far reaches of it's modest conclusions. Those longing for the savage delight of Lestat's rogueish nature would be best rewarded for a retreat into his formative years. Upon recollection, the most serious offenses of Rice to the memory of her seamlessly crafted Frenchman manifests itself in his crude adoption of "modern" language. The reader is subjected to this straightaway. This haphazard adaptation can be observed in the inaugural chapter, which is nothing more than disorganized banter about Lestat's wish to become a clergyman, dispelling the air of lovable evil and caprice garnered previously. In but one sufficient example, Lestat rejects the onslaught of guilt eminent in the face of performing the "Dark Trick" with nonsensical pseudo-parlance like: "Nada, never, mais non, forget about it, get out of here, not in a pig's eye, pa-lease, gimme a break, no way." Atrocities to his previously surreptitious manner are feebly defended on page 24 of the selection which reads: "It's just that all the debasing subterfuge is falling away from me, don't you see? Not the glamour, you understand, keep your mind on the image, baby! We're only losing those elements which tended to cheapen my discourse, and throw up a barrier of--artificial quaintness, more or less." Shame, all that "debasing subterfuge" was what distracted the reader from the common conception of vampires and other beasts tragically debased by the like of the Meyer sisters. Gone are the traces of Rice's nods to Bram Stoker, and instead we are met with piles of unceremonious material of other supernatural origins. At this instance however, they are not accompanied by the literary excellence that fostered intrigue and smoothed the edges of the reader's discomfort with the origin of the namesake monsters. Further complaint can and should be raised at the author's choice to end such a lengthy series with a distracting and unwelcome departure into the sudden revelation of the 'Taltos' species. It appears that the defining endeavors of a freshly inducted character are met in the small space of less than 100 pages. It would appear that Lestat has adopted the air of compulsively-tempered father figure rather than self-serving soldier of fortune. The change is scrupulous and admirable. If you should find the proffered end of this otherwise magnificent series on your bookshelf and in favor of your attentions, it is true that some comforts may be found hidden, requiring extrication: The quaint story of Blackwood Farm is continued, although it has been removed from the forefront of developments. Also, the surrogate guest member of the Talamasca from the above mentioned preceding title called "Stirling Oliver" is present, although the reader will undoubtedly be found wanting if viewing him in the lens crafted by the legacy of David Talbot. Also, the close of events finds Lestat faced with a moral choice of obvious objection, not unlike the events in the final moments of "The Tale of the Body Thief". As a perfect example of the demeanor change in our beloved "hero", the high road is taken in stark contrast. To those who may suspect it, I have not read the autonomous story of the Mayfair Witches offered as parallel to the latter titles comprising the "Chronicles". If better representation of the deviation from her original miracle can be found in those volumes, one may rebut with obvious concern over the discrepancy between title and content, where these witches encroach on the tales of the Blood Children. Also, having the unexpectedly bitter taste of their unwelcome flair to the titles I have read, these additional volumes would likely garner only dust if left to my provisions.