Servant of the Bones

ISBN: 0345389417
ISBN 13: 9780345389411
By: Anne Rice

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About this book

Having created fantastic universes of vampires and witches, the incomparable Anne Rice now carries us into new realms of the mystical and the magical --- and into the presence of a dark and luminous new hero: the powerful, witty, smiling Azriel, Servant of the Bones. He is a ghost, demon, angel --- in love with the good, in thrall to evil. He pours out his heart to us, telling his astonishing story when he finds himself --- in present-day New York City --- a dazed witness to the murder of a young girl and inexplicably obsessed by the desire to avenge her.Azriel takes us back to his mortal youth in the magnificent city of Babylon, where he is plucked from death by evil priests and sorceresses and transformed into a genii commanded to do their bidding. Challenging these forces of destruction, Azriel embarks on his perilous journeys through time --- from Babylon's hanging gardens to the Europe of the Black Death to Manhattan in the 1990s. And as his quest approaches its climatic horror, he dares use and risk his supernatural powers in the hope of forestalling a world-threatening conspiracy, and redeeming, at last, what was denied him so long ago: his own eternal human soul.

Reader's Thoughts

Shawna McKinnis

The Servant of the Bones falls into the Crunchy Vegetable category. It took me quite a while to really get into the story. In my quest to own and read everything Anne Rice, however, I endured and interspersed my stints of reading Servant with nice helpings of Ice Cream books. In the Servant of the Bones you meet the spirit Azriel as he tells his tale to the Professor and Author Jonathan. Azriel’s tale is one of great sorrow, fear, and in the end, love. You look at the human condition on a scale of an individual heart as well as on a global basis. Azriel’s tale spans thousands of years, but the culmination of his understanding is a modern thing with an intense climax. I hate spoilers, so I won’t give away too much, and I am sure you can find a more thorough review elsewhere on the web if that is what you crave. I am very glad I persevered. When I was about halfway through, I began to fall in love with the spirit Azriel, and plowed though the rest of the book rather quickly. Rice has such a talent for character development- by the time you are through the book you feel you have truly known the people you have read. While her books on the Mayfair Witches are still my favorites, I look forward to continuing my journey though the books of Anne Rice.


I have never been so happy to finish a book in my life. Ok that's probably not true. In fact I think The School on Heart's Content Road was probably worse. I only read this book because it is for one of my book clubs. For this book club whoever is hosting gets to choose the book. The person hosting May's book club is a sci-fi/fantasy fan, which is so not my genre at all. She offered us 3 choices of books and this seemed the most mainstream, so it got the most votes. I sincerely wish I had voted for something else. It's not just that this book wasn't my cup of tea, it was that it was extremely boring and very long at almost 400 pages. I don't even have the heart to recap the plot of this book. I'm sure you can find a summary of it somewhere if you want. We'll see if anyone else in my book club found it more engaging than I did.

Lizann Dennis

Anne Rice tells the story slowly; A demon or god recalling his past while a temporary recluse writer transcribes the story for him is a unique story line. Rice tells the story with such care that you come to find yourself attached to this man who is now neither living or dead, no longer a man but not quite an all-powerful god. I enjoyed this strange tale of how a god is created where usually gods simply exist, they are not given a human element at all. I would like to re-read this text because I feel there is so much more to the human side of the god presented in the writing. As for my own writing the ability of telling a story within a story would be a skill of interest. The way Rice relates it to the reader, with such smooth transitions,one has no difficulty with telling if they are in the present or the past.

Kevin Wellen

Original story in Bablyonian times of a Jewish boy who is turned into a bound spirit to serve ancient wizards/witches.

John Kennison

Not being an Anne Rice fan, didn't know what to expect when I found this book at a book sale. However, the ancient Babylon setting and Judaism mythology behind the story line really drew me in. Very compelling storyline and one could develop a real connection with the 'bones' by the end of the story.

S.K. Nicholls

I read the lives of the Mayfair Witches series before I read The Vampire Chronicles. I liked that she connected the two series through the Talamasca, an Observational Order of the Occult, as well as with some of her characters. Her seductively descriptive writing style got me hooked. I fell in love with Rowan and all of the family ghosts. I did not have a fancy for vampires but loved Rice's writing style so very much that I read the whole series and all of the books she added regarding the individual histories of each of the significant Vampires, and became quite a fan. Her writing of late doesn't carry the same passion and thus not the same appeal as her previous series. The Life of Christ series is rather stale and short. Although, in her graceful style she researches and relates the history and culture of the traditions of the ancient Jews quite well. Her more recent work, The Songs of the Seraphim, including "Angel Time' and "Of Love an Evil" are bit better to me.

Courtney Lake

Definitely one of Anne Rice's earlier works. Its not as refined as her later works but i do love her stream of consciousness narration style of her exotic creatures of the night. An enchanting story about a magic bound Babylonian boy who is cursed to serve the owner of his bones for thousands of years until he is finally freed from servitude to become his own master.

Eddie Black

I got this one autographed at a signing in Little Rock, Arkansas. I could barely speak as Anne signed it and had to go lay down on the floor between some bookshelves. HA!


Took my absolute time with reading this book, just as Anne Rice took her absolute time in telling it. Started off pretty boring to me but later picked up when Azriel stopped pausing to remind us how very rich he and his family was; and to describe random things like he had ADHD; and when Jonathan stopped pausing to describe over and over Azriel's hair, eyes and "cherub mouth". Once we got past that, the book wasnt so bad. Or maybe it's that I read this while Hurricane Sandy passed over Jamaica and after being robbed of electricity, water, phone and internet, the book was all I had to look forward to via short bursts of usage on my Tablet over a 3 day period to conserve battery life. Regardless of why, however, I did start to like it, but then the ending was also pretty drawn out. I would give this more of a 3.5 than a steady 4, but I'm making do, so I've rounded up.


As a bit of a diversion from the regular vampire lore, in The Servant of the Bones by Anne Rice we are taken to the hay days of a crowed chaotic Babylon. At times rambling on in non-essential dialogue this story is rich in detail and character development not to mention vivid descriptions of places and people long past. A very long time ago a young boy sacrifices himself for the Jewish community in Babylon under the impending rule of King Cyrus. His reward is to live forever on as a powerful spirit neither completely alive and certainly not dead. Passed on from master to master Azriel eventually ends up in modern day New York where he becomes a pivotal component in the plan of a mad mastermind set on bringing about his version of the End of Days.Before all that however we travel with Azriel and we see through his eyes the world as it once was. All this we are told by Azriel himself as he re-told it to Jonathan a writer who trapped himself for the winter in a remote lodge surrounded by miles of snow. The setup of an old tired spirit telling his life's story to a listener who has the power to write it all down appropriately is perhaps not a novel one, but it certainly works in this case. Although the story starts out very slowly with lots of re-starts, as Azriel puts in more and more detail, right around the middle of the novel things start to pick up and accelerate towards the ending.After thousands of years of being immortal and mostly omnipotent, Azriel is confronted with a situation he can't change. He can't prevent the death of a young girl, something we later read has many more personal repercussions for our 'hero' dead or alive. The more he tries the less he seems to have a grip on his physical world around him and he can't prevent those around him he cares about to not perish at the hands of baser minds. Or can he? We are treated here to a well thought out and well told story on humanity as experienced by a being far from human. At times dragging on and at times too fantastical for its context, this novel his highly entertaining and engrossing.

Michael Barnett

I started reading all of Anne Rice's vampire books, then started with the Mayfair Witches, which for the most part, enjoyed thoroughly. After a while, however, I was wanting something more. After all, how many times can you re spin books with the same central theme? Then I found Servant of the Bones. I have always loved historical epics, and beginning the story in Babylon, during the Jewish captivity there, was not only brilliant, but very well written. Miss Rice has always, not only done much research for her books--including this one--but she is then able to tell a story, making the reader feel as if he is really there with the main characters. Being a Christian, when I first realized she had ventured into the land and time of Daniel, I was wondering if she would rewrite history, but she did not. Miss Rice tells the story of Azriel, a young Jew, who is there during the conquest by Cyrus the Persian. He is then betrayed by his own people for a perceived greater good, and suffers a horrible death. A Jewish witch commands his spirit to go into the bones, and from then until the present, he can only be summoned from the bones by powerful magic. This may seem like a simple story, but the central theme is can Azriel' soul ever go to heaven, since he was made this powerful spirit against his will? I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historically beautiful times, and someone who roots for the underdog.


Run, do not walk to the nearest trashcan and deposit it at the bottom. Don't put it on top of the trash because some homeless person might accidentally read it. His life is already pretty sad. We don't need to make it worse.It's about a genie locked inside a pile of bones. The story is told in the same interview format as "Interview with a Vampire". There's a homoerotic undertone throughout the book which I found quite tedious.


Al Tashchet. ♥Non saprei. Rispetto alle altre letture della Rice devo ammettere che questa mi ha lasciata abbastanza indifferente.Il suo modo di scrivere è il solito di sempre..forse è anche questo che ha appesantito la cosa.In ogni caso mi sembrava di leggere, soprattutto verso la seconda metà e poi la fine, uno di quei soliti libri apocalittici con l'eroe che deve muoversi per salvare il mondo.Inizialmente mi aveva affascinato e non poco, lo ammetto, perché le descrizioni del mondo antico sono sempre di una certa valenza per me..però poi mi è sembrato un'accozzaglia di eventi.Continuo a preferire la saga dei Vampiri. :)


I have a love/hate relationship with Anne Rice. I love her when she moves stories along. Her skills are wonderful and drive the characters and the situations beautifully.Then she lapses into feelings and souls and a bunch of mumbo-jumbo blah blah blah that I couldn't care less about.This was the latter rather than the former.Really, the book could have been 100 pages long, but instead takes you through a thousand years that mean nothing and twenty pages of meaningful stuff at the end.Blah.


** spoiler alert ** I'm not quite sure how much I like this book. The concept of the plot and of Azriel's character is fairly unique and very interesting, at least compared to anything I've ever read or heard - that part I really enjoyed. The book seemed like a mix between one of her usual plot-based/action-based books and one of her histories. The plot itself was good, and somewhat compelling; however, most of the book just DRAGGED... The book could have been much better had she written less, and compressed the action more, because what she had was good, but slow and fairly unsuspenseful. I wasn't drawn to read more, to not put the book down, because of the lack of suspense.The only part I really liked was in the beginning, when she told the part of the story that describes how Azriel became the Servant of the Bones. Very cool stuff. The rest of the book was just long and drawn out.I was pretty disappointed in the ending as well. Nothing particularly fascinating about Azriel's fate, or even good. There was very little closure to his story - all we find out is that he doesn't get to go to heaven like he wants and deserves to, he just continues to wander the Earth as a powerful, restless spirit.I doubt I would ever read this book again. If I did, I'd probably just read the part I liked, Azriel's origination story.

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