Servant of the Bones

ISBN: 0345389417
ISBN 13: 9780345389411
By: Anne Rice

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Genres

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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

Kathryn

The basic idea of this story seemed to come out of left field: A charming, fairly spiritual Babylonian sacrifices himself in a beautiful ceremony for the sake of his people. He dies (very, VERY horribly), and becomes a powerful spirit in the control of whoever owns his gold-plated skeleton. It's quite strange, and I haven't been able to find which myth it's based on (seems to be a combination of the vampire and golem myths, but that's not really descriptive of the result). 99.9% of it is told in flashbacks, which is great since for some reason flashbacks and history lessons are usually my favorite parts of Anne Rice's books. And of course, since it's Anne Rice we're talking about, the story is beautiful and tragic, with an immortal main character who has to cope with the fact that he doesn't ever get to die and go to heaven like everybody else.

Martin

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.

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.

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.

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!

Kevin Wellen

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

Kelly

Although it has been a few years since I have read this book, it still stays with me. Anne Rice has an amazing attention to detail and the ability to really put the reader into her characters' heads. She uses flashbacks and backstory to develop her characters and give them personality. She even gives personality to characters that most others would have ignored. This layers the story and gives it life. In this book she goes into mythology and intertwines religions to create a unique story. The main character is torn between religious views and suffers the consequences of his choices. Rice's imagination comes through in "high definition" in her writing and it makes you want to continue reading. She influences my writing because I want to be capable of creating a "high definition" story like hers.

Jen

Admittedly, I didn't finish this book. I read 60 of 360 pages and found it more tortorously boring and overly descriptive. I think the book was laced with a sleep aid.

Irene

Like most of Anne Rice's later work, this book is written in a loose, breathy semisoftcore, purple overwrought style and is sprinkled with too many one sentence paragraphs. The premise of the story isn't bad and I didn't have a hard time getting though it but it does give one that creepy squirrely feeling of having unintentionally intruded upon someone else's sexual fantasies about Antonio Banderas.

Alexis

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.

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.

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.

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.

Abraham

Anne Rice's Servant of the BonesPlot: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 journey through time - from Babylon's hanging gardens to the Europe of the Black Death to Manhattan in the 1990's. And as his quest approaches its climactic horror, he dares to 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 soul.My Review and Thoughts:Anne Rice has away with taking the very fabric of history and painting a pure piece of art come to life in her written. She is mind numbing when it comes to creating characters and stories that are so thick with history and passion and the very nature of existence is classified into her writing. Her story telling blows my mind. I have been a fan of Rice for a very, very, very long time. I grew up with Interview with a Vampire being my first book by her and then consuming all of her dark horror novels, from Witches to Mummy's to vampires she is able to weave a perfect woven fabric of imagination into a whirl pool of storytelling that is beyond any other writer.When she writes the descriptive nature and the imagination on page sends the reader in sort of an ecstasy. Page after page the blood flows and the mind becomes apart of the story when she writes, it creates a tone of expression that sends the reader into a frenzied state of enlightenment as you consume the words she tends to write in her books.Rice is a true writing god in many of her novels, a nature of words and story that only she knows how to do. Many of her works are one of kind pieces of history into the modern realms of horror in a sensuousness way that does not let go. So begins this novel by her about the story of Azriel which is a character that has built on me and I will never forget, an interesting character that works and doesn't work in many details.Now I did not really like this book and I don't want that to sound negative because the book is very interesting and will hold a lot of readers. Many will like this book but I just could not get into it like her other works. I felt at times I was reading a history book and not a Rice book even though lots of her books have history as back stories I felt this one was to thick for my taste.Many readers are going to love this book I just felt it was slow and drawn out and dare I say a little boring for me but like I say for others it might work I just felt not enough was there to hold the reader and it felt like the writing was just following an outline of a history paper with twists, but yet not enough twists. I also felt some of the writing was re-used from other works such as Interview with a Vampire or her other vampire chronicles.Some will like some will not, I for one felt it lacked, had some great moments but just not enough for my taste. I often felt while reading it the writer struggled to write it just like the reader struggles to read it. I think the hardest thing I end up having is the concept of these mythical beings, these walking dead or ghost or witches just showing up in these books finding someone to write their story and it's like the scribe just says okay lets rock n' roll, it worked for Interview with a Vampire because it was unique and one of a kind and now it just seems a little far fetched to follow and the whole let me tell you my story is so over done and also comical at times.I don't want to sound too negative about this book because I liked some of it because it had its moment and worked in back story and neat odd characters it just seemed to fall flat for a Rice novel.

Hien

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.

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