Servant of the Bones

ISBN: 0345389417
ISBN 13: 9780345389411
By: Anne Rice

Check Price Now


Anne Rice Currently Reading Fantasy Favorites Fiction Horror Paranormal Supernatural To Read Vampires

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


I like it when Anne Rice (1) leaves the world of vampires and (2) leaves New Orleans. She did both in this book and I approve mightily. A very ancient creature is telling his life story to someone, simply because it is a story to be told. We get to sit with both characters in a cabin by a fireplace and listen in. The story is terrifying, heartwarming, aching and joyous at times, and told exceedingly well.


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.


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.


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. :)

Kraig Horton

This was another good book from Anne Rice. "Servant of the Bones" brings mythology, religion and a compelling visual story that like her other novels made this almost like watching a movie. The main character is narrating through several past events leading to the present his life as a servant to the bones that he was cursed to. I have read many novels that this type of layers in a story took away from the novels appeal because it made things to complicated but Rice used it amazingly and without the layers the reader would never had been able to experience the conflicts, and depth of the story through the characters choices, made by fear, habit, and his beliefs. From start to finish I was lost in the world of the servant of the bones. Another #1 for Anne Rice.


** spoiler alert ** This started out as a five-star book for me. Already after the first few pages, I was ready to give it the highest rating. I was immediately fascinated by the story, by the characters. I like stories that build on history, as long as they don’t get too long-winded about it, which this one didn’t. The historical aspects were really only background, with the main story springing from the imagination of the author. However, I do have to admit that there were a couple of passages that summarized human history that I skipped over because they were preachy. Yeah, yeah, we know about how terribly humans have destroyed the environment, etc. That was not the point of the story, and didn’t need to be in there. Those were only really short parts, though, so I can forgive them.As I got further into the story, though, several other things started creeping up on me that dampened my enthusiasm. The first was, I realized that this book was probably just a carbon copy of Rice’s famous Interview With the Vampire. I have never read that book, nor seen the movie with Tom Cruise, but I believe it is based on the same template: An immortal, supernatural being pours out his biography, along with the story of his struggle between good and evil tendencies, to a sympathetic listener who mainly remains in the background. Seen thus, as a sort of ‘spin-off’ (although not a sequel), the magic of the story is already slightly lessened. I was unable to admire the originality of the concept because it was no longer original.The second thing that bothered me was that although the book started out from the listener’s point of view, and his insights and reactions were an important part of the initial chapters, suddenly he was dropped completely and the entire remainder of the story, up to the last chapter, was solely from the speaker’s point of view. I felt that this turned the listener into nothing more than a gimmick to allow the speaker to pontificate -- which of course he was, but at the beginning at least, he was allowed his own opinions, and could have served as a counterpoint, devil’s advocate, or voice of reason at crucial points throughout the narrative. So I felt that the author had just let him go out of laziness, and his absence was felt.The thing, though, that I really didn’t like about this book, was the last third or so, especially the sex scene and the premise that Asrael’s (the protagonist and speaker) entire existence of over three millenia was forever changed and clarified by his ‘love’ for two women he met at the very end, one of whom he saw only for one second before she died, and the second one (her mother), whom he spent barely a single day with. He decided, seemingly on the spur of the moment and with nothing more than a brief glimpse into each of their eyes, that he loved them so completely and utterly that his entire character was changed, and the meaning and course of life made clear in those instants. Gag.Also, details like... why was it so important that Esther wasn’t Gregory’s biological daughter? It was mentioned over and over again, but the point was never made clear. In fact, if she had been his biological daughter, her murder would have made more sense. Or the whole thing with Asrael’s will: On the one hand, he was supposed to be in some way subject to the will of his summoner, yet he was able to act completely independently of them, even to kill them, despite them telling him not to. But maybe that’s just me being dense. In any case, things like that that didn’t seem to make sense or be consistent also lessened my pleasure in this book.All in all, though, it was a good story, it definitely kept my interest, the characterizations were consistent and vivid, and the climax was, although not entirely surprising or innovative, satisfying and tied up all the loose ends.

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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


The story about Azrael in Babylon is beautiful, but I suppose Anne Rice is attempting to validate the Book of Enoch which is apochryphal by including a prophet named Enoch among the exiles in Babylon. The Enoch mentioned in the Old Testament is Methuselah's father from a much earlier generation. This is a minor point. Most readers probably will not notice. The contemporary plot line didn't have the impact that it might have had because it reminded me of other similar scenarios I've seen in other novels.

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.

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.


Another fav from Anne Rice. She makes you fall inlove with her characters, and I fell right in with Azriel... The servant of the bones... I love stories about genies or Djin, which ever u prefer to call them, and this story has been one of the best.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *