Taltos (Lives of The Mayfair Witches #3)

ISBN: 0345404319
ISBN 13: 9780345404312
By: Anne Rice

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About this book

"ANNE RICE WILL LIVE ON THROUGH THE AGES OF LITERATURE."--San Francisco Chronicle"TALTOS IS THE THIRD BOOK IN A SERIES KNOWN AS THE LIVES OF THE MAYFAIR WITCHES . . . Their haunted heritage has brought the family great wealth, which is exercised from a New Orleans manse with Southern gentility; but of course such power cannot escape notice . . . or challenge. . . Rice is a formidable talent. . . [Taltos] is a curious amalgam of gothic, glamour fiction, alternate history, and high soap opera."--The Washington Post Book World"AN INTRICATE, STUNNING IMAGINATION."--Los Angeles Times Book Review"SPELLBINDING . . . MYTHICAL . . . Anne Rice is a pure storyteller."--Cosmopolitan"BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN."--Kirkus Reviews (starred)"Her power of invention seems boundless. . . . She has made a masterpiece of the morbid, worthy of Poe's daughter. . . . It is hard to praise sufficiently the originality of Miss Rice."--The Wall Street Journal

Reader's Thoughts


This book was my favorite one of the series. I read the whole book in a day and loved it. I loved the characters. Because of this book I decided I would love to have a little girl named Rowan. About a year after reading it I decided to try for a little girl. Nine months later my little Rowan arrived. In the books one of the signs that a Mayfair is a witch is her being born with an exter finger. My baby girl was born with an exter finger as well. It was kind of a creepy coincidence. The Mayfair witch books are well worth reading. You have a old powerful faimly of witches, a spirit who helps and hurts the faimly, an ancient group that watches and records the supernatural. Some how part of this group has become corrupt and has turned on some of its members. You discover the Taltos an ancient raise that gives birth to full grown walking talking children. You meet unforgettable characters that are easily to fall in love with. The books are a bit odd but that just adds to the dynamic of the books.


Wow, I really loved this series. I did not want it to end. It's one of those stories that you get so wrapped up in you feel like it's really happening somewhere and you forget that it's only fiction. The reason I gave this book only 4 stars is because I wanted a little more closure at the end. She did end it well and mostly happy, but I feel like she could now write an entirely new series on what inevitably happens after the last sentence. I know that all stories have to end. And it's probably tough for an author to make the call on when it does, but this one I feel could have used one more chapter. This last book was a little bit of a slower read for me, but not much. It was still gripping and full of one adventure after another, but it wasn't so packed with mystery and suspense like the last first two were. I recommend this series. But readers beware, she's a very visual writer ABOUT EVERY SITUATION. Her writing sometimes seems drawn out, but it makes the story that much better to know the history behind the characters.

Leander Grogan

I am a big fan of Anne Rice. But this book didn't fulfill the promise. The plot was a continuation of two other books and reveals Ashlar's complex past. I thought the perspective from which the book approach the Christian intervention was quite brilliant. So was the paranormal interaction with Janet.But all this content just for two lovers to get a room in the end was disappointing. There were many profound questions posed about civilization's callous and bloodthirsty cycles of conquest. But few were really answered.Sorry I can't recommend this one.


If you've already been sucked into the Mayfair trilogy, you're going to have to read this book. I'm sorry. It's not good. Really though, this series is worth finishing, even if you LOL your way through the last book because it's so freaking ridiculous. There is a good explanation for what Lasher is, and how he came to be involved with the Mayfairs, and what the Talamasca knows about it; you're going to want to know this stuff. Unfortunately, the characters (particularly the family members) have all lost their minds. Some poor relations come out of the swamp which is pretty cool, but they're just as crazy as the rest of them, except more functional. Keep a punching bag handy.

Carl Alves

In Taltos, the sequel in the Mayfair Witches series, when Michael Curry and Rowan Mayfair have an offspring, because of an chromosomal abnormality, their offspring is Lasher, an ancient superhuman creature known as a taltos. In this often times ridiculous, sometimes hard to read novel, Michael Curry now has a child with Rowan’s 13 year old niece, Mona (can someone say statuatory rape). Apparently Anne Rice doesn’t think this is a big deal since Mona is a witch. Meanwhile, the secret order of the Talamasca is trying to kidnap the taltos.This novel is a bit convoluted and extremely over-sexed. Anne Rice has seemingly lost her way. Although the novel isn’t terrible and has its good points, it’s far off the mark from her excellent early novels that are part of the Vampire Chronicles. There is something lacking here. It’s too long. It’s hard to take seriously, and it doesn’t resonate in any way. It’s not a bad read, but it isn’t anything special.Carl Alves – author of Blood Street


Probably the best way to wrap up this series; meaning the ending is left completely open, and you don't get a real resolution to the story.There's a fascinating back story about the new Taltos character, Asher, which goes back pretty much before the beginning of human history. Mona is still the devastatingly intelligent, beautiful, driven little sociopath that she was in "Lasher". (I think that's the right term for her. It's lucky that she only uses all her charms for good; she's totally not bound by society's rules, and she wants what she wants when she wants it.) I lost a lot of respect for Rowan at the end of "The Witching Hour", and I never really got all of it back here, Michael's forgiveness notwithstanding. The shadowy characters killing people and trying to manipulate things in the back ground get a satisfying comeuppance, even it if felt a little rushed.By the end of the book everything is pretty much set back to normal, until the VERY ending, where you have a development that Rice took almost a decade to resolve

Crystal Sechtman

I am really disappointed in this book. It felt so disconnected from the previous two in the series, it was almost like, "why bother?" for me. The first two books, there's such great story building, its like a big web. You've got all these fascinating witch characters spanning history, this menacing, seductive, unruly spirit Lasher, who does the family's bidding and in many cases is their undoing and you've got this beautiful house as a perfect backdrop. And the whole thing was just continually unfolding. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey of the first two books.Then came "Taltos".... And now I have Anne Rice burn out again....I hated how Lasher was just basically forgotten and replaced by this new Taltos, Ash. It came across like a new and improved saintly Lasher, which I just couldn't get into. I was annoyed by his overly simplistic, overly innocent personality. I'll take Lasher over Ash any day of the week!While I thought the story of the Taltos was a fairly decent story, I just couldn't transition into it from the the last two books I'd read, and therefore couldn't help but feel ultimately bored and disappointed while I read it. Plus I was constantly annoyed by both Rowan and Michaels characters, both whom I loved in the previous books. I hated the high heeled vixen tone "I'm just a ruined woman" Rowan had, and Michael just came across as some kind of sucker. It was weird, I just thought they both lacked depth in this one, and they were just basically there to "fill in" the character slots for an entirely different story. Too bad because they were both great Anne Rice characters. Also I though it was a little odd the way at the end of "Lasher" you had Mona and Yuri fall in love and then in "Taltos" they were both like "yeah, no". Like it was conveniently written out of the storyline so Mona could have her monster baby without Yuri's character as a distraction. And A. R. just kind of wrote him away into a safe little corner in the end. And one last weird aspect of the story for me was the getting down to the bottom of the situation with the bad apples of the Talamasca. These two young guys who were supposed to be like the new generation of young modern minds, their demise was that they were thrown alive into a hole to die by the Talamasca elite, practically before their stories ever got started? What? I will say though that was one of the only parts in the book that had me in suspense for a moment, it was rather gruesome. No, I read all three of these books basically back to back and while I enjoy Anne Rice and will continue to read her books, they are usually either a hit or a miss with me and this one I just have to put into the "miss" category.

Stephany G

Ok I know by reading a few of the other reviews that I must just not have a good experience with Anne Rice. I mean the people who love her really love her and seem so forgiving of the things I had trouble with in this series. This is my last book in this series. I will stop here since it has been so difficult for me to invest in this story. I have learned that the history I criticized in book one seemed much more interesting than book two and three. I do like Mona and Mary Jane. I enjoy their interactions and I think the last ten pages of this book were good. That said, this was the same sort of second hand story telling that bores me. I do not like Rowan and find her character in Lasher and this book to be extremely annoying. Her inner dialogue is ridiculous. Micheal's love for her seems so unreal that I have a hard time sticking with the strong man he is portrayed as. I did find the doll collector interesting but of course he has to give his long history which goes on and on. It was hard for me to believe this love everyone felt that caused them to lose reason at times. Glad this tale is over for me.


Just finished this last book and must say am mildly disappointed--it leaves you hanging, drags you on for at least a hundred pages with this confusing stream of consciousness memory trail and confuses you by turning your favorite characters into dependent mindless ninnies..it is crazy to meet Mona and love her headstrong mind and mischeviousness and then see her become doting and helpless after a strange experience..What can I say I loved the premise, thought most of the chararcters were okay (hated Rowan, Michael, Ancient Evelyn and Gifford but loved Ryan, Mona, Mary Jane, Julien and Stella)but the ending disappoints and leaves you wondering if Ann Rice had another book in mind--which wouldnt be so bad so she can redeem herself for ending this powerful trilogy like that--for shame :)


** spoiler alert ** Here we are there is another Taltos Mr Ash.....he claims to be the st.ashlar. I loved him...i loved the story it took a step back fromt he total immersion into the talamasca story that was hugely explored in Lasher. You learn about the Taltos race and thier tragic end. this is what Lasher worked so hard for. It is shorter than the prevous two books. I enjoyed it very much and by the end i was in tears.


It took me a while to get around to this third installment of Rice's Mayfair trilogy. I started it a while back and realized I couldn't quite handle it yet so I moved on to other things for a while then came back and was able to finish it. There's just something about this story, from beginning to end (1st book to 3rd book) that has gotten under my skin. It's one of those stories I won't soon forget... beautifully written yet intensely disturbing. The perfect formula for an unforgettable tale. Anyway, as to this book specifically I just have to say... Rice's vision of the "Taltos," a forgotten, practically extinct race of beings that are so close to human they can pass as human but the differences are so NOT human, and THEY ARE SO CREEPY, well it's brilliant to say the least. These beings have been around since the dawn of time and when humans began making an appearance the Taltos made fun of them, describing them as "hairy monkey things." As humankind evolved and advanced, the Taltos managed to stay out of their way, until disaster struck and their "paradise," their island of plenty, fell into the sea. The surviving Taltos were forced to journey to the bitter cold land of Britain where they managed to hang on. (Being able to give birth to walking, talking, fully knowing children was a definite plus in terms of replenishing their numbers). They were able to pass as human for a long time, until humans became smart enough to question why they had no "young" and finally began to catch on to the differences. Of course mass slaughter of the Taltos was the inevitable outcome; pretty obvious social commentary here. However, the graphic scenes of Taltos being forced to procreate as part of religious ceremonies (the "children" are born almost instantly upon conception), offspring being forced to procreate and then being tossed into the fire and on and on until the people were satisfied enough "sacrifice" had taken place... well, I had nightmares to say the least. It's the mark of a very good author when a story sticks to you like this. I don't know how I feel about the ending. Happy and horrified at the same time I guess. Rice kinda sorta left it open for another sequel, but I really hope that never, ever happens. I honestly don't even want to know what could potentially happen next...

Phillip Longman

A profoundly dumb conclusion to the series. It's Anne Rice—I don't expect Chekhov. I liked "The Witching Hour" because it was smutty and dark. But the answers we receive in this book are so dumb that they reduce a good ghost story to the level of weird, sci-fi slash fiction. This is "The Force is caused by midichlorians," level stuff. The series would have been so much better if it had just ended as a sort of open-ended horror tragedy after book one.


By this point, Anne Rice was writing Fan-Fic of her characters, and not quite as good as better fan-fic. She should have stopped with the trilogy and just walked away. Sadly, she wrote a lot more.


This was such an amazing conclusion to the series. Unlike the vampire chronicles she sews it up nice and tight. One of the best side notes to this book is the cross pollination of a very significant character from the vampire chronicles, brilliant, sexy and frightening. A good read to me.


** spoiler alert ** I started this book with the sense that it was unnecessary; after all, Lasher and Emaleth, the only two Taltos still alive, were both killed at the end of the last book, bringing a close to the conflict between the Taltos and the Mayfair witches. However, because people love trilogies just as much as Anne Rice loves interview-style exposition, we get a third part to the Mayfair saga.All kidding aside, this is a very interesting book; we meet a new, more mature Taltos named Ashlar, and he freely shares with the Mayfairs the history of his species, stretching back to Atlantis, to the Picts, and continuing up until medieval times and beyond. We also learn about what's going on inside the Talamasca, specifically with regards to the excommunications of Yuri and Aaron in the second book. Overall, I think I would say that I prefer this trilogy to Rice's vampire work.

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