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

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.


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

Cody Ray

** spoiler alert ** Many years ago, I tried to read the Witching Hour, the first book in this series, but was unable to slog through the slower parts. So this time I jumped straight to this book, the third in the series, and was a bit thrown into the middle of things.That being said, it was quite an enjoyable read nonetheless, especially the manner in which Rice portrays the Taltos species. I particularly enjoyed the retelling of Ash's life from the lost land until the modern day, and the manner in which Taltos were described: playful, simple and child-like, abhorring violence, full of love and compassion, but living for many thousands of years. The connection with Christianity was particularly interesting, especially its fatal conclusion for most of the Taltos and Ash's realization that, although Jesus professed love, forgiveness, and acceptance for all, that's not the way of his Disciples or the Church.The bottom line: I don't think I'll be going back to read the rest of the series yet. Taltos felt much the same as the Witching Hour (elaborate descriptions, slowly-developing plot line, etc), but the fanciful descriptions made it a good read nonetheless.

S. Saboviec

Anne Rice once again proves that just because you have written a bunch of novels and made a bunch of money off them doesn't mean that you know how to write. Some of my irritations with this third and final installment of Lives of the Mayfair Witches:- Refers to the main character of Chapter 1 as "he" for pages and pages, leaving us mystified as to whether we've met this person before and annoyed at what is even happening?- Inserts two chapters of 80+ pages of info-dump in the first person, even though the book is written in third person omniscient.- Suddenly "discovers" another Mayfair offspring around Mona's age, conveniently at the time she needs a friend to assist in her crazy. Has Michael, of course, lust after the poor girl because she is, of course, completely deliciously gorgeous and wears a cowboy hat. Does not bring the Michael-lust plot point up ever again.- Inelegantly explains the Taltos--oh, guys, they weren't what you thought for the thousands of pages of the last books--making me more confused and annoyed at what the heck the purpose of the last two books was.And those are just the big ones.All I can say is, thank you, Anne Rice, for teaching me never to buy all the books in a series at once. If I hadn't done that, my eyeballs would never fallen upon these pages. At least it wasn't as bad as the first one.

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.


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.


** 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.

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

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.

Lisa Blondin

A disappointing end to the Mayfair witch trilogy.Starting with the best part, the end. It had to end as if did. All Rowan and Michael did in Lasher needed to be for nothing. It was perfect in its darkness and dispair. The problem is how Rice got there.First, the evil off shoot of the Talamasca. Way too much. Too distracting from the real story. Too unbelievable. Not to mention that Aaron's death doesn't serve to advance the plot.Second, Mary Jane and Mona. The two genius witches come off as idiots. Yes, they are only 13 and 19 but I really wanted to smack them. Actually I groaned every time I started a pediatric witch chapter.Ashlar's story was intriguing and the most interesting part of the book. Although it seemed too short and I would have liked to learn something about his life's intersection with Lasher.What was missing? First, more Michael and Rowan. It was there but I felt unsatisfied. Finally, I usually love Rice's writing. She is poetic without poetry and sensual, even erotic at times, without being pornographic. Taltos seems to be almost completely lacking in this respect. Yes there is sex but the sensuality is missing. I needed to read this again for closure but am disappointed because, even on second read Taltos missed its mark.


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...


Yet another read from long, long ago. It was good but I remember not caring for the story in a whole. Mona with her baby and sweet milky breast was creepy. Rowan and Michael powering through their problems didn't much matter either. The history of the immortal specie was loathsome at best. Only Blood Canticle and Blackwood Farms were more unnecessary stories. 3/5 stars because it was still an Anne Rice novel, even if it was pointless.


Culmination of the Mayfair Witches' trilogy, this sometimes feels as though it's an entirely separate book as much of it is concerned with the relating of Ashlar's tale, which is a delicious mix of history with myths and legends, all imbued with the inevitable sadness that comes from having lived a centuries-long life.The events concerning the Mayfair's (other than Rowan and Michael, who simply listen to Ashlar for the most part) and the reclamation of the Talamasca are relegated to the sidelines, which is a shame as I would have liked to have seen a little more to these stories, particularly in the case of the Talamasca (though that part does have a fantastically grisly punishment at it's conclusion). I enjoyed elements pertaining to Mona and Mary Jane, and would have liked to have found out a little bit more about the Fountevrault Mayfair's, but was slightly ambivalent about Morrigan and this part of the story was that which I enjoyed least. It's arguable that this book is the least necessary in the series as it was hard to see where things could go after the events in the last book, which would have seemed a more natural conclusion, but nevertheless this was still highly enjoyable and definitely worth a read.

mark monday

this character "Ashlar" just up and jizzes all over the faces of the preceding novels in the series, except that it is not hot, not hot at all. The Witching Hour was a fascinatingly cracked historical-family saga and Lasher, although a much lesser work, was a disturbingly oedipal psychodrama. Taltos is like a big bucket of spooge, just silly and disgusting and entirely unappealing to even contemplate. ugh, thanks a lot Rice for ruining a perfectly good series! almost as criminal is the increasingly revolting elevation of the character Mona, surely one of the most unlikeable, creepy (and not in a good way) characters that Rice has ever created. please no more pedophilia disguised as romance..."empowered" juvenile characters like Mona need to vanish from literature without a trace, post-haste. my gosh, surely that is not too much to ask?


I loved this trilogy so much and the last part doesn't let it down. Rowan and Michael are great characters and the usual southern new Orleans setting works so well for these books. The talamassca is in these more than her Vampire novels and it was great to learn more about the shadowy organisation.Mona Mayfair is another good character and in this book she gets a lot more time as she is central to the storyline. We also find out just who Lasher was, where he came from and the whole history of the Taltos race. It makes for fascinating reading. All your questions from the first two books are answered very well.There are some huge surprises and I love Ash, the century's old Taltos Rowan and Michal find. A brilliant end to the trilogy and there are two good tie ins to the Mayfair Witches in blackwood farm and blood canticle which are her last two Vampire chronicles books. I'd definitely recommend these books.

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