Taltos (Lives of The Mayfair Witches #3)

ISBN: 0345404319
ISBN 13: 9780345404312
By: Anne Rice

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Anne Rice Fantasy Favorites Fiction Horror Paranormal Series Supernatural Urban Fantasy Witches

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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

Alex Ronk

Y por fin termine la serie de las brujas de Mayfair *-* me tarde un poco pero valió la pena y después de leer éste me quedo sin duda con La Voz del Diablo. sobre todo porque Lasher me agrado bastante y porque aún se enfocaba más en la historia y vida de la familia, en cambio en éste es más sobre los Taltos y hay momentos que resultan un poco tediosos :SSin duda les recomiendo leerlos en orden ya que de lo contrario resultaría muy confuso seguir el hilo de los sucesos, a pesar de que el primero es demasiada historia de la familia, vale la pena leerlos en orden y así es mucho más sencillo entenderle a todo lo que se desata a raíz de que Rowan y Michael se conocen en el primer libro. Me pareció un buen cierre para una historia así de larga y por momentos compleja, pero que te deja un buen sabor de boca y al menos a mi me quedaron ganas de que Lasher fuera un libro más largo o que el personaje tuviera un objetivo que le permitiera alcanzar lo que siempre soñó... pero no planeo arruinarles la historia de ningún personaje ;) En éste libro se menciona a Ashlar y prácticamente es más sobre su historia desde que apareció en la Tierra hasta la época en que conoce a Rowan, Michael, Yuri y su conexión con el grupo Talamasca que a diferencia de los otros dos, casi no se hacen referencias en la historia. En cuanto a la familia la verdad es que a lo largo de los tres libros todos tuvieron momentos en los que me daban ganas de golpearlos - sobre todo a Rowan y a Mona - del tipo de familia extensa y con un árbol genealógico bien interesante y a veces medio extraño e incestuoso. Michael pasaba sin pena ni gloria en la mayoría de los casos, creo que me agrado solo al principio del primer libro que es cuando se cuenta su historia y hasta su encuentro con la familia, el resto la verdad es que me resultaba molesto y en el segundo libro de plano me desagrado antes de la mitad... así que tanto a él como a Rowan y un poco Mona quedan fuera de personajes interesantes/favoritos. No hago mucho referencia a la historia del último libro porque resultaría molesto tener que llegar al punto en que arruino todo para quienes no lo han leído. Personalmente me quedo con el segundo por ser el más emocionante y más rápido. El primero es una introducción bastante larga en el que se necesita valor para no saltarse situaciones entre familia y toda una conexión entre Talamasca, las brujas y Lasher ah y Michael. Y en éste ya se aclararon muchas cosas que quedan en el aire en los otros dos y tiene un final que a mi parecer fue más que justo para todos, pero la referencia a las Mayfair es muy poca y mucha va sobre Mona que si me comenzaba a agradar al principio, termine por odiarla un poquito. Y aunque quisiera contarles más sobre la historia no se haría justicia. Vale la pena leerlos y adentrarse en un mundo de conflictos, poderes, habilidades, conexiones y además de todo la historia de una familia compleja y de conocer a unos seres que no hacen más que intrigarte desde el principio. Así que súper recomendable y no olviden que es importante leerlos en orden.

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.

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

Triet Pham

I gave this book 2 stars because of three reasons:1. the book's enthralling opening 2. it's extensive vocabulary3. Anne Rice's lovely prose ( although gradually into the middle of the book it becomes overly long to me)I came across this book in an old bookstore. Having known that Anne specialized in paranormal writing, I was glad to know even further that this book was about witches and planned to purchase the other ones of this series.The book started well. Anne's prose was literary and lovely. Her use of words was wonderful: you could learn lots of new and strange words in here. And most importantly of all, the fact that this book was about a clan of witches totally held me spellbound.However, after the first half of the book, something went terribly wrong. I started to realize what it was: despite the fact that this book was about witches, I saw no detectable signs of witchcraft except for some telepathetic connection. This really disappointed me. Another preposterous thing about this book was that Anne wrote two chapters (I don't know whether there was a third because I gave up reading halfway through the second one), each of which was terribly long and kind of boring even to me, just to account for a character's history. After reading halfway through the second chapter that recount the history, I jumped straight to the last chapter in order to finish the book. Fortunately, the one last redeeming feature of this book was its last chapter: it was a relief to finish a disappointing bookk with a not-so-bad ending chapter.P/S: I honestly think that Anne should take into consideration that a book about witches is supposed to conntain some sort of witchcraft!!!!


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...

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.


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.


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.

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.

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