Lasher by Anne Rice

female figure floats in sheer netting
Is it witch or woman?

Fans of Anne Rice will be delighted with Lasher, a convoluted tale about the spirit who wants to be flesh. The novel features characters from Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and her Mayfair Witches series.

In Lasher, a couple who each have an extra set of chromosomes mate, producing a non-human creature. The spirit Lasher enters the embryo which develops physically at super-human speed, leaving its mother hovering on the brink of death. Lasher’s goal is to breed a race of giants who will by their sheer numbers drive mortals from the earth.

From the time of Henry VIII, an organization called the Talamasca has investigated supernatural phenomena. It knows almost as much about Lasher and he knows of himself.

The Mayfair family, whose queen Rowan Mayfair is mother to the Lasher creature, want it destroyed for their own survival. The Talamasca want it preserved for their own study.

Those who haven’t read earlier novels in those sets may be baffled by the first 300 or so pages of Lasher. Rice tells the tale from multiple viewpoints coming from multiple locations over centuries. Some of the names are quite similar, adding to the confusion.

Rice’s story is all story. When you close the book, there’s nothing left.

Lasher by Anne Rice
Part of the Mayfair Witches series
Alfred A. Knopf. ©1993. 578 p.
1993 bestseller #10; my grade: C

©2020 Linda G. Aragoni

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

Fine carved angels and lit candles are dust cover background.Imagine a mashup of a novel by Judith Krantz and one by Stephen King and you’ll have an approximation of Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour.

Rice begins her story in the present day, when a drowned man is revived by Rowan Mayfair, a neurosurgeon from a family of witches with special powers, who pulls him from the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay.

Michael Curry knows that while dead he was given some task to complete and given some unusual sensory powers. He’s forgotten what the task is and is scared by the powers.

Michael grew up poor, but grew a construction business that has made him wealthy.

By contrast, the Mayfairs are enormously wealthy and have been wealthy for four centuries: Rowan can write a check for two luxury cars on one day more casually than most people would write their monthly check to their electric company.

The duo fall in love and move to New Orleans where both their families have roots and Rowan’s family manages her trust fund.

It’s hard to care about the miseries of the super-rich, and even harder to care about the super-rich who may not even be human. Put their stories in a 965-page novel, and you’ve got a good doorstop.

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
Alfred A. Knopf. ©1990. BCE. 965 p.
(Lives of the Mayfair witches series)
1990 bestseller #9; my grade: C-

©2020 Linda G. Aragoni