But Blood Canticle is like Anne Rice woke up one day, smelled the roses, opened the balcony doors to be greeted by the shouts of her adoring fans, and then proceeded to perch on the railing and shit on all of them. Lestat is a pussy.
I'm a long-time fan of The Vampire Chronicles as well as her tales of the Mayfair Witches, and my lust for this book, the one in which the two series merge, moved it to the top of my reading list. ::: The Plot ::: For those of you who are unfamiliar with Anne Rice's novels, there are two major series: one about vampires starring the Vampire Lestat, and the other about a family of witches. In Blood Canticle, the story begins with Lestat "saving" the dying Mayfair witch Mona, the most recent bearer of a Taltos. For over 100 pages, the reader is held at bay to hear the story of Rowan and Mona and the Taltos, which any devoted reader of the Mayfair Witches stories already knows. Of course, Lestat falls in love with the human Rowan, and in the course of helping Mona and Rowan find out what happened to the remaining Taltos (Mona's daughter Morrigan and the centuries-old "purebred" Taltos Ash who Rowan met in the Mayfair stories), he rids Mona's cousin Quinn's farm of Quinn's mother's ghost (Quinn killed her in the previous Chronicle, Blackwood Farm), contacts Maharet, know the "ruler" of the Vampires, kills druglords and finds out the fate of the Taltos. The plot contrivances that Rice uses to get Mona, Quinn, and Lestat to where they will find the fate of the Taltos are numerous, unbelievable, and far too convenient, and for good measure, Rice tosses in a gratuitous sex scene. As a long-time Rice fan, I have to say this book is best suited to use as toilet paper.
and it seems like Anne just doesn't care about this series or the vampire world anymore.
Theres not much I can say about this book that others havent already said, however I just have to vent about one thing Anne Rice increasingly does with her later books: Her feticisization of coloured people, especially creoles of the south.
If Ms. Rice had said to her fans (via her website or otherwise) 'You know what, I'm just dealing with a lot right now, so I'm going to take a break from writing' or some such, I'd have supported her one hundred percent. For whatever reason, Ms. Rice decided she wasn't going to write more vampires since she found Jeebus all over again and is now gonna write Christian tripe, so she thought she'd end the Vampire Chronicles/Mayfair witches with this book that brings them together. I don't know what was worse, this book or Twilight. It is a huge shame that the Vampires and the Mayfair Witches had to end like this.
Anne Rice has said this is the last of the Vampire Chronicles, I'm not sure if this is the last of the Mayfair Witches, but this review is written under the belief that Blood Canticle is the end of both. As I reached the end of the chronicles and the time came to read Blood Canticle I didn't want to. I did not like the way the book started out, Lestat was way too self aware and it took me out of the story. While most of the plot was about Mona (her turning into a vamp, looking for the Taltos) poor Quinn fell by the wayside when he could have used more development considering the book Blackwood Farm just ended and how he was adjusting to the changes. At times it seemed like there were too many characters in the scenes, overcomplicating the plot and robbing their development. I understand Anne Rice went through some tough times while finishing this book, and I hold nothing against her.
And, if I'm being totally transparent, this is one of the few Anne Rice novels I've read.
I like that the book addresses Mona becoming a vampire and how, as a woman, the sheer safety from attack that comes with vampiric power means a lot more than it would to, say, Quinn. Firstly, this book opens with a rather awful screed from Lestat chastising readers for not appreciating the brilliance of Memnoch The Devil (a book that was much criticised and, no, I didnt like it either). Ive seen authors respond to negative reviews before and its never good, but to actually have your title character scold readers for not UNDERSTANDING the insight of your oh-so-perfect book in a later book in the series is rather shockingly childish and ridiculous. It did not make me positively inclined towards this book Then we have Lestat running through this strangely bizarre joyous ode to Catholicism, including shovelling over a lot of problematic issues (in a series that likes to make every character bisexual well so long as their loves are under-aged praising the church in glowing terms then throwing aside the homophobia as a 3 word bracketed reference is insulting) which then develops into a confused, incoherent ramble of Lestat wanting to be a saint and the Pope and the spiritual joys of an obscure saint that will keep popping up throughout the whole book without any real need or relevance (and its not like the books need more reasons to deviate). I think this is a response to people complaining about how over-elaborate the language of these books are especially when Quinn showed up speaking in exactly the same voice as Lestat so now Lestat drops random yo cool and dude. Lestat constantly thinks of her with words like harpy. Before that we have an excruciatingly long info-dump of what I assume is the plot of the Mayfair Witches books since these two series have now been mushed together (to no-ones shock, Lestat is now madly in love with Rowan Mayfair.
This made me want to flee into the arms of Anne's earlier work, fold myself into the lush, lyrical writing of novels past, and dismiss this book and the one preceding it as cruel jokes; as nightmares; as phantoms I'd never need to acknowledge ever again.
Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O'Brien) is a best-selling American author of gothic, supernatural, historical, erotica, and later religious themed books.