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Lasher
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From the day her first Vampire Chronicle was published, critics and readers - readers by the hundreds of thousands - have been mesmerized by the writings of Anne Rice. And with the publication of "The Witching Hour," she created for us yet another world and legend, and both the chorus of praise (see back of jacket) and the multitudes of her readers once more increased. Now, in her new novel, Anne Rice brings us again - even more magically - into the midst of the dynasty of witches she introduced in "The Witching Hour." At the center: the brilliant and beautiful Rowan Mayfair, queen of the coven, and "Lasher," the darkly compelling demon whom she finds irresistible and from whose evil spell and vision she must now flee. She takes with her their terrifying and exquisite child, one of "a brood of children born knowing, able to stand and talk on the first day." Rowan's attempt to escape Lasher and his pursuit of her and their child are at the heart of this extraordinary saga. It is a novel that moves around the globe, backward and forward through time, and between the human and demonic worlds. Its many voices - of women, of men, of demons and angels, present and past - haunt and enchant us. With a dreamlike power, the novel draws us through twilight paths, telling a chillingly hypnotic story of occult and spiritual aspirations and passion.
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About the Author

Anne Rice is the author of thirty-two books. She lives in Palm Desert, California.

Reviews

Returning to the Mayfair clan she introduced in The Witching Hour , Rice offers another vast, transcontinental saga of witchcraft and demonism in the tradition of Gothic melodrama. The eponymous Lasher is a demon spirit who preys on female Mayfairs in his attempt to procreate. Rowan Mayfair, queen of the coven who has borne Lasher's child, has now disappeared. At times this main narrative is lost as the story moves from the Louisiana Mayfairs to the Scottish Donnelaiths and the clandestine London Telamasca society, with copious personal histories and myriad characters. Long sections ramble without a compelling point of view, and are dampened by stock elements: cliched wind storms, sexy witches, the endless supply of money the Telemasca has at its disposal. At times, Lasher is too much in evidence (rattling the china, gnashing his teeth) to be frightening. But embedded in this antique demonism is a contemporary tale of incest and family abuse that achieves resonance. It is maintained through the character of Lasher, both child and man at the same time, who manipulates his victims with his own pain. At their best, Rice's characters rise above the more wooden plot machinations with an ironic and modern complexity: Mona, the young feminist witch with sharklike business instincts; Julien, the dead patriarch, who movingly recalls his male lovers; Yuri, the clever Serbian orphan. Despite lapses into uninspired language, ultimately the novel is compelling through its exhaustive monumentality. 700,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection. (Oct.)

"EROTIC...EERIE...HORRIFYING...A tight tale of the occult in present-day New Orleans...Anne Rice is a spellbinding novelist....LASHER quenches".-- Denver Post

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