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Author: Anne Rice
Series:Lives of the Mayfair Witches
Published: 1996
Review by: CL4 Kaysa

Rice unfolds her tale through characters that touch your heart as well as your mind. From the Taltos himself, Ashlar, to the little redheaded heiress named Mona, their alluring personalities are enough to keep you turning the pages. A Taltos is a fictional breed that looks like a human, only taller, and can live for much longer. Humans long ago massacred the Taltos, leaving Ashlar to be one of the only ones remaining. Mona is a Mayfair witch, the most powerful and the heiress to the Mayfair fortune in New Orleans. All of the characters are what I would call eye candy through words, pleasant and sweet. The beauty of their physical attributes contributes to the allure, but their power and strength substantiate it. This brings to the reader a somewhat soap opera obsession.

The story itself consists of these characters and more, as well as an organization called the Talamasca. A few of its members are tainted, and will do anything to breed a female and male Taltos together in hopes of creating a baby. This leads the members to murder a witch, and the Mayfair's need revenge, and answers. Ashlar can give them these answers, and once they find one another they discover that there was more to learn and gain from eachother than they ever thought possible. All the while the reader is wrapped in a fantastical story of love and loneliness in which it is impossible not to get into.

This perfect blend of a captivating plot and charming diction make for mesmerizing storytelling. The actual words seem more like a symphony, drawing you in with that dreamy rapture that only music can bring. The plot itself, with slight mystery and suspense sprinkled into a romantic fašade, swarms the reader with emotions that are full of pleasure. History from our own world, from Stonehenge to the coming of Christ, adds to the thought-provoking component of the fantasy novel as Rice does what is called "alternate history."

The story of a lost race of Taltos blends in with the actual history of the earth, from settlers to war. Her alternate history is well learned, and nothing that was just pulled from the air. This credibility gives the novel a sense of respect and dignity amidst the fantastical creatures and ideas.