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Taltos
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About the Author

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

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Just when we thought we had seen the last of the Taltos in The Witching Hour (LJ 10/15/90) and Lasher (Knopf, 1993), this third book in the Mayfair Witches series tells the story of Ash, a centuries-old Taltos who resides in New York City. The Taltos grow to a height of seven feet, carry an extra set of chromosomes, and have a superior intelligence that enables them to digest dictionaries and encyclopedias in moments. There is something rotten in the state of the Talamasca, an order of scholars who study the supernatural and keep records of the Mayfair witches. When one such scholar is murdered, Rowan Mayfair, the mother of the two late Taltos in Lasher, and husband Michael Curry investigate. Ash meets with them, shows them that he's harmless, and, like Lasher, has his own story to tell. Although this novel is a suspenseful and sometimes thought-provoking page-turner, it does not stand on its own; the first two books in the series must be read first. Recommended wherever Rice's books are popular. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/94; Literary Guild main selection.]-Laura Cole, New Jersey

Cutting-edge gene mapping intertwines with ancient mysteries in this continuation of Rice's series of novels about witches and the supernatural. A ``taltos'' is the superhuman result of the crossbreeding of two human witches who possess an extra chromosome; almost a monster, the creature is capable of beastly behavior fuelled by an extraordinary sex drive. In Lasher , the eponymous offspring of Michael Curry and Rowan Mayfair of the New Orleans Mayfair witch clan proved to be just such a mutant; before he was slain, he repeatedly raped his own mother, siring a little ``goblin'' daughter, Emaleth. This new novel features a second taltos, also fathered by Curry, but mothered by a 13-year-old sexpot niece of Rowan's named Mona, who is herself the most powerful witch of the Mayfair clan. Other plot elements involve renegade members of the secret order of Talamasca, who want to kidnap and crossbreed two taltoses; a 200-year-old taltos from New York named Ashlar, who is posing as a toy-industry magnate specializing in dolls; and a dwarf called Samuel from the witches' holy glen in Donnelaith, Scotland. Pulsing with a persisent sense of foreboding, the novel is soggy with meandering, atmospheric prose that verges on softcore porn. And, as usual, what happens in the book is clearly less important to the author than the number of chills she can send down readers' spines. She has not lost her touch. 600,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection. (Sept.)

"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

"Anne Rice will live on through the ages of literature."--San Francisco Chronicle

"An intricate, stunning imagination."--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Spellbinding . . . mythical . . . Anne Rice is a pure storyteller."--Cosmopolitan

"Beautifully written."--Kirkus Reivews (starred review)

"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

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