Author: Anne Rice
First Published: 1993
Page Count: 628
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Note: Book 2 in The Mayfair Chronicles
Lasher takes readers deeper into the lives of the Mayfair witches and their mysterious ghost guardian made flesh with a twisted tale of the occult.
*Great “villain” *Not your ordinary witch story
*Erotic theme can be pretty twisted *Very drawn out plot
“I am Lasher and I am in the flesh, and have come again , my beautiful one, my Mayfair witch.” The Mayfair family is an old one that dates back centuries. However, it is a family of secrets ranging from murder, to incest, and witchcraft. Lasher, a seductive ghost that has haunted the women of the Mayfair family has managed to succeed in his one goal of becoming mortal and this has brought pain and death to the family. Now it is up to the Mayfair family and a mysterious group of supernatural scholars known as the Talamasca to hunt down this mysterious being and discover what nefarious plot he has in mind.
I remember reading the first book in this series, The Witching Hour, in middle school and having it totally blow my mind. The depth of the plot and the fact that it was a very different kind of witch story intrigued me. The erotic aspects were probably not appropriate for a 13-year-old but, hey, that was also very eye-opening. This book matched everything that I loved about the first book. This second book was very satisfying because you finally got to see Lasher’s past and his origins within the Mayfair family. I liked that while this is toted as a witch story, it has so many other supernatural elements that it doesn’t feel stuck with that label. Lasher is also a fantastic villain. It isn’t until the very end that you see him for what he really is, but, until that point, he switches from being seductive and powerful, to childlike and innocent, and then to a talented liar. He is a very complex character, who, up until the very end, I was still unsure about what to think of him.
Something that might be off-putting for some could be the very erotic themes. I’m not that squeamish about that kind of stuff in novels, but some of the scenes just made you think “wow, ok ,you’re gonna go there!” There is a lot of incest that put the sex scenes over the top and so that might distract some from enjoying the story. I agree, it might be a bit much, but it also added an odious air to the whole tale that worked. I also thought the plot was very drawn out in this book, which was something that had bothered me with the first book as well. You have to get through two long backstories just to get to the point and while the backstories were something you craved for a little more history on the characters, it just felt too long. A helpful tip, by the way, don’t wait ten years to read this book after the first. There is a huge history written about the Mayfairs in the first book and I could barely recall it in this book which slowed down the story in the beginning as I tried to remember characters and past events. These books are so detailed you need to read them all at once to really be immersed in the story
I’ve only read one other Anne Rice book which was part of her vampire chronicles, but this series shows her talent much more in my opinion. The Mayfair Chronicles is such a unique story, let alone for one involving witches. There is so much mystery and so many different alleys that are left to be discovered even after the main story ends that it leaves so much to be explored. All I know is, I’m not waiting even 1 more year let alone 10 to read book three.