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Of Love and Evil (Songs of the Seraphim, Book 2) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 30, 2010


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Of Love and Evil (Songs of the Seraphim, Book 2) + Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim, Book One + The Wolves of Midwinter: The Wolf Gift Chronicles
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (November 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400043549
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400043545
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Rice's slim second Songs of the Seraphim novel (after Angel Time), the angel Malchiah whisks ex-contract killer Toby O'Dare back to 16th-century Rome, where Toby must save Vitale de Leone, a young Jewish physician who's been implicated in the poisoning of his gentile master and accused of bringing a poltergeist-like dybbuk into the household. Toby resolves both problems efficiently, but tragedy ensues, shaking his faith and leaving him vulnerable to powers of evil lying in wait to exploit his weakness. Toby's life back in modern times also grows complicated with the sudden appearance of an ex-lover and the son he never knew, neither of whom he can share his angelic interventions with. Though the plot is surprisingly similar to that of its predecessor, Rice's fans will easily succumb to the charm of her lapidary prose and a cliffhanger ending that sets up the next book in the series. 200,000 first printing. (Dec.) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Toby O’Dare, the assassin who started on the path to redemption in Angel Time (2009), continues his quest for salvation. He has just learned that he’s the father of a 10-year-old boy and is nervously awaiting the arrival of his former lover, Liona, and their son at the Mission Inn in California. He longs to be a part of the boy’s life and to rekindle his relationship with Liona, but he is summoned on another time-traveling errand of mercy by the angel Malchiah. This time Toby is transported to fifteenth-century Rome to respond to the prayer of a Jewish physician named Vitale, whose best friend and patient, Niccolò, has clearly been poisoned. Given the city’s virulent anti-Semitism, Vitale is at risk if the real culprit isn’t discovered. In addition to helping Vitale save Niccolò, Toby must discover the origins of an angry spirit that is haunting the house Vitale lives in. Toby is surprised by the dangers he faces in a story shaped by Catholic doctrine. Readers who enjoy Rice’s larger-than-life tales and elegant writing will find much to appreciate here, and the cliff-hanger ending will leave fans eager for the next installment. --Kristine Huntley

More About the Author

Anne Rice was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in English and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. Anne has spent more of her life in California than in New Orleans, but New Orleans is her true home and provides the back drop for many of her famous novels. The French Quarter provided the setting for her first novel, Interview with the Vampire. And her ante-bellum house in the Garden District was the fictional home of her imaginary Mayfair Witches.

She is the author of over 30 books, most recently the Toby O'Dare novels Of Love and Evil, and Angel Time; the memoir, Called Out of Darkness;and her two novels about Jesus, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana. (Anne regards Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana as her best novel.) ---- Under the pen name, A.N. Roquelaure, Anne is the author of the erotic (BDSM) fantasy series, The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. Under the pen name Anne Rampling she is the author of two erotic novels, Exit to Eden and Belinda.

Anne publicly broke with organized religion in July of 2010 on moral grounds, affirming her faith in God, but refusing any longer to be called "Christian." The story attracted surprising media attention, with Rice's remarks being quoted in stories all over the world. Anne hopes that her two novels about Jesus will be accepted on their merits by readers and transcend her personal difficulties with religion. "Both my Christ the Lord novels were written with deep conviction and a desire to write the best novels possible about Jesus that were rooted in the bible and in the Christian tradition. I think they are among the best books I've ever been able to write, and I do dream of a day when they are evaluated without any connection to me personally. I continue to get a lot of very favorable feedback on them from believers and non believers. I remain very proud of them."

Anne is very active on her FaceBook Fan Page and has well over a million followers. She answers questions every day on the page, and also posts on a variety of topics, including literature, film, music, politics, religion, and her own writings. Many indie authors follow the page, and Anne welcomes posts that include advice for indie authors. She welcomes discussion there on numerous topics. She frequently asks her readers questions about their response to her work and joins in the discussions prompted by these questions.

Her latest novel, "The Wolves of Midwinter," a sequel to "The Wolf Gift" and part of a werewolf series set in Northern California in the present time, will be published on October 15, 2013. In these books --- The Wolf Gift Chronicles -- Anne returns to the classic monsters and themes of supernatural literature, similar to those she explored in her Vampire Chronicles, and tales of the Mayfair Witches. Her new "man wolf" hero, Reuben Golding, is a talented young man in his twenties who suddenly discovers himself in possession of werewolf powers that catapult him into the life of a comic book style super hero. How Reuben learns to control what he is, how he discovers others who possess the same mysterious "wolf gift," and how he learns to live with what he has become --- is the main focus of the series. "The Wolves of Midwinter" is a big Christmas book --- a book about Christmas traditions, customs, and the old haunting rituals of Midwinter practiced in Europe and in America. It's about how the werewolves celebrate these rituals, as humans and as werewolves. But the book also carries forward the story of Reuben's interactions with his girl friend, Laura, and with his human family, with particular focus on Reuben's father, Phil, and his brother, Jim. As a big family novel with elements of the supernatural, "The Wolves of Midwinter" has much in common with Anne's earlier book, "The Witching Hour." Among the treats of "The Wolves of Midwinter" is a tragic ghost who appears in the great house at Nideck Point, and other "ageless ones" who add their mystery and history to the unfolding revelations that at times overwhelm Reuben.

In October of 2014, with the publication of "Prince Lestat," Anne will be returning to the fabled "Brat Prince" of the Vampire Chronicles, catching up with him in present time. This is the first of several books planned focusing on Lestat's new adventures with other members of the Vampire tribe. When the publication of "Prince Lestat" was announced on Christopher Rice's "The Dinner Party Show," a weekly internet radio broadcast, it made headlines in the US and around the world.

Anne's first novel, Interview with the Vampire, was published in 1976 and has gone on to become one of the best-selling novels of all time. She continued her saga of the Vampire Lestat in a series of books, collectively known as The Vampire Chronicles, which have had both great mainstream and cult followings.

Interview with the Vampire was made into a motion picture in 1994, directed by Neil Jordan, and starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas. The film became an international success. Anne's novel, Feast of All Saints about the free people of color of ante-bellum New Orleans became a Showtime mini series in 2001 and is available now on dvd. The script for the mini series by John Wilder was a faithful adaptation of the novel.

Anne Rice is also the author of other novels, including The Witching Hour, Servant of the Bones, Merrick, Blackwood Farm, Blood Canticle, Violin, and Cry to Heaven. She lives in Palm Desert, California, but misses her home in New Orleans. She hopes to obtain a pied a terre in the French Quarter there some time in the near future.

Anne has this to say of her work: "I have always written about outsiders, about outcasts, about those whom others tend to shun or persecute. And it does seem that I write a lot about their interaction with others like them and their struggle to find some community of their own. The supernatural novel is my favorite way of talking about my reality. I see vampires and witches and ghosts as metaphors for the outsider in each of us, the predator in each of us...the lonely one who must grapple day in and day out with cosmic uncertainty."

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Customer Reviews

I read it in one sitting and plan on finding the first book in this series soon.
Pam from Texas
The writing is boring, lacks detail (though too much detail was often a criticism of Rice's writing before), and just drags on and on.
Shannon L. Yarbrough
While she attempts to do the same with the main character here (Toby) it feels too rushed and it just makes it much more unbelievable.
Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

148 of 165 people found the following review helpful By Mark Colan TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am a fan of Anne Rice's darker novels - the vampire series, the Mayfair witches series, and others; I have read 12 or more. In those books, she told stories within stories - often going back in time, sometimes very far back. Her books were characterized by dark passion, violence, horror, vivid and colorful descriptions, and an exploration of the thoughts and feelings of her characters.

Most fans are aware of the major change to her novels a few years ago, as she took on Christian themes. Actually, she had been moving that way for some time, for example when Lestat met Memnoch the Devil.

I lost interest in her books after the change, but I had an opportunity to review this one through the Vine program, so I gave it a try.

Some things have not changed. She still has stories within stories, going back in time. There are supernatural creatures - but instead of preternatural creatures, we now have angels and a ghost. She still gets into a lot of descriptive detail for the places we visit. And we get plenty of insight into the main character, but the angels remain vague and inscrutable.

Toby, the main character, is a man who has gone through a transformation from darkness to light, giving up his evil ways in favor of dedicating himself in the service of God. His redemption has made him passionately happy - he frequently weeps with joy. Personally, I can't relate to the ecstasy thing, and a lot of tiresome words are spent on this subject.

The book is very short, especially from an author known for writing long books. My review edition had less than 170 loosely-filled pages and plenty of white space. A book does not have to be long to be good, but this one is thin in pages AND plot.

It is the second in the "Angel Time" series.
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54 of 64 people found the following review helpful By A Conrad on September 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the second book in the metaphysical thriller series "The Songs of the Seraphim". Anne Rice continues with the story of Toby O'Dare, who returns as the reformed contract killer set out to mend an injustice from the past. The book lays out the poetically tragic story of O'Dare's continuing journey of self-redemption, still in a constant battle of moral reflection and introspection. He hopes to escape his past by correcting the past. Through his eyes, we see a bit more of his history, and the realization that he cannot escape his past easily.

O'Dare travels back in time to Renaissance Rome, where he is given a mission of safeguarding Vitale, a distressed Jewish physician during a highly tumoltuous time, a time of anti-Semitism, rampant fears of demonic possessions, and the horrors of the Holy Inquisition. Vitale's house is possessed by a sirenic fallen angel called a "dybbuk" (an earthbound restless spirit, and maybe a new recurring character?). For a thin book, the story is riddled with twists and turns, plots and counterplots. The operatic plot is unraveled by O'Dare, as he sets forth on his mission to charm the troublesome spirit.

Poison and passion, forbidden love, crimes of the heart, and demonic possession... what else can you ask for?! Well, there's the next book, but let's be patient (an exercise of futility). This is an easy and enjoyable read. A pleasant surprise, because I enjoyed this book more than the first book (Angel Time). Highly recommended.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Terry South VINE VOICE on October 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Anne Rice's Of Love and Evil, Songs of the Seraphim continues, the second in the new series of angels and assassins set in dark and dangerous worlds that is told in our time and in centuries past. Toby O'Dare, former government assassin , he is summoned by the angel Malchiah to fifteenth-century Rome to solve a terrible crime of poisoning and to uncover the secrets of an earthbound restless spirit. His objective is to calm this restless spirit. As the story continues Toby is soon reconnected with his own past. Toby is a post-traumatic stress disorder survivor from his childhood where his mother slaughtered his brother. Due to his past makes him perfect for his mission, a vigilante who dispenses justice; he is a time traveler, and he is set to rid the world of horror. You must read the first in the series (Angel Time, 2009). It sets the stage for this sequel.

I have always been a big fan of Anne Rice and own every book she has ever written, her Vampire Chronicles, the Witches, she is an amazing storyteller. She combines her Catholicism, her fictional takes on the Gospel, and her passion for the dark side. This is a must for all Anne Rice fans, and if you have never read Anne Rice this is a great new series to get started with.
Highly recommended.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mary Chrapliwy VINE VOICE on October 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having read the first novel in this series, I was thrilled to read this one. This is the second novel in a planned series by Anne Rice, who in recent years has reconnected with her Catholic upbringing. She has written a series, which I have not read yet, about Jesus. And now she is creating a series about angels and absolution. The first book in the series bears a bit of a hokey title, that isn't so hokey once you learn what the story is about - Angel Time. Of the two books in the series that I have read now, the first one was definitely the best.

Of Love and Evil picks up where Angel Time left off. We are immersed in the life, longing, and regrets of Toby O'Dare, a reformed contract killer. Shortly into the story, Toby reconnects with the girlfriend of his former life and the son they share - one that he was unaware of until the angel told him that he had a son. He knows he is needed for another mission for the angel Malchiah and has his reunion cut short by the mission. Just as he had been thrust back in time in Angel Time, he is again thrust back in time to work hard to right a great wrong. This one seems insurmountable, creating a truly suspenseful tale.

I'm not entirely sure what genre this book fits into. Perhaps fantasy? Given some of the fantasy reading I have read recently, I can see that it can be flexible genre that doesn't just involve elves, fairies, vampires, and sword play. It can also involve stories of the bizarre and supernatural with roots in the present. This story most definitely fits the latter.

This story was an excellent and suspenseful tale. Beautifully created by Anne Rice, who gives description without inundating the reader with it - subtle description brought this story to life. This book would appeal to anyone who likes well written fiction be it contemporary or fantasy. It has earned keeper status on my shelf.
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