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Servant of the Bones Mass Market Paperback – September 28, 1998

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Editorial Reviews Review

Her first book since Memnoch the Devil, Anne Rice takes us now into the world of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and the destruction of Solomon's temple, to tell the story of Azriel, Servant of the Bones. He is ghost, genji, demon, angel--pure spirit made visible. He pours his heart out to us as he journeys from an ancient Babylon of royal plottings and religious upheavals to the Europe of the Black Death and to the modern world. There he finds himself, amidst the towers of Manhattan, in confrontation with his own human origins and the dark forces that have sought to condemn him to a life of evil and destruction. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Neither a vampire nor a witch nor a mummy, but a genie provides the focus of Rice's latest (after Memnoch the Devil). The queen of high-decadent gothic deviates from her formula of interlacing spirituality and carnality here: only in the novel's latter pages do lusty sensuousness and brisk pacing leaven a series of cerebral metaphysical struggles. This unusual approach arises from the central dilemma of the story. "Servant of the Bones" Azriel is a "genii" who, until his emergence in 1995 New York, is only a shell filled with spirit, not a corporeal presence ripe for Rice's usual dark eroticism. In the novel's first half, Azriel tells his tale: born a Hebrew in Babylon at the time of Cyrus, he is sacrificed in order to free his people, his body boiled down to golden bones. He then is cursed by a necromancer to be bound to the bones. Over the millennia, he is a spirit at the beck and call of a series of "Masters" who possess his casket. When Azriel calls himself into human form in the present day, he encounters plastic, airplanes?and the Temple of the Mind, a cult of computer-created creed that threatens to kill two-thirds of the earth's population. Azriel's emergence as a sensual being and the suspense generated by the Temple's Last Days project will help readers to forget the book's initial 300 pages, in which they must track Azriel from swirling particles to thickening flesh. Yet Rice's impeccable research into science, history and Jewish scholarship will probably leave readers impressed and entertained. 1,000,000 first printing; BOMC and QPB main selections.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More from Anne Rice
Whether imagining a world of vampires or recreating the life of Jesus Christ, Anne Rice is known for her innovative and compelling bestsellers. Visit Amazon's Anne Rice Page.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st Ballantine Books Domestic Ed edition (September 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345389417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345389411
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 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 returned 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. "Prince Lestat" debuted at #3 on the New York Times Best Seller list and ran for nine weeks during the height of the competitive Fall-Winter season, with another week on the extended NYTBSL. ----

Anne's latest novel, "Beauty's Kingdom," is the fourth in her "Sleeping Beauty Erotica Series," and the first to be launched in hardcover. Though the first three novels were published in the 1980's under the pseudonym, A.N. Roquelaure, the name, Anne Rice, was added to the series in the 1990's. About her erotica, Anne has this to say: "I believe in the erotic imagination. I believe men and women have a right to write and read erotic fantasies. My goal with the "Sleeping Beauty" books is to provide the most authentic erotica that I can for those who share BDSM fantasies."

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.

In 2014, Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment optioned "The Vampire Chronicles" for a full reboot of the franchise.

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."

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 1996
Format: Hardcover
I finished reading Servant of the Bones this morning after staying up as late as I could last night in an attempt to finish the book.
Reading over many of the reviews I can think of one thing that would have helped some of those that read the book: reading further.
At first I was almost put off by it being another interview book like Interview was, the only other book by Rice that I have read.
I was glad that I continued, however, because once she reached the interesting parts the story picked up tremendously. The interesting
parts to me would be everything to do with religion and history. I know this is in part because they are things I am currently hoping to
research. She made them vibrant, brought the old stories alive and for days I could not get the image of Azriel painted in poisonous gold
out of my mind. To me that is what a writer is supposed to do, create a living story, vivid images that haunt the reader day and night for a time before they can continue on with the tale.
That is what Anne Rice did in this book. Many said they could not get past the first 50 pages and first 100 pages and that skimming ahead provided nothing. Of course, it did not. One has to take the time to think with this book and that's another thing I love about it.
People may think the Belkin ideals and ideas were very contrived, but one never knows. We are very used to our safe and careful world where fights and cults are things that are distant from us. But who is to say what is out there and that this could not happen? In the mind of a madman
anything can happen.

I told my husband about this book as I read it since he rarely gets a chance to read anything this long. I would recommend it to others as well, but be prepared.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By "blackjewel" on February 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Vampires, mummies, and witches (oh my!) are all subjects that have received the star treatment from renowned author Anne Rice. The great otherworldly writer tackles another aspect of the supernatural plane when a genie stars in her latest novel. In doing this, Ms. Rice brilliantly provides vivid insight into the biblical culture of Babylon.
Frightening is the tale of Azriel, an exiled Jew living in Babylon, who has the misfortune to become the favorite one of the great god, Marduk. Azriel comes to the attention of the temple priests, who have hatched a plan for King Cyprus of Persia to claim Babylon without bloodshed. In order for this plan to work, Azriel's father hands him over to the priests in exchange for the promise that the Hebrews living in Babylon will be allowed to return to Jerusalem. In a ceremony, Azriel is to play the role of Marduk, a role that always ends in death.
Death is not quite what fate has in store for Azriel because a witch's spell separates his spirit from his body at the time of death. This turns him into a genie or Servant of the Bones. Through two millennia, Azriel is paged by many different masters, but it is not until the 1990s that fate provides Azriel an opportunity for redemption. Terrorist tele-evangelist Gregory Belkin has a diabolical plan to put himself in control of a new world order. He summons Azriel to help him put his plan in motion. Azriel knows what will happen to the world if Gregory succeeds. The genie forces his "master" into a confrontation that will decide humanity's destiny.
Readers will give Anne Rice much credit for being a very visual and challenging story teller who uses words as a magical means to mesmerize her audience. Her perception of a genie's psyche has its roots in her vampire mythos.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By LeAnna McCoy on July 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is completely cerebral! You must stay with the story to understand it. Anne did wonderful research on the ancient middle eastern religions and the Jewish Hasidim. As always, lush imagary. The central character is a beautiful and tragic young Jewish exile who is tricked into a nightmare situation from which he cannot escape. You may just find yourself falling in love with his fictional character. The Jewish author with whom he is sharing his story is fascinating in his own right. This tale isn't peopled with unnecassary characters or mundane scenes. There is some erotica near the end of the story, but unlike some of the other tales she tells, it does not dominate the plot line. A very vivid mystery of biblical status. If you are at all interested in a good piece of literature, you will find this book won't disappoint you, but it is a really quick read. Definately on my top 10 list of all time great works by Anne!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Spencer Allen on September 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Before I begin I feel it is important to point out that Anne Rice is my favorite author so if you're looking for a negative review you should look elsewhere. I've cherished everything I've ever read from her and don't anticipate that changing. I've read the entire vampire chronicles, Mayfair witch series and the wolf gift. I just today finished for the first time Servant of the Bones. This is my first attempt at writing a book review and can only hope that I do the process justice.

Servant of the Bones is not part of a series it stands on it's own a singular story and because of this it dose not enjoy any of the popularity of the series novels that have made Anne so popular. I feel it is in large part overlooked and partially ignored by her fan base and by the media in general. This is a grave disservice to a masterful piece of literature. Reading it I drew many similarities to the Witching Hour from her more famous Mayfair witch series. Indeed any fan of that novel would be doing themselves an injustice by not reading this one as well. From page one Anne ensnares you in the story of Azriel a powerful spirit who is the hero and tells it's tale from his perspective. In typical Anne Rice fashion she transports you back in time to a setting full of vivid color and characters, this time to Babylon so he can tell you how Azriel came to be the spirit that he is. It is a gripping story of love, beauty, betrayal, murder, and an inevitable victory. The story goes beyond that of just Azeriels with brilliant and believable character development, the plot of which I'll leave you the reader of this review to discover on your own. You'll find that the climax of this novel is a feminine one coming in rapid succession of ever more gratifying waves.
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