- Series: Lives of Mayfair Witches (Book 2)
- Mass Market Paperback: 640 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780345397812
- ISBN-13: 978-0345397812
- ASIN: 0345397819
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (313 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lasher (Lives of Mayfair Witches) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1995
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At the center of this dark and compelling tale is Rowan Mayfair, queen of the coven, who must flee from the darkly brutal, yet irresistable demon known as Lasher. With a dreamlike power, this wickedly seductive entity draws us through twilight paths, telling a chilling and hypnotic story of spiritual aspiration and passion. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Returning to the Mayfair clan she introduced in The Witching Hour , Rice offers another vast, transcontinental saga of witchcraft and demonism in the tradition of Gothic melodrama. The eponymous Lasher is a demon spirit who preys on female Mayfairs in his attempt to procreate. Rowan Mayfair, queen of the coven who has borne Lasher's child, has now disappeared. At times this main narrative is lost as the story moves from the Louisiana Mayfairs to the Scottish Donnelaiths and the clandestine London Telamasca society, with copious personal histories and myriad characters. Long sections ramble without a compelling point of view, and are dampened by stock elements: cliched wind storms, sexy witches, the endless supply of money the Telemasca has at its disposal. At times, Lasher is too much in evidence (rattling the china, gnashing his teeth) to be frightening. But embedded in this antique demonism is a contemporary tale of incest and family abuse that achieves resonance. It is maintained through the character of Lasher, both child and man at the same time, who manipulates his victims with his own pain. At their best, Rice's characters rise above the more wooden plot machinations with an ironic and modern complexity: Mona, the young feminist witch with sharklike business instincts; Julien, the dead patriarch, who movingly recalls his male lovers; Yuri, the clever Serbian orphan. Despite lapses into uninspired language, ultimately the novel is compelling through its exhaustive monumentality. 700,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
We learn interesting things about the genetics of the Mayfair witches and Michael. We see Rowan, still conflicted as her heart is with Michael but she is fascinated by Lasher and what he is as well. There is a prophecy and a long flashback from Julien"s ghost so you know where the story is headed. Lasher gets a big flashback scene as well and we get to know his whole backstory. Lots of it is good old vintage gothic horror as only Anne Rice can write.
So why 3 stars? Well.... Anne Rice got a bit too into certain aspects of the story that made the overall experience of the novel fairly unpleasant. Rowan goes through a lot of abuse at the hands of Lasher that is painful to read. Rapes, miscarriages, being duct taped and left for days on an old mattress. Just awful. And senseless - Lasher needs Rowan to accomplish his goals and it is amazing she doesn't die before halfway through the novel. Rowan was a very interesting character in the first novel but is relegated to a helpless prisoner role that is overall a minor point in the story. Instead, the main female romantic lead is...... A little girl!
Remember Mona Mayfair from the first book? She always had a bow in her hair and was a flower girl at the wedding? The impression given was a 8-10 year old at most. It is revealed in this novel suddenly that she is 13 and is a precocious genius and a powerful witch as well as being beautiful and very voluptuous for her age. She actively seduces Michael while Rowan is away. She self proclaims that she had "eradicated" her own virginity and started experimenting with partners at the age of 8. She usually experiments with her relatives (since incest is de rigeur in these novels). Her inner and outer dialogue is super-annoying and filled with big words in a way that even a "genius" would almost never use and it doesn't seem authentic. just like showing off. The pedophile theme repeats itself multiple times in Julien's flashback.
Also Michael is supposed to be a "good" character!!! And though Mona really practically forces him into it is not pleasant to read about a 48 year old man having sex with a 13 year old girl in excruciating detail. Over and over again. At least it is pretty easy to skim over these parts of the story.
Also, though the end is heavily foreshadowed and makes sense within the book's universe, I kind of wish they didn't do what they did to Lasher. I mean he was one of a kind and it would have been believable if they opted to give him more of a chance. Oh well - In the end not a bad book altogether but the overall effect is a distasteful and unpleasant read due to the violence and pedophilic aspects of the book.
The Mayfair Witch trilogy I have read several times over the years but did not have them on my Kindle. Only hardcover. Now I have both. I read all three books (Mayfair Witches, Lasher, and Taltos) back to back, and will read them again in a couple of years.
Incredible story line, terrific characters, and wonderful scene description. Rice makes you feel like you are on the street looking at the Mayfair yard and house or in the living room looking up the stairs. Simply wonderful!