The Witching Hour: Book Review

I've been a fan of Anne Rice's books for over a year now, and in that time have read many of her works. The Witching Hour is one of her most succesfull novels, and the first of several which follows the lives of the Mayfair Witches. This book is a great example of the gothic beauty Anne Rice portrayed in her earlier, pre-Christ The Lord works. The story follows the lives of several characters, and shows how each of their fates are intertwined, as they each represent a piece of the puzzle to a dark family secret. The story focuses heavily on several main characters: Dr. Rowan Mayfair, Michael Curry, occult scholar Aaron Lightner, and a mysterious being named Lasher, who is often reffered to as "The Man". After a chance encounter where Dr. Mayfair saves Michael from drowning in the Pacific Ocean, the two are thrust into a strange world of witchcraft, dark family secrets, and murder. Once befriending Aaron Lightner, a member of an ancient group of scholars known as the Talamasca, Rowan and Michael learn about the Mayfair family's long, twisted past, which is also tied to a 200 year old family secret and the source of the family's power and wealth, the infamous Lasher. Once fully submereged into the world of the Mayfairs, Rowan and Michael, with the help of Aaron Lightner, finally make contact with the being and learn his hidden motive for serving the family; a motive which just may be the recipe for disaster. The book explores many sensual and paranormal themes, but readers will also be drawn into the moving and exciting history of the Mayfairs, as Anne Rice unfolds their roots from deep within Scotland, and follows them all the way to New Orleans. The amount of detail to both history and different cultures expressed in this book are quite impressive, and Rice's intimate knowledge of New Orleans gives the reader a first hand experience of the famous city. Although fans of her current series following the life of Jesus of Nazareth may not be interested in the sensual and dark themes expressed in this novel, it is a prime choice for any Anne Rice fan.

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