The Witching Hour

The Witching Hour

eBook - 1991
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From the author of the extraordinary Vampire Chronicles comes a huge, hypnotic novel of witchcraft and the occult through four centuries.

Demonstrating, once again, her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches--a family given to poetry and to incest, to murder and to philosophy; a family that, over the ages, is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being.

On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking . . . and The Witching Hour begins.

It begins in our time with a rescue at sea. Rowan Mayfair, a beautiful woman, a brilliant practitioner of neurosurgery--aware that she has special powers but unaware that she comes from an ancient line of witches--finds the drowned body of a man off the coast of California and brings him to life. He is Michael Curry, who was born in New Orleans and orphaned in childhood by fire on Christmas Eve, who pulled himself up from poverty, and who now, in his brief interval of death, has acquired a sensory power that mystifies and frightens him.

As these two, fiercely drawn to each other, fall in love and--in passionate alliance--set out to solve the mystery of her past and his unwelcome gift, the novel moves backward and forward in time from today's New Orleans and San Francisco to long-ago Amsterdam and a château in the France of Louis XIV. An intricate tale of evil unfolds--an evil unleashed in seventeenth-century Scotland, where the first "witch," Suzanne of the Mayfair, conjures up the spirit she names Lasher . . . a creation that spells her own destruction and torments each of her descendants in turn.

From the coffee plantations of Port au Prince, where the great Mayfair fortune is made and the legacy of their dark power is almost destroyed, to Civil War New Orleans, as Julien--the clan's only male to be endowed with occult powers--provides for the dynasty its foothold in America, the dark, luminous story encompasses dramas of seduction and death, episodes of tenderness and healing. And always--through peril and escape, tension and release--there swirl around us the echoes of eternal war: innocence versus the corruption of the spirit, sanity against madness, life against death. With a dreamlike power, the novel draws us, through circuitous, twilight paths, to the present and Rowan's increasingly inspired and risky moves in the merciless game that binds her to her heritage. And in New Orleans, on Christmas Eve, this strangest of family sagas is brought to its startling climax.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 1991, c1990.
Edition: 1st Ballantine Books ed.
ISBN: 9780307575951
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource (965 p.) :,ill.
Additional Contributors: Axis 360 (Firm)


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Mar 25, 2020

I like it. More.

SnoIsleLib_LindseyA Oct 31, 2018

I have a lot of feelings about this book, which is easy as it's nearly a thousand pages long.

The Talamasca documents on the Mayfair witches? Five stars, easy. One of the elements I love most about Anne's books is the richness of her historical writing. She did not disappoint with her dynasty of witches, starting in the 17th century. I would have been thrilled if the entire book was about them. I loved all of the nutty, doomed, incestuous Mayfairs, up until Rowan.

The romance of Rowan and Michael dragged on. I found Rowan dull. Beautiful and brilliant, perfect in every way but haunted by forces out of her control, she wasn't a particularly layered character. I thought Michael was kind of a doofus, but that might have been his audiobook narration.

By its climax, it seemed like one of Anne's craziest books yet. That physical manifestation of Lasher? Egads. Anne can really write horror. If you're looking for something similar to her Vampire Chronicles, I would give the Mayfair Witches series a try. I'm still not wholly satisfied with the ending of this one, but I will definitely read the rest of the series.

Feb 20, 2015

Loved it! First book I've read of Anne Rice and definitely am reading more...

Aug 02, 2014

This book was written in 1991 and I read it about that time. I think the mayfair witches series are Anne Rice's best!

Jan 22, 2014

oh my god! i loved this book! I'm actually not yet finished it but holy it's one of the best books ever (for me anyway)....its rich and deep in its story and back story, you really couldn't ask for more in a book, it takes place through out several hundred years and many locations around the world. just fabulous, can't wait to read Lasher next!

Oct 23, 2013

My word, what an amazing book-the lives of the Mayfair Witches is fascinating from the first Scottish witch to the modern day witches living in New Orleans and San Francisco. The mayhem and manipulations of this clan of powerful women and men is bewtiching (HA)

Oct 15, 2012

Not my genre.

btmslt Mar 30, 2012

Rice knows how to entertain!

BookEnthusiast Aug 29, 2011

Whoa this is a rather long read and needs much commitment. The storyline is like riding a roller coaster - up and down. Ann Rice clearly exhibits a creative imagination throughout all 1000 pages; some parts could have been condensed but overall a good read.

Jun 11, 2009

I really liked this series by Anne Rice. The characthers were very intriguing and interesting. A good read.


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