Lasher by Anne Rice

Posted August 25, 2020 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments



by Anne Rice

Series: Lives of the Mayfair Witches #2
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf on September 12, 1993
Genre: Demons, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Witches
Target Age Group: Adult

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The Talamasca, documenters of paranormal activity, is on the hunt for the newly born Lasher. Mayfair women are dying from hemorrhages and a strange genetic anomaly has been found in Rowan and Michael. Lasher, born from Rowan, is another species altogether and now in the corporeal body, represents an incalcuable threat to the Mayfairs. Rowan and Lasher travel together to Houston and she becomes pregnant with another creature like him, a Taltos. Lasher seeks to reproduce his race in other women, but they cannot withstand it. Rowan escapes and becomes comatose as her fully-grown Taltos daughter is born. The Mayfairs declare all-out war on Lasher and try to nurse Rowan back to heatlth.

Michael remains entwined in the Mayfair family and learns how he comes by his strange powers. Michael's ghostly visiting from a long-dead Mayfair reveals the importance of destroying Lasher. In the investigation, Lasher's origins are revealed, the new Taltos Emaleth returns, and the climax of death and life engulfs the family.


I have no idea why I’m so morbidly interested in the very weird, incestuous, disturbing lives of he Mayfair Witches.  I revisited The Witching Hour a bit ago and didn’t like it.  So, of course, I then put Lasher on my TBR and here we are.  Honestly, this series is like a train wreck for me and I can’t seem to make myself look away.  And it’s just… listening to the relationships in this book makes me a bit nauseated.  Anne Rice opens with a 13 y/o who seduces her older uncle and basically rapes him and this is not atypical for Rice’s romances and I honestly should just stop with these.

And yet I inexcusably push those details to the back of my mind because I have this sense of morbid curiosity about the happenings of this family.


Lasher, though, has burnt all the curiosity out of me.  Where I could, to some extent, forgive The Witching Hour for chapter after chapter after chapter of backstory since it was the first book and needed to set up the legacy.  But Lasher was instead an extended backstory of Lasher himself.  You get the feeling that something was going to happen soon.  Eventually .  We might be building it to something bigger because This Thing and That Thing are starting to look suspicious.  But ultimately, if felt like most the book was fodder.

And for some people, that will work.  This series has a huge devoted fanbase. And try as I might to understand what drives people to this series, I just… don’t.  When I was younger (and, admittedly, more ignorant) I liked Rice’s Vampire Chronicles better, but her storytelling style is best suited to those who need to know every detail of the history of the characters to understand why things are happening in the moment.  They’re extremely slow-paced and low-action.

And I guess if I was interested in the characters, I would have a little more patience for Lasher.  Or if it was less graphically sexual with fewer taboo relationships.  Because there is not a single scene with two consenting adults in this book.  There’s rape after rape after rape and it’s disturbing to me.  There’s instant impregnation and messy miscarriages and nothing compelling.  Honestly, I was not comfortable reading all this violent material, especially because of the quantity and utter lack of necessity.

While I wanted to know what happened to Rowan after the end of The Witching Hour, I couldn’t care less about what happens to the characters now.  I listened to this book on 3x (the fastest I’ve even listened to a book) and put myself through ten hours of torture and fetishism and I feel a little sick about it to be honest.  Y’all can skip Lasher and The Witching Hour and be done with it.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★
Characters: 1/2
Writing: ★ 1/2
Personal Enjoyment:


Have you tried Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches?  Is it just me, or did you also find the story overridden with backstory and gruesome sex scenes?  Did you keep reading?  Am I being extra?  Let me know in the comments!

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