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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Merrick is bewitching -- Anne Rice is in top form with this novel of witches and vampires. In the sultry world of Rice's New Orleans, the almost-mortal vampire David Talbot, of the notorious Talamasca, meets Merrick, the sensual Mayfair witch. Lestat, Louis, and other Rice favorites make appearances in this tale. This novel is Rice's ultimate marriage of her bestselling witch and vampire story lines -- and it should not be missed.
Anne Rice has earned literary accolades and international fame for her darkly sensual novels featuring magical worlds and otherworldly creatures. Whether it's vampires, witches, or body thieves, Rice's characters are among the most unforgettable in literary history. And now, with the release of her latest novel, Merrick, Rice brings all of her worlds together and resurrects (in one case, in the most literal sense) some of her most memorable characters, including the vampires, Lestat and Louis. The star of this latest tale is a new member of the Mayfair witch clan: Merrick, a beautiful woman with incredible powers.
Merrick, a descendant of a little-known African-American branch of the Mayfair family, is raised in New Orleans by her godmother, Great Nananne, a powerful voodoo woman. Merrick is only eight when her Great Nananne dies. Eventually Merrick is found and cared for by the then-mortal David Talbot and his friend Aaron, both of whom have connections to the Talamasca. But David's connection to this beautiful creature, who he comes to love with an intensity that is both frightening and puzzling, is lost when he falls victim to the body thief and, later, to Lestat.
As Merrick grows, so do her powers, including her ability to raise the spirits of the dead. It is this particular power that leads vampire David Talbot to seek her out, hoping she can help Louis, who has become despondent with guilt over the role he played in young Claudia's conversion to vampirism and subsequent death. Louis is desperate to know that Claudia's soul is at peace and that she forgives him. But when Merrick tries to bring back Claudia's spirit, all hell breaks loose.
This is classic Rice at her best, exploring the moral and philosophical quandaries of the undead and showing how utterly human they are despite their inhuman makeup. The spirit-conjuring scenes are spooky and chilling, and the plot leaves the door wide open for a sequel that promises to be even more exciting than any of its predecessors.