The Witching Hour

Lives of Mayfair Witches

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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.
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The Vampire Chronicles continue with a riveting, rich saga--part adventure, part fairy-tale--of Prince Lestat and the story of the Blood Communion as he tells the tale of his coming to rule the vampire world and the eternal struggle to find belonging, a place in the universe for the undead, and how, against his will, he must battle the menacing, seemingly unstoppable force determined to thwart his vision and destroy the entire vampire netherworld.

In this spellbinding novel, Lestat, rebel outlaw, addresses the tribe of vampires, directly, intimately, passionately, and tells the riveting story of the formation of the Blood Communion and how he became Prince of the vampire world, the true ruler of this vast force, and how his vision for all the Children of the Universe to thrive as one, came to be.
The tale spills from Lestat's heart, as he speaks first of his new existence as reigning monarch--and then of his fierce battle of wits and words with the mysterious Rhoshamandes, proud Child of the Millennia, reviled outcast for his senseless slaughter of the legendary ancient vampire Maharet, forever wise and loving and twin to Mekare the Keeper of the Sacred Core; Rhoshamandes, a force who refuses to live in harmony at the Court of Prince Lestat and threatens all that Lestat has dreamt of.
As the tale unfolds, Lestat takes us from the towers and battlements of his ancestral castle in the snow-covered mountains of France to the verdant wilds of lush Louisiana with its lingering fragrances of magnolias and night jasmine; from the far reaches of the Pacific's untouched islands to the 18th-century city of St. Petersburg and the court of the Empress Catherine . . .
From Anne Rice, conjurer of the beloved best sellers Interview with the Vampire and Prince Lestat, an ambitious and exhilarating new novel of utopian vision and power
 
"In my dreams, I saw a city fall into the sea. I heard the cries of thousands. I saw flames that outshone the lamps of heaven. And all the world was shaken . . ." --Anne Rice, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis
 
At the novel's center: the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, hero, leader, inspirer, irresistible force, irrepressible spirit, battling (and ultimately reconciling with) a strange otherworldly form that has somehow taken possession of Lestat's undead body and soul. This ancient and mysterious power and unearthly spirit of vampire lore has all the force, history, and insidious reach of the unknowable Universe.

It is through this spirit, previously considered benign for thousands of vampire years and throughout the Vampire Chronicles, that we come to be told the hypnotic tale of a great sea power of ancient times; a mysterious heaven on earth situated on a boundless continent--and of how and why, and in what manner and with what far-reaching purpose, this force came to build and rule the great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean.

And as we learn of the mighty, far-reaching powers and perfections of this lost kingdom of Atalantaya, the lost realms of Atlantis, we come to understand its secrets, and how and why the vampire Lestat, indeed all the vampires, must reckon so many millennia later with the terrifying force of this ageless, all-powerful Atalantaya spirit.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Ballantine Books
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Published on
Nov 17, 2010
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Pages
1056
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ISBN
9780307575951
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fantasy / General
Fiction / Psychological
Fiction / Sagas
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Stephen King’s second novel, the classic vampire bestseller ’SALEM’S LOT, tells the story of evil in small-town America. For the first time in a major trade edition, this terrifying novel is accompanied by previously unpublished material from King’s archive, two short stories, and eerie photographs that bring King’s fictional darkness and evil to vivid life.

When Stephen King’s classic thriller’SALEM’S LOT hit the stands in 1975, it thrilled and terrified millions of readers with tales of demonic evil in small-town America. Now, thirty years later and still scaring readers witless, ’SALEM’S LOT reemerges in a brilliant new edition, complete with photographs, fifty pages of deleted and alternate scenes, and two short stories related to the events of the novel.

While the original edition of ’SALEM’S LOT will forever be a premier horror classic, ’SALEM’S LOT: ILLUSTRATED EDITION, with the inclusion of material from King’s archive, is destined to become a classic in its own right and a must-have for all Stephen King fans. In this edition, the hair-raising story of Jerusalem’s Lot, a small town in Maine whose inhabitants succumb to the evil allure of a new resident, is told as the author envisioned it, complete with fifty pages of alternate and deleted scenes. With a new introduction by the author, two short stories related to the events and residents of Jerusalem’s Lot, the lavishly creepy photographs of Jerry Uelsmann, and a stunning new page design, this edition brings the story to life in words and pictures as never before.

No library will be complete without this ideal collector’s item for any King aficionado, the definitive illustrated edition of the great ’SALEM’S LOT.
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