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Taltos (Rice novel)

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Title: Taltos (Rice novel)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Anne Rice, Lasher, Taltos, Aaron Lightner, Blackwood Farm
Collection: 1994 Novels, Alfred A. Knopf Books, American Horror Novels, Novels by Anne Rice, Picts in Fiction
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Taltos (Rice novel)

Taltos
First edition
Author Anne Rice
Country United States
Language English
Series Lives of the Mayfair Witches
Genre Horror, gothic, science fiction
Published September 19, 1994
Publisher Knopf
Media type Print
Pages 480 pp
ISBN ISBN 0-679-42573-X
Preceded by Lasher

Taltos (1994) is the title of the third novel in the trilogy Lives of the Mayfair Witches written by Anne Rice.

Plot summary

As the trilogy continues, the reader is introduced to Ashlar, founder of a multi-million dollar toy corporation based in New York City—and a Taltos, possibly the last of his kind on earth. He is quietly reflecting back on his long life when he gets a call from a friend named Samuel. A male Taltos has been seen in the glen of Donnelaith, and there is someone with information about the male. Ashlar is shocked, as he hasn't seen one of his kind in centuries, and immediately flies to London to meet with his friend.

As for Rowan Mayfair, after burying her daughter, the Taltos Emaleth, she goes into a semi-catatonic state. She walks, she bathes, she eats, but she does not speak, and does not respond to those around her. Her husband Michael Curry and adopted designess Mona are worried for her, and plead with her to speak. A visiting cousin by the name of Mary Jane takes one look at Rowan and declares that she is still there, and that she will speak again in her own time.

And so she does that same afternoon when we discover that her beloved friend, Aaron Lightner, an

Stuart is forced to take the group into the countryside, where he keeps the female Taltos. Ashlar comes face to face with this female, exciting Stuart, who demands that they give birth to a child. Ashlar embraces the female, named Tessa, and informs Stuart that she is unable to bear any children. He points out that every strand of her hair is white, indicating her great age and her inability to conceive. This breaks Stuart's heart. And after finally knowing what has been going on, Ashlar decides to kill Stuart for all the trouble he has caused: killing people to achieve his goals. But Rowan beats him to the punch, using her strong telepathic abilities to cause a stroke. Yuri takes Tessa to the Talamasca, who now know what has been going on. They welcome Tessa with open arms, and punish Marklin and Tommy for their treachery by burying them alive.

Meanwhile, Mona has discovered that the child she carries is a Taltos, a female named Morrigan. She runs off with Mary Jane to Fontevrault, an old plantation sunken into the marsh that has been owned by a separate branch of the Mayfair family for generations. There Mary Jane's grandmother, Dolly Jean, helps deliver the new Taltos, who is a spitting image, if taller version, of her mother. Mona then and there names Morrigan the Designee of the Mayfair Legacy, and she and Mary Jane make plans for the future in case Rowan and Michael try to kill Morrigan.

Ashlar takes Rowan and Michael with him to New York, and tells them the story of his long life; how the Taltos once thrived on a tropical island north of the British Isles that apparently was a semi-active volcano. They had been there since "The Time Before the Moon" (briefly mentioned by the vampire Maharet in The Queen of the Damned, the third installment in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles), and lived innocently and peacefully until the land began to shift under their feet. The water became too hot, and the animals died. The tribe escapes in time and flees south to the bitter cold of Scotland. From there they can see the island as it sinks into the sea. They make do in their new home, becoming hunter-gatherers, and occasionally spotting the early humans, whom they kept as pets once in a while. They break off into different tribes and the largest of them, led by Ashlar, goes south to Somerset where they settle. Their peace is often disrupted by the Celtic raids on the land. To adapt and live peacefully among humans, they become the Picts, and Ashlar their king. When Christianity comes to them in the form of St Columba, Ashlar converts with more than half his tribe. But there is a conflict between the Christians and non-Christians, and war ensues. Soon only five Taltos males left, and they all become priests, including Ashlar. Several years later, he attempts to tell his story to a fellow priest, but he only laughs and says that the story is blasphemy. Ashlar is disillusioned, and goes on a pilgrimage, leaving Donnelaith forever. So ends his story.

Rowan and Michael return to New Orleans, where Michael is introduced to his daughter, Morrigan. He and Rowan accepts Mona's decision to make Morrigan the Designee, and Morrigan settles in until Ashlar sends gifts to his new friends. When he doesn't hear from them, he goes to the First Street house to see them. There he sees this young female Taltos, who is in a frenzy. She can smell Ashlar on the gifts, and demands to know where she can find him. She catches his scent on the wind, and sees him standing outside. She breaks through a window and runs into his arms, and they run away together.

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