The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches, #1)
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The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches #1)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  65,858 ratings  ·  2,293 reviews
On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking. And the witching hour begins...

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 incest, to murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is itself...more
Paperback, 1207 pages
Published November 4th 2004 by Arrow (first published 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Elise Jensen
I actually quite enjoyed this book up until the very end, when I felt like the main female character just had some sort of weird personality seizure and did something that the character as you've come to know her just wouldn't have done. It just made it seem poorly written to me, like Ms. Rice decided in the last 10 pages or so that it was going to have a sequel after all when she had been intending from the beginning for it to be a one-book story.
RunForTheRoses
I got this book for Christmas that year. This was my first ever Anne Rice book, and it was about a year after Interview With A Vampire came out as a movie with Brad Pitt, Christian Slater and Tom Cruise. I was blown away people. If you like a story, like Gone With the Wind on crack, no seriously, epic like that, except VERY ADULT (don't let your tweens get their hands on this one Mom's and Dad's!), but such an addicting read that you may just get fired for calling in sick over it.

This was far an...more
Liisa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellie
The Mayfair's are an extremely powerful and wealthy family, in each generation there is a chosen one, a witch, who inherits not only the family home and money, but supernatural powers and an evil entity, named Lasher, who only has one aim – to become human again.

The Witching Hour is an extremely long novel, 1207 pages, but don't let that put you off reading as once you open the first page you soon find yourself completely absorbed in the chilling tale of the Mayfair Witches. This novel has a sp...more
Derek Oberg
Aug 01, 2009 Derek Oberg rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Most
One of my top 3 favorite novels of all time. Anne Rice gets a bad rap for being pure shlock, but what most people who haven't read her don't realize is that she is obsessed with history. She studies a particular time period, learns everything she can about it, and then creates characters and sticks them in it. She rarely disappoints me. And her prose is beautiful. You can sit down to read and realize that 2 hours have passed having not even noticed.

This book is about a woman named Rowan Mayfair,...more
Sarah
This is one of my favorite summer trash reads. It's like a soap opera with witches and sex. Good fun.
Meredith Watson
I FINALLY finished this. Good Lord, what a long winded mess this was. All the wordy history was boring but I stuck it out then ended up hating the ending! Why in the world to I keep reading Anne Rice?
HeavyReader
Jun 21, 2007 HeavyReader rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like to read "to be continued" at the end of a long book
Shelves: louisiana, fantasy
When I got to the end of this thick book, after having read hundreds of lukewarm pages, and found that it basically said "to be continued," I was pretty pissed off. If the book had been mine and not one I had borrowed from a friend, I would have tossed it across the room. That was when I decided that I would never again buy an Anne Rice book. I haven't.
Sarah
Warning: SPOILERS. And gifs. Lots of both, actually.


I don't even know how to summarize what I've just finished. It's like trying to tell someone what happens in a George RR Martin novel. You might try to list item by item, but everything is woven with everything else & there's no way to distinguish in the grand scheme. "Oh, y'know. Stuff happens. People threaten each other. People fight. People die. People have sex. More stuff happens. More people fight. More people die. The end."


(Sorry, Rob...more
Mallory
Review is tainted by romance.

When my man and I first moved into the Garden District last summer (while I was still a bartender) we moved into a pristine apartment with a gallery balcony which overlooked Chestnut street. Left in our room in an otherwise pristine apartment was a box of clutter left by the previous tenant. She left spoons, a rubber ducky, a hideous vase and five Anne Rice novels.

I spent most of the summer mornings on the balcony reading the Mayfair witches series, starting with Th...more
mark monday
I imagine this as a fabulous mini-series featuring Kathy Bates and Sharon Stone in key roles. why can't this happen? someone make this happen!
Geek Lee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Missy
My favorite Anne Rice book of all time, anyone who reads this book will fall in love with New Orleans and Anne's writing. Not a vampire book, and I do love her vampires, but this is the best.
Lesli
Knowing my love of vampires and witches, my sister, upon hearing a review of this book sent it to me for my Birthday and I cold not put it down. This book connects the spirit world, with old world interest, new world love for anything gothic and just plain good writing. I followed the witches, spirits and vampires in every book by Anne Rice. This by far was the best!
Veronica
Engrossing from the first paragraph. Anne Rice is best known for her book, "Interview With the Vampire," but she SHOULD be best known for this.
This is an epic novel that follows the lives of the Mayfair witches through generations, time and place. Eerie, magical, and mysterious. Characters are woven into an intricate and mesmerizing plot. Beautiful descriptive writing.
I was chilled to the bone and genuinely scared during nearly every chapter, but addicted like nothing else. Stayed up way pa...more
Abbey
Dec 13, 2007 Abbey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys history, family trees and witchcraft
Shelves: recently-read
I always hated vampire/witch stories but my honors English teacher in high school recommended this book to me for our final paper. Its about 1000 pages long so I used the first 500 hundred and literally fell in love. Since then I have read the book about five times. I LOVE IT. It centers around a wealthy family living in New Orleans, there is a spirit that follows one woman in every generation and the story follows the spirit from its conception. It is a really interesting, complex novel with ma...more
Stephen
3.0 to 3.5 stars. A good, but VERY LONG story about several generations of witches and the spirit (i.e. Lasher) that has guided them for hundreds of years but has his own agenda as well. Did not like as much as the Vampire Chronicles but I still thought it was interesting.
Jennifer
after reading most of the vampire chronicles, i decide to try Rice's Witches' trilogy... i know that for a lot of people, this book was hard to get through... there's a lot of information in it that seems like, "well who the hell cares????"... but it's all relevant in one way or another, and it SOOOOOOOOOOO sets you up for the subsequent novels, Lasher, and Taltos. (there's also Merrick, Blackwood Farm, and Blood Canticle, which came later.) if you can bear with a somewhat slow read for a little...more
Jude Arnold
Whew! Made it!
I mean I managed to remain mostly sane while taking over 2 weeks to read this book.
I slept, ate and worked. When I first started Anne Rice's, The Witching Hour, I recognized the danger I faced to do nothing but read this 1200 page book from cover to cover in one sitting! I would have hurt myself!

In my humble opinion, Anne Rice is the greatest living author of good and evil. OK, I know she and I both are a little bit old fashioned now!

Rowan, the leading lady, is an brilliant neurosu...more
Angie
Feb 28, 2014 Angie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: witches and magic or any Anne rice fans
Recommended to Angie by: no one
Although I've read this before it was still a good book to re-read. There is so much history of New Orleans written, with about the first 700 pages mostly detailing the background of the Mayfair witches. The main characters are Rowan Mayfair and Michael curry, with the ghost Lasher.

Although long at just over 1200 pages, the book is never slow moveing. The characters are interesting, and with some you really like. Lots of the very large Mayfair family are great such as Beartrice, but in Carlotta...more
Sarah
Jul 19, 2014 Sarah marked it as no  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stgrb
Because of this: "I see no reason whatsoever to give these gangster bullies a pass, and tell writers they "should" rise above this. Far from it. I say call out and expose these gangsters for what they are. This is a lot like rape."

https://www.facebook.com/annericefanp...

Readers are 'gangster bullies'? Bad reviews are like rape? Erm- no. Just no.
Laura
I tried to pick this up about early high school time. Anne Rice was and is a hard sell for me, I am in that minority of people who never cared at all about vampires. However, she wrote a couple other books that I read so I figured with this one being about witches I would stand to enjoy it. Witches and magic were much more of a draw for me even in a book of mammoth size. So I started this book and delved into the history of the Mayfair family/women. And holy hell. I couldn't get past the family...more
Erin
I read this book back in High School. I loved the whole Mayfair witches series. The first in the Mayfair Witches series, The Witching Hour introduces the fictional Mayfair family of New Orleans, generations of male and female witches. This tight-knit and deeply connected family, where a death of one strengthens the others with his/her knowledge. One Mayfair witch per generation is also designated to receive the powers of "the man," known as Lasher. Lasher gives the witches gifts, excites them, a...more
Monique
Okay so starting sagas now and to give me a larger challenge and this was 1026 page monster was my first endeavor..what can I say it is an engrossing and absorbing read that will take you away to a whole confusing, strange but entirely new place...Okay so its a saga of witches, women who call upon magic to conjure up spirits--in the family this story revolves around the Mayfairs witches from the beginning of about the sixteenth century to basically nineties present. It is a tough book to get thr...more
Sunny in Wonderland
I found this book at a yard sale in 1990 and picked it up for 25 cents. This was my introduction to Anne Rice, and continues to be my favorite book by this author.

As with every other Anne Rice book, you can expect to fall asleep trying to get through the descriptions of every shade of lavender, violet, and purple flower (not to mention the various scents, aromas, and smells that said flowers will emit.)

But, I was captured from the very beginning and could not put it down until the very end. By t...more
Ashley
Anne Rice is quite the interesting lady. Sometimes the book was a bit much for me, but she does a fantastic job of making you feel like you are really there and a part of what she is developing.
Gretchen
I chose this book as my "horror" option for the literary exploration challenge. 1200(!) pages later, it really doesn't meet my definition of horror. This book falls into the category of books from George RR Martin or Diana Gabaldon, in that it gets classified in a specific genre, but that classification is limited. Yes there are witches, and spirits, and a great spooky atmosphere in New Orleans. But the book takes detours into a major historical fiction section, a romance/erotica section and the...more
Flora Bateman
I really liked this book altho I will admit that its certainly not for everyone. The length alone was intimidating (1038 pgs)

This book was the first in the trilogy of the Mayfair Witches. We are first introduced to Rowan who has no idea of the legacy that awaits her at the death of her birth mother of which she knows nothing. Michael, who Rowan saves from drowning, finds his fate intertwined with hers. We go on to learn all of the history of the Mayfairs thru the historians of the Talamasca. Th...more
Jennifer Prickett
Did not like this book. Her description skills are beautiful, which drew me in initially (plus I was looking for a book that would take me longer than a day to read, and at over a thousand pages...) You can SEE and FEEL what she says, like your in the room with her looking and touching her characters and environments. So I gave it a star for that.
However. How do you write over six hundred pages without touching on a story plot? I was kind of entranced by the huge history she gave the family, but...more
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Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O'Brien) is a best-selling American author of gothic, supernatural, historical, erotica, and later religious themed books. Best known for The Vampire Chronicles, her prevailing thematical focus is on love, death, immortality, existentialism, and the human condition. She was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002. Her books have sold near...more
More about Anne Rice...
Interview With The Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1) The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles, #2) The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3) The Tale of the Body Thief (The Vampire Chronicles, #4) Memnoch the Devil (The Vampire Chronicles, #5)

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“Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a very dangerous enemy indeed.” 529 likes
“I believe in Free Will, the Force Almighty by which we conduct ourselves as if we were the sons and daughters of a just and wise God, even if there is no such Supreme Being. And by free will, we can choose to do good on this earth, no matter that we all die, and do not know where we go when we die, or if a justice or explanation awaits us.
I believe that we can, through our reason, know what good is, and in the communion of men and women, in which the forgiveness of wrongs will always be more significant than the avenging of them, and that in the beautiful natural world that surrounds us, we represent the best and the finest of beings, for we alone can see that natural beauty, appreciate it, learn from it, weep for it, and seek to conserve it and protect it.
I believe finally that we are the only true moral force in the physical world, the makers of, ethics and moral ideas, and that we must be as good as the gods we created in the past to guide us.
I believe that through our finest efforts, we will succeed finally in creating heaven on earth, and we do it every time that we love, every time that we embrace, every time that we commit to create rather than destroy, every time that we place life over death, and the natural over what is unnatural, insofar as we are able to define it.
And I suppose I do believe in the final analysis that a peace of mind can be obtained in the face of the worst horrors and the worst losses. It can be obtained by faith in change and in will and in accident and by faith in ourselves, that we will do the right thing, more often than not, in the face of adversity.
For ours is the power and the glory, because we are capable of visions and ideas which are ultimately stronger and more enduring than we are.
That is my credo. That is my belief, for what it's worth, and it sustains me. And if I were to die right now, I wouldn't be afraid. Because I can't believe that horror or chaos awaits us.
If any revelation awaits us at all, it must be as good as our ideals and our philosophy. For surely nature must embrace the visible and the invisible, and it couldn't fall short of us. The thing that makes the flowers open and the snowflakes fall must contain a wisdom and a final secret as intricate and beautiful as the blooming camellia or the clouds gathering above, so white and so pure in the blackness.
If that isn't so, then we are in the grip of a staggering irony. And all the spooks of hell might as well dance. There could be a devil. People who burn other people to death are fine. There could be anything.
But the world is simply to beautiful for that.
At least it seems that way to me.”
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