Anne Rice,
Blackwood Farm
(Knopf, 2002)

At the very worst in such works as Violin, Blood & Gold, The Vampire Armand and Pandora, Anne Rice writes in a lush, lovely, lyrical prose that, while beautiful, fails in these books to sing.

Blackwood Farm is the virtuoso aria of America's diva of the vampiric and witchy. This is Rice at her most masterful and is likely her best-written work to date. The incredible prose has never been more refined and sophisticated, laden with delightful allusion and sumptuous metaphor; the new characters are grand and loving and lovely; there's just a tantalizing toss of old characters; and the plot keeps you turning those pages, all 530 of them.

And then there's the ending. Whew! Talk about your cliffhangers. The stage is set for more grand adventures with the witches and the vampires. What a pleasure to read this book!

by Stephen Richmond
22 April 2006

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