a_sporking_rat (a_sporking_rat) wrote,
a_sporking_rat
a_sporking_rat

BLACKWOOD FARM CHAPTER 27

I did a little bit of research for context, and...remember how Rowan Mayfair is the heroine of the first Mayfair witches book, The Witching Hour? And she and her boyfriend, Michael Curry, also from the first book, are now Mona's legal guardians?

Michael is the father of Mona's baby. Which she had when she was thirteen. Michael was 48 as of his introduction in The Witching Hour. I think she's supposed to have """seduced"""" him, and I'd like to point back to the post I made about how Rice has a tendency to make the bullshit pedophile defense of the seductive child into a reality so that people in her books can have sex with children and not be terrible for it. Now, obviously children, for varying reasons, can be sexual. I'll even admit that maybe they can try to, as far as they understand it, seduce an adult. Generally this is a sign they have already been sexually abused by one, or at least have been exposed to inappropriate material or activities, but I'm willing to believe that a kid with a crush and no other problems can try to get the attention of an adult (though if they're doing it in overtly SEXUAL ways, there is, again, clearly a problem already)

And you know what?

THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT OKAY TO HAVE SEX WITH THEM

BECAUSE THEY ARE A CHILD

Like I just do not even get this logic of "it was okay because it was the kid's idea" like SO WHAT? THEY'RE A KID! KIDS THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO LET THEM DRIVE THE CAR!

And honestly, the very fact that Michael *can* be seduced by a thirteen year old means he was attracted to one in the first place. People talk about children dressing "provocatively" and I'm like, provoking to who? Do you think ordinary grown men suddenly get boners for six year olds because they wear a bikini to the pool one day instead of a one piece? No! Because if they're not attracted to kids to begin with, the kid's clothes aren't gonna change that! And it baffles me how if you asked someone, hey, would you be attracted to, say, a fat woman if she wore a miniskirt and they'll be all EW NO but somehow they think that a short dress on a child can just suddenly warp someone who isn't into children into being an insta-pedophile. It's asinine.

And I understand that some teens develop fast. I can understand it if someone's hindbrain thinks they're looking at a grown person because "boobs" or "muscles" and I can even understand the adult finding themselves attracted to what physically looks to them like another adult. But we aren't animals, and as adults, as human beings, we should know better than to act on those attractions. They are not okay. It is your responsibility to understand and remember that no matter what their bodies are doing, this is a CHILD.

Basically, Michael Curry is disgusting. And I hope that Mona was not his legal ward when this happened (not that it's not unforgivable as is but the additional power dynamics there would just make it worse, if it can even be worse). He definitely shouldn't have been made her guardian after, but the Mayfairs are obviously pretty twisted so I'm not surprised by this. And guys, I like twisted. The idea of a secretive creepy incestuous Southern family of witches is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY. I love that idea so very much. But the thing about my love for twisted trash is it NEEDS TO BE PRESENTED AS TWISTED TRASH like is that so much to ask? Apparently so, from a lot of fantasy authors.

Also, two other things about Michael:

- According to TV Tropes, he had sex with Mona when Rowan was in "dire straits". They don't specify that this means (it was in one of the books after The Witching Hour so I didn't read it), but basically Michael would still be scum even if Mona had been an adult.

- Rowan was raised by adopted parents, totally apart from the Mayfairs, with no knowledge of her biological family. Michael is an ordinary guy who gets drawn into the Mayfair shit in The Witching Hour due to her discovering her heritage and powers. I don't remember this from The Witching Hour so I guess it was in a later book (though I don't remember much from The Witching Hour) but it turns out Michael is a Mayfair too, descended from an illegitimate affair between one of the Mayfair men and a house maid. So Rowan is raised TOTALLY APART from the Mayfair family and neither she nor Michael know their heritage, but they just happen to hook up? I know this is a supernatural story and all but that's just too big a coincidence to buy, and...both Rowan and Mona are stated to be really inbred already (Rowan's father is her mother's grandfather) is MORE INCEST needed? Like, whoops, you think you're fucking outside the family tree but YOU'RE NOT? And spoiler alert, turns out Quinn is descended from Julien too.

I'm starting to think this whole incest thing is a fetish on Rice's part or something; it would explain some of the weird stuff with Quinn and Aunt Queen earlier, as well as stuff with Lestat and his mother, and maybe even some of the Lestat/Louis/Claudia dynamics (which I had *thought* was *meant* to be disturbing). It would also explain the very weird detail of Rowan being able to survive birthing a Taltos because said Taltos (which grow rapidly to maturity after birth) breast-fed her afterwards. Like, Taltos as like, super duper witches or something, right? And Rowan herself is a really good doctor specifically because she can use her own witch powers to heal cells. So...shouldn't her Taltos daughter be able to do that? But nope, apparently the way she heals her mom is to breastfeed her. I just...question why that's what Rice decided to go with. That's all I'm saying.



BLACKWOOD FARM CHAPTER 27

More about the wicker.

Quinn tells Mona how he needs her, she says he needs to be with Stirling Oliver "but I could see the passion in her eyes; I could see that she was holding back. I could see my progress with her."

SO CREEPY

Aunt Queen says they need supper, and she's actually very friendly to Mona, kissing her on the cheek and saying she's quite beautiful. She looks fabulous with strands of pearls, a shell cameo at her throat, and glittering stiletto heels. I love this fab old bird.

During dinner, Rebecca sees fit to whisper "Red-haired bitch" in Quinn's mind as well as "A life for my life. A death for my death." again. He just tells Rebecca to go into the light and prays and tries to focus on the real world because "I had to be a man for Mona. And this was no place to become a centaur."

I guess he means, like, get a hard-on or ghost-fuck Rebecca, given the nature of centaurs in myth. Though I don't see what Mona has to do with it, it's not like Rebecca is bothering her, bitch comments aside.

He thinks about how Aunt Queen has been "working some sort of magic with Jasmine" because she has "a glamour to her" which he attributes to "experiencing some change in status."

Quinn says to Nash and Mona, "Look at the shoes on these lovely ladies, would you? It makes me want to kiss their feet."

YES, THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NICE NORMAL POLITE DINNER CONVERSATION, QUINN

ESPECIALLY TO YOUR CRUSH

AND ABOUT YOUR ELDERLY GREAT AUNT

I JUST

I DON'T EVEN KNOW, GUYS

Quinn apologizes to Nash for "neglecting" him because "discovering one's future bride can be very distracting."

This is made even more annoying by the fact that I've read the end, I know that Mona and Quinn actually do end up together. I'd be a lot more tolerant of this if they DIDN'T. Perhaps there's a chance he'll get less weird and entitled about her (seriously, she has not at any point agreed to any notion of this shit) and he'll develop as a person so their relationship does as well versus it just progressing like this and Mona just ending up with him because he deserves it or something, but my hopes aren't high. Rice seems to like to just hand things to Quinn thus far.

Nash doesn't mind at all though, and says he's been looking at AQ's cameo collection, and Quinn tells Aunt Queen that Mona is going with them to Europe. You know, THAT THING SHE ALSO HAS NOT AGREED TO AT ALL!

He says she'll be going "as my bride" and Mona looks "startled" but then "beamed at me and kissed my cheek" and asked if he'd really marry her tonight. Unsurprisingly, Quinn says yes, and adds they don't even need to wait for the ceremony, they can fly out this very night and get married in Paris instead.

That's when the Mayfair family arrives in a limo. Specifically, it's Ryan, Rowan, and Rowan's husband Michael Curry, who I've told you guys about. Mona has tears in her eyes when she sees the limo and asks Quinn if he'd really take her with him tonight.

Okay, this really makes me feel for her. Her family is apparently so craptastic she'd rather just run away with this weirdo who is randomly obsessed with her despite her obviously not being half as interested in return.

Quinn puts his hands on her shoulders and is "bracing for battle" and tells her "Don't worry, my brave Ophelia. You shall not perish while this brave Laertes lives."

Oh my god I AM CRINGING SO MUCH AT THIS BEING SERIOUS

Quinn notices that Aunt Queen seems unusually cold to the Mayfairs when Rowan says that, of course, they're here to pick up Mona.

If you care, Ryan "looks as if he was born in his Brooks Brothers suit" and Michael Curry is the oldest (so he's...older than the guy who is gonna be Mona's father-in-law...and he fucked her when she was 13, maybe even 12....) is "rough cut but a very handsome guy" with "salt and pepper hair and a very easy manner" with "very Irish look to him with his square face and blue eyes" Rowan is a "high-cheeked, sleek beauty" who has bobbed hair and "something undeniably frightening about her, though her manner was low-key."

That's probably due to Quinn sensing her ability to kill people with her mind, I guess.

Rowan tells Mona they're here to take her home and she's given them a scare. Mona gives a "cri de couer" of "I want you to leave me alone!"

Yeah, I wouldn't want to go home with MY RAPIST either. Does Rowan know about that? And yes I realize that from Mona's POV and probably from Rice's POV too, Mona seduced Michael, but you know what, I think just being a couple of years older is old enough for Mona to realize she was taken advantage of and understand it at least a little better. Though I know that's almost certainly NOT why Rice is writing her as resistant to going with them. I do hope a little, though.

Especially since, goddamn, Rice is NOT writing Rowan and Michael as the good guys here? I'm genuinely SURPRISED at what transpires next, given they were the protagonists of previous books.

Rowan gets an "ominous look" and says "Michael, take her." Michael and Ryan move towards Mona, who screams and overturns a chair and hides in Quinn's arms.

Holy shit! This isn't just a teen girl being a bit of a drama queen to her guardians who are understandably upset they didn't know where she was last night, this girl is GENUINELY AFRAID GODDAMN I AM CONCERNED

Quinn thinks how "she was the most fragile and precious little creature that I had ever known or loved, and I intended to fight for her." Nash tries to be reasonable with the Mayfairs, saying sure they don't intend to take her by force, and then puts Aunt Queen on the spot by asking her if she's a "neutral party" in all this, which I appreciate because it puts her in the position of having to pick a side, and she's the person with the most power here social-wise I think, since they're on her property (technically it's Quinn's property, but...)

Aunt Queen replies "Indeed not. Jasmine, run and get the men."

GO AUNT QUEEN!

Michael says to wait a minute and "came on like the sweetest guy in the world" and tells Mona to "please stop the theatrics and come home, you know you have to Mona, I don't want to be doing this. Nobody does, but you can't go off like this. Look at it from our point of view."

Every word of this drips abusive creep to me, knowing their past. Diminishing her feelings by calling them theatrics, making her the bad guy, etc. Like, yes, I get why guardians would be absolutely concerned she was gone all night and didn't say where and was with some older boy they don't know but MICHAEL IS NOT A GOOD GUARDIAN SO I DON'T CARE ABOUT THAT

And thus I fully applaud Quinn when he says "I'm going to marry her and if you lay a finger on her, I'll break your face."

...I wish he'd leave the marriage bit out, but still. Seriously, Quinn, can you give this a rest for TWO SECONDS EVEN?!

Goblin gets to his feet too, though Quinn tells him not do anything. Meanwhile, Clem and Allen, two of the staff, plus a security guy, are running towards the patio. The security man has his hand on his gun.

Aunt Queen, clearly having the upper hand now, asks if this isn't all a bit ridiculous and the girl is just having supper with him and she can bring her home after (no Aunt Queen! well, I guess legally she doesn't have a choice...)

Rowan apologizes to Aunt Queen, and explains Mona's parents are dead, she's her guardian, she wants her to come home, and Mona won't do it. Wonder if that has anything to do with your husband molesting her, Rowan?

Speaking of Michael "he shook his head as if to say, The sadness of it" and then HE TOUCHES MONA'S HAIR and says in a "soft soothing voice, "Now come on honey, I know how you feel."

GET AWAY FROM HER YOU CREEPY CREEP CREEP YOU LITERALLY MAKE QUINN THE BETTER OPTION BY FAR

Mona sobs "No you don't. None of you do." to which Michael responds "Mona, I love you. Let us take you back sweetheart." and tells her that Quinn could come see her tomorrow.

Everything about him is making my skin crawl.

Quinn whispers to Mona to "Go home and get your passport and be ready."

I am suddenly in full support of the take-Mona-to-Europe plan. I don't want her with Quinn either, but getting away from the Mayfairs is a good first step.

Quinn, meanwhile, is thinking sourly that Ryan is a "good-looking son of a bitch" and how that probably means Pierce is too. If only he knew about Michael, man!

Still clinging tightly to Quinn's arm, Mona turns and faces her family and whispers,

"I hate you that you did this to me. I hate you all. I don't trust you."

I wonder what she means by this. Does she hate that they made her a Mayfair? A witch? Pregnant? Pregnant with a baby she had to give up? Heiress of the Mayfair Legacy and thus beholden to all this supposed protection? Is she referring perhaps to her troubling hypersexuality, which I strongly suspect comes from abuse? Or something else entirely? It's mysterious and I want to know!

Aunt Queen asks Mona what she wants them to do. I deeply appreciate her for this.

But it's Rowan who responds, "patiently and courteously" and her face "too serene" that Mona needs to come home. She says that Quinn can come see Mona tomorrow though.

Mona turns to Quinn and tells him to come by at three o'clock, but she mouths the word "passport" and uses her fingers to press the number "two" against his arm.

Quinn agrees, and Rowan apologizes for all this. Quinn finds he can't hate her because of her 'frank simple manner" but still finds her "scary in a secret way." Normally I would yammer about characters "just knowing" things, but I think it's perfectly fine here. Firstly because she's another witch and it wouldn't surprise me if Quinn could sense that, especially given how powerful she is, and secondly because I'd be fucking scared of her too in this scenario. The whole thing is unnerving.

"Mona kissed me on the cheek. I took hold of her and kissed her on the mouth."

...god, this poor girl can't catch a break. She just has to pick the lesser of two creeps. Honestly, it reminds me of how Lolita willingly ran away with another pedophile just to get away from Humbert.

Quinn says "I love you. I'm coming to get you." Mona warns him to be careful of the ghosts, to be careful, and that if he can't reach her or "they pull some trick" to go to Stirling Oliver who is at Oak Haven Plantation, the southern retreat house of the Talamasca.

Mona then goes to Aunt Queen "whose face was the picture of distress" and embraces her. Aunt Queen calls her a "sweet little darling" and gives her her DIAMOND-STUDDED CAMEO, DAMN! AQ tells her to "always remember us by it" which makes me think Aunt Queen doesn't expect for there to be many more meetings between them.

Mona and the other Mayfairs get in the limo and "Jasmine told our palace guard to go back to the kitchen. The security man seemed genuinely disappointed"

Quinn then proceeds to burst into tears. He says he was acting like a child, but, y'know what, helplessly watching a girl have to go away with guardians she clearly doesn't want to be with and is evidently TERRIFIED of seems to me to be worth crying over. I know I would be terribly upset for Mona.

Nash puts his arm around him and "Aunt Queen cooed to me and called me her poor darling" and Quinn says "I never wanted anything so badly in all my life. I just love her."

OH

SO HE'S NOT UPSET FOR MONA AND THE TERRIBLE SITUATION SHE'S IN

HE'S UPSET FOR HIMSELF BECAUSE HE WANTS HER

AND SHE'S NOT EVEN AN ANYONE, SHE'S AN ANYTHING

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST I HATE QUINN

Rather than giving him a good slap, Aunt Queen exclaims "Oh, my precious Little Boy" and asks him why it has to be a Mayfair. Quinn asks what's wrong with them, since they go to the Mayfair hospital and the church where Father Kevin preaches.

Aunt Queen explains that the Mayfairs have simply "always been viewed with suspicion" and even Rowan, "the genius behind Mayfair Medical, is perhaps the most universally admired of the clan" but even she is a "mysterious figure" and that at one point she was seriously injured but mysteriously recovered even though all hope was lost for her. Quinn says she can hardly be blamed for that (okay, that was witty) and Aunt Queen says "Can't I? I can tell you it wasn't through intercession of a saint that she came back from the dead."

She admits though that perhaps Rowan is a good person but that it doesn't hold true for the rest of the family. She says there has been "talk for years of a congenital madness" in the family, especially the women, that "Mayfairs were drugged, locked in padded cells, even let their house on First Street fall into ruin at one time."

Okay, I love this line, because the misplaced priorities there (implying that the ruined house is the worst of things in this list) is just so HILARIOUSLY Southern Old Lady. Honestly, this whole thing is just TERRIFICALLY Southern Gothic. Coming back from a deadly injury? Whatever, I don't think that would actually make people talk that much in this day and age, given the current medical miracles now commonplace, and it certainly wouldn't make them talk negatively, people LOVE stories like that, but hereditary madness? Institutionalization? Grand houses falling to ruin? That *is* stuff that people would talk shit about, and it's CLASSIC elements of the Southern Gothic genre and I LOVE IT TO BITS. Honestly, I was getting bored, but this chapter has been really exciting.

Aunt Queen of course is sure to add that Michael Curry has restored that house but did almost drown in the swimming pool. Well, shame he failed to actually drown.

Quinn asks what it all means, she says she doesn't know, just that they're "shrouded in mystery". She compares them to the Medicis of Florence with how they have their own law firm and own priest "and you know how the people of Florence used to rise against them and throw all their artworks out the palazzo windows!"

That makes it sound to me less like Aunt Queen doesn't like the Mayfairs themselves and more she just doesn't want to risk association with them because of what other people might think. Quinn scoffs at the idea of the people of New Orleans rioting against the Mayfairs, and insists she's not telling him everything. She replies "I don't know everything. They're a haunted family and some say they're cursed."

Quinn points out that the Blackwoods are a haunted family as well, and that she's met Mona so she knows she's "lovable and brilliant"

Aunt Queen strangely says "Something's wrong" and "I saw her eyes veer off" looking at the place where "Goblin sat watching her very steadily." Quinn knows she knows he's there. Aunt Queen just eats her chicken "daintily" and says there are stories that Mayfair women have strange powers, like calling spirits, reading minds, or telling the future, but "more than anything" there is the hereditary insanity. Quinn says Mona can see Goblin and asks where else in the world he'll find a "brilliant beautiful woman who can see and love Goblin? You know anyone who marries me is marrying Goblin."

Tell me, Quinn, is there anything about Mona's personality you actually like? Or just because she's hot and can see your ghost twin? Tell me what about her you find so brilliant, I'll wait.

Goblin is still staring coldly at Aunt Queen. Quinn squeezes his hand and tells him not to be sad. Aunt Queen just asks Jasmine for more wine and to be sure to ask Clem to help her to her room later because "I think I'm getting drunk." Quinn says he'll help her because "those breakneck shoes don't scare me. I'm about to be married."

QUINN WILL YOU SHUT UP ABOUT THAT WHAT DOES THAT EVEN HAVE TO DO WITH AUNT QUEEN'S SHOES JESUS

god he just...he isn't showing ONE iota of concern about Mona! Just about 'well what's wrong with her being a Mayfair' because Aunt Queen is opposed to him being involved with one. But he has not made one mention, internal or spoken, about being worried for her!

Aunt Queen does bring it up, asking "Did you see how they have taken Mona home?" But she's not pointing out how Mona was LITERALLY SCREAMING IN FEAR AT THEM but that "Now please forgive my candor, but it seems to me they are very afraid of Mona forming any alliance that can lead to her getting pregnant."

...that's...not the impression that I was getting.

Nash asks if he should excuse himself, but Aunt Queen says absolutely not and Quinn tells him that if he's going to go to Europe with them "you have to know who we are."

This is Nash's second day. The first day was being introduced to Quinn's invisible buddy and witnessing Quinn instantly propose marriage to a girl he just caught sight of, and then spend the evening telling him his entire life story all night. And then today there's this.

If I were Nash, I'd run the fuck away about now. Instead, Nash "sat back nursing his soda quietly." I feel bad for him.

Aunt Queen delicately inquires if "something intimate" has happened between Mona and Quinn. Quinn is "stunned" and thinks how he can't tell them everything Mona told him about her missing child and it being a mutant and having been taken away. Well, Quinn, that's NOT what she's asking. Yes, those are intimate things, but...come on, you've been around this polite old Southern dame all your life, you KNOW what she means by intimate, don't try to fool me.

Quinn just instead says that Mona explained ghosts to him in a scientific way and "I felt like I wasn't a freak. I felt like she and I were the same ilk. And now it seems this person, this precious person whom I loved so is being stolen from me."

Again, please notice he has ZERO concern for Mona's wellbeing whatsoever. He's just upset he doesn't get to have her. I was glad he was ready to fight the Mayfairs for her, but it's pretty clear now it wasn't to defend her for her own sake because it's the right thing to do, it was just him not wanting his self-perceived property taken away because he's an entitled little shit who no one has ever said "no" to when he wanted something. And speaking of no, Mona has been trying, in my opinion, to say "no" to Quinn about this marriage crap the entire time. She brushes it aside every time he brings it up, she outright tells him she's marrying someone else, the only time she starts entertaining the idea of going to Europe with him at all is when her family comes to get her and I think that's obviously because she's TERRIFIED of them. She's been giving Quinn soft AND hard nopes to Quinn since they met on everything but the actual sex (which she clearly has issues around) and I can buy that Quinn is just too sheltered to miss it but the fact he doesn't care about her distress and possible harm coming to her from her own guardians and just about whether HE gets to marry her (and obviously just for her abilities, not herself) is just ENRAGING. I have not genuinely hated Quinn for awhile but THIS HAS FIXED THAT. I deeply hope this is supposed to be a flaw he overcomes but like...I'm not hopeful, because women as objects for men is A Thing often in her work as far as I understand it.

Aunt Queen reminds him that Mona has only been taken away for the evening and that he'll be going to visit her tomorrow. Quinn is surprised that she isn't opposed to that, but Aunt Queen says that so few people ever get invited to see the inside of the mysterious Mayfair house that she thinks he should take advantage of the privilege. Well, he *is* very good at taking advantage of privilege * ba dum tssh!*

She also says she thinks Quinn will stop being so hot on Mona (though she doesn't phrase it quite like that) if he sees her again. "Of course I may be wrong, the child is gorgeous, but it's what I'm hoping for."

I like how she seems to know Quinn's interest in Mona is totally shallow.

Quinn asks if he can get her out of there, then can she go to Europe with them?

"I could see the continued amazement in Nash's otherwise placid and dignified face, but Aunt Queen looked a bit provoked."

The fact that Nash and Aunt Queen are having these reactions give me hope that Rice actually is at least aware a little of how Quinn would realistically come off.

AQ tells him they're "not stealing the girl" and asks Jasmine for more wine, commenting "Jasmine, you're not yourself. When have I ever nagged you so much?"

Jasmine explains that "Those Mayfairs scare me. The stories people used to tell about their house, it's awful. I don't know if a boy Quinn's age--"

"Bite your tongue, beautiful!" Quinn cuts her off.

JUMP OFF A CLIFF, QUINN!!

Quinn demands some wine as well and proclaims he's going tomorrow. You know what, I hope the Mayfairs do something awful to him. I mean, I hope Mona gets away, but there's no reason Rice can't give her some way out besides Quinn. I honestly cannot think of a single thing I like about him. He's not even likeably awful---some of my FAVORITE characters are SUPER AWFUL PEOPLE AND TOTAL TRASH with NO redeeming features---he's just obnoxious and grating and gross even on a meta level.

Jasmine says "they had a ghost" that would "scare off any workman who tried to work on that property" She says her cousin Etienne tried to work there and it knocked the ladder out from under him. You'd think that Quinn would absolutely believe this, given his own experience with ghosts and the fact Mona specifically TOLD him to watch out for ghosts at her house, but he scoffs "Stuff and nonsense. And Etienne used to tell fortunes in cards." Maybe he does believe her but is pretending NOT to, but since he's the narrator I'd think that he'd tell us if this were the case, which he doesn't.

Jasmine retorts to "Little Boss" that she can do that too. Aunt Queen agrees that "they're a haunted family" and that before Rowan came to them from California, no one would go near that house and "Now they have big family get-togethers there. They are an immense clan, you know. And that's what I fear when I think of them. They're a clan, and a clan can do things to you."

Quinn says that "The more you say, the more I love her" and asks what she means by haunted. I THINK THAT WAS JUST EXPLAINED? THEY HAVE A GHOST? AND ARE JUST KINDA CREEPY AND MYSTERIOUS AND HAVE "HEREDITARY MADNESS" AND SHIT? LIKE ARE YOU NOT LISTENING?

Aunt Queen says they used to have a "dreadful ghost" that "did a lot more than push people off ladders. But he's gone now, this illustrious ghost. And what surrounds them now is talk of genetic mutations."

For those wondering, the Mayfair family ghost is Lasher. I am fuzzy on this, but I think he's the ghost of a Taltos, and he comes to one Mayfair woman every generation, and MAYBE he's what gives them their powers? I also think he's the one who has tried to engineer them into inbreeding so they'll get stronger and stronger witches so they can birth a Taltos like Rowan did. Hang on, let me look this up...okay, the section on the Mayfair Witches on the VC Wiki says this:

"Each generation a member of the Mayfair family is born with the ability to see, communicate and command Lasher. Such person is known as the Mayfair legacy's designee and as such has is invested with the power to manage the family treasures, whose money capital reaches exorbitant amounts. The designated also has a necklace with an emerald gemstone that symbolizes the role. Generally the designee are women, but in the course of history Lasher smiled even to a man of the family, Julien Mayfair, who was the real-designate of his generation, as well as a powerful and dangerous witch. To preserve the magic power and allow the procreation of a being strong enough to host the spirit of Lasher himself, the Mayfair witches have committed incest and inbreeding over the years. This has, however, also led to the presence of physical but mostly mental ailments in the bloodline, creating powerful but mentally disturbed witches."

Another website, yielded this:

"The first witch of the Mayfair family called upon a spirit to do her bidding hundreds of years ago, and this spirit has served the family ever since, bringing gold, rubies, ect.. creating the 7 billion dollar Mayfair Legacy that supports the family to this day.

Slowly we see the true ambition of this helpful spirit, Lasher. If he can get the right witches to inbreed, after long enough there will be one powerful enough to carry a child through which he can be born again in the flesh.

This brings us to the modern day dilemma. After 13 generations, there is such a witch. Her name is Rowan Mayfair and further into the novel she marries the now psychic Michael Curry and becomes pregnant w/ their first child.

Despite how Michael tries to prevent any harm coming to Rowan, on Christmas day, Lasher is born, and w/ Rowans help the infant grows into a fully grown man w/in seconds after birth. It becomes clear to Rowan that Lasher is not human... and never was.

[...]

"Taltos" is the name of the species which Lasher came from [...] a species all it's own, which is made from two humans w/ an extra set of chromosomes in each."


I also found this for a summary of the novel Lasher, which is the second of the Mayfair Witches books, after The Witching Hour:

"The novel begins shortly after the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Rowan Mayfair, recently married to contractor Micheal Curry. Michael, feeling betrayed by Rowan, has sunk into a depression helped along by the useless drugs prescribed to him after his close encounter with death.

Along comes the sexually adventurous Mona Mayfair, a precocious teenager and powerful witch and Rowan's cousin sharing lines of descent from Julien. She seduces Michael, causing him to snap out of his stupor and renew his vow to wife at all costs. He is now convinced that she has not gone willingly."

So see, having sex with children is a good thing, as is cheating on your wife! God, Rice.

Anyway, he asks what happened to the ghost, Aunt Queen replies that "Nobody knows except that something violent occurs. Dr. Rowan Mayfair almost lost her life, as I mentioned."

Basically, Rowan got pregnant with the physical incarnation of Lasher, gave birth to him, and he grew super-rapidly to adulthood. There was a fight between Lasher and Michael, Lasher and Rowan disappear, Michael is left nearly dead. Rowan is later found to be Lasher's prisoner, who is now trying to use her as a mate to give him offspring of his own kind to mate with. By the end of the book, Rowan has been returned in a coma, after giving birth finally to another of Lasher's kind, Emaleth. Emaleth has also grown to adulthood rapidly and brings Rowan out of her coma by breast-feeding her. Seriously. Rowan wakes up, sees Emaleth as a monster like Lasher, and shoots her dead on sight, though she mourns her decision. Just in case you were wondering.

...also I'm gonna say it now, it looks like the Taltos that get actual characterization and screentime, Lasher and Ashlar, are male, whereas the Taltos that don't (Emaleth, who is killed, and Morrigan, Mona's child, who just runs away with Ashlar on sight) are female. I haven't read the books Emaleth, Morrigan, and Ashlar appear in though so I can't be sure. But it wouldn't surprise me.

Aunt Queen then explains that Mona comes from an "intensely inbred" line of Mayfairs and that's why she wa chosen as the Designee of the Legacy. "Can you imagine? Being chosen because you are inbred? If there are genetic problems, you can be sure Mona has them."

To which Quinn, of course, says "I don't care. I adore her." which would be nice if not for the fact that, again, Quinn actually doesn't adore Mona in my opinion.

Aunt Queen then says that Mona didn't grow up rich. Quinn says he also doesn't care about that. Aunt Queen says he's missing the point, that the point is that Mona has gone from "an unstable family" to being heir to billions of dollars comparable to "the capital of a small country" and that she's "like an heir to the throne of England." She asks Nash to explain it further, and Nash describes how it was an act of treason in the 16th century to court Elizabeth or Mary Tudor because they were in line for the crown, and all men who had "dallied" with Elizabeth were executed when she became queen.

Quinn is like what so the Mayfairs will kill me and Aunt Queen says no but they will "reclaim Mona no matter where she goes or how. You saw for yourself. They were quite prepared to pick her up bodily and carry her to that limo."

Quinn finally shows some concern for Mona and says "We should never have let her go. I have a terrible feeling about it."

He looks to Goblin, who looks "solemn and remote."

Quinn says how he will see her "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" and how he wants to go climbing a vine up her house right now and "how long must I endure until I see her?" god he is SO CREEPILY OBSESSIVE SO FAST even for a super-sheltered weirdo.

Aunt Queen tells him not to even contemplate such a thing, and laments ever eating at Cafe Luminiere.

Quinn says he can't trust anyone now except Mona (what? why?) and he is positive he will never love anyone else as he does her. I guess this is tolerable/realistic enough from a teenage character, especially one with his first crush.

Aunt Queen says "it's time for the worse tidbit of gossip" which turns out to be her telling him that Mona's marriage has already been arranged to Pierce. Quinn says he knew that, AQ asks if he knew that Pierce was her first cousin. That actually shocks Quinn into silence.

Aunt Queen says they're not taking Mona to Europe, Quinn finishes the chapter by saying he's not getting on the plane without her.

Frankly, I don't care what Quinn does or doesn't do, at this point I'm a lot more concerned with Mona. Also, at least SHE seems to have some actual conflict going on in her life. I know Quinn technically does too, with the threat of the mysterious stranger, but it's almost all but forgotten for me as a reader at this point because of how much this book has lagged, ugh.
Tags: anne rice, blackwood farm, spork
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