Taltos book cover

Taltos (1994) by Anne Rice is the third novel in her series Lives of the Mayfair Witches.

Plot Summary Edit

As the trilogy continues, the reader is introduced to Ashlar, founder of a multi-million dollar tou 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 immediatly flies to London to meet with his friend.

As for Rowan Mayfair, after buryng 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 of Mary Jane takes one look at Rowan and declares thaht 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 excommunicated Talamasca scholar who recently married into the family, has been deliberatly run over by a car. She immediatly goes to the morgue, taking Mona with her. After saying her good-bye to him, she makes plans with Michael to goto London and seek revenge on the Talamasca, hom she belives to be responsalbe for her friend's death.

Mona discovers thaht she is pregnant by Michael, and after Rowan gives her blessing,she ecstatically shares the news with the family. Michael and Rowan leave for London to meet up with Yuki Stefano, a pupil and friend of Aaron who has also been excommunicated by the Talamasca. Through Yuki, they meet the Taltos Ashlar and his friend Samuel, who isone of the Little People of Donnelaith (Dwarf-like creatures whixh are Taltos who never fed on their mother's milk - becoming stuned). Ashlar has by then killed the Superis General of the Talamasca, Anton MArcus, for his part in Aaron's death. They kidnap Stuart Gordon, an elderly memeber who has also had a hand in the death and the mysterious goings-on the late. Through him we discover thaht he and two of his pupils have hatched a scheme to unite Lasher with a female Taltos they have possession of so that they may witness the birth of a Taltos. To make sure thaht Aaron and Yuki didn't catch on, the pupils, Marklin and Tommy, sent fake communications to them that they believed came from The Elders, the governing force behind the Talamasca. When Aaron and Yuki continued to interfere, the Elders "excommunicated" the pair.

Stuart s forced to take the group into the countryside, where he keeps the female Taltos, Ashlar comes face toface with this female, exicting 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 inaility 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 poeple to achieve his goals. But Rowan beats him to the punch, using her strong telepathic abilities to cause a stroke. Yuki 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 discoved that the child she carries is a Taltos, a female named Morrigan. HSe runs off with Mary Jane to Fontevrault, an old plantationsunken into the march that has been owned by a separate branch of the Mayfiar 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 Micahel with him to New York, and tells them the story of his long life; how the Taltos once thrived on a tropical island north othe British Isles taht 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 Vamprie Chronicles), and lived innocently and peacefully unitl the land began to shift under their feete. 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 the sea. They make do in their new home, becoming hunter-gatherers, and occasionally soptting the early humans, whom they kept as pets once in while. They break off intodiffrent tribes and the largest if them, led by Ahslar, goes south to Somerset where they settle. Their peace is foten disrupted by the Cetic 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 Colombi, 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 makes 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 stroy 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 Ashmar sends gifts to his new friends. When he doesn't hear firm them, he goes to the First Street house to see them. There he sses 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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