First edition cover
|Series||The Vampire Chronicles|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|LC Class||PS3568.I265 B63 2003|
|Preceded by||Blackwood Farm|
|Followed by||Prince Lestat|
Blood Canticle (2003) is a novel by Anne Rice in which she combines the new characters from her novel Blackwood Farm with those from her previous novels in The Vampire Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy. Rice originally stated the novel was meant to conclude the series. However, in 2014, Rice herself revealed that an eleventh novel will be published in late-2014 and that it will be a sequel to the first five books.
Centered in New Orleans, Blood Canticle is narrated by Lestat. The protagonist is a young Mayfair witch named Mona. At the beginning of the novel Mona is wasting away, victim to a mysterious disease brought on by the birth of her daughter, a so-called Walking Baby. As the novel plays out, Mona and her guardian, Rowan Mayfair, the current designee of the Mayfair legacy, reveal more and more about the powerful genetic plague that has haunted the Mayfairs for generations: the Taltos.
In what she believes to be her dying hour, Mona - highly romantic in nature - buys quantities of roses and takes them to the house of her lover, Tarquin "Quinn" Blackwood, who is a vampire and a dear companion to Lestat. She lays the roses on his bed, intending to spend her final moments here. So that she does not die from the massive decline that her body has undergone, Lestat makes her into a vampire. He does this largely to satisfy Quinn, who could never again hear the thoughts of Mona if he were to do it himself.
When trying to prevent Mona's family from discovering her transformation, Lestat falls in love with Rowan Mayfair. Secretly, she pines for him as well.
Lestat's blood is powerful; Mona learns this quickly and discovers that she can easily dispatch inferior vampires with the powerful gifts that Lestat's potent blood has bestowed upon her. Now her renewed vigor and her anger about her situation with Rowan and their shared secret of the Taltos causes her to lash out verbally at Rowan and Rowan's husband Michael. As she struggles with herself, Lestat and Quinn, she learns her place in her new world.
As Mona adjusts, Lestat pledges to find her Taltos child if it still lives. For this, Lestat enlists the help of Maharet. In a very short time, Maharet provides information critical to their search.
The story comes to a dramatic conclusion as Mona, Quinn and Lestat arrive at the remote island where the Taltos established a colony. But instead of finding a secluded paradise, the three vampires learn of years of intrigue and civil war among this isolated race of beings. In the end, the remaining Taltos join the Mayfair clan at the medical center in New Orleans, where they can be safe, learn, and be together as a family.
Mona and Quinn are taken by Khayman to live with Maharet and Mekare to be properly instructed in the ways of vampirism, leaving Lestat alone.
Rowan Mayfair seeks out Lestat, half in love with him but torn by her love for Michael; exhausted by her life, she requests that he give her the Dark Gift. Lestat declines, pained though he is, because she is a guiding force for the Mayfair family and he cannot take her away from it.
- "Fan power takes on new meaning". International Herald Tribune. 2004-04-14. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- "Book Capsule Review: Blood Canticle". Entertainment Weekly.com. 2003-10-31. Retrieved 2008-06-07.