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BLACKWOOD FARM by Anne Rice Kirkus Star


The Vampire Chronicles

by Anne Rice

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 2002
ISBN: 0-375-41199-2
Publisher: Knopf

The Vampire Chronicles Annual Rice Report on vampirism in Louisiana (Blood and Gold, 2001, etc.) finds Queen Anne’s tiara firmly in place for a sweeping plot.

Lestat and his new protégé, Tarquin “Quinn” Blackwood, 22, six feet four, fly over clouds, then feast luridly on a pair of heroin-addicted whores who’ve murdered for money. As Lestat says, drinking the blood of evildoers, sucking their sins and lives into one’s own blood, lends vampires a certain usefulness, though not humanity. Lestat has a fresh problem: the good, gray, ever namby-pamby scholars of the Talamasca have issued a Declaration of Enmity against him, which he wants rescinded. Quinn’s problem is that since earliest childhood he’s been hounded by a doppelgänger named Goblin who grows only stronger as Quinn ages and sucks out tastes of Quinn’s blood after Quinn feasts. Quinn lives with Aunt Queen at Blackwood Manor, deep in Sugar Devil Swamp. His Maker turned him only two years ago, and now the novice bloodsucker seeks Lestat for help with monstrous, supervampiric Goblin (Lestat can’t see Goblin, only the floating droplets of blood Goblin has drunk). Quinn is the bastard of Patsy Blackwood, a wannabe country-western singer, who conceived him at 16, father unknown. Now, the incorrigible Goblin keeps the child Quinn from attending school. For many years Quinn has young Lynelle as his teacher—until she dies in a road accident, Goblin crazed by her loss. At18, Quinn, who thinks he may be queer, finds himself having sex with an attic ghost named Rebecca. And the house has other ghosts as well. He later falls for red-haired, star-crossed Mona of The Mayfair Witches, famous from the earlier novel for sleeping with all her cousins, and now with Quinn. Then an androgynous telepathic stranger demands that Quinn refurbish the Hermitage in the swamp, after which he meets Arion and Petronia, who—but let’s not give that away.

With a little nip in the night, Anne’s fangs offer us the Dark Gift.