Long Rule the Queen
Anne Rice has been one of the most prolific and popular writers of the past two decades. Since her inception into the mainstream after the publication of her first book, ?Interview with the Vampire,' Rice has weaved tales about the bizarre and the super
natural that have entertained and challenged fans for years. Her books are abounding reflections of history, philosophy, religion, and personal beliefs. The characters that she has developed go beyond the ordinary limits that we perceive in this physica
l world. She has obtained a cult following that has become more popular than most of the authors of the twentieth century. Because of such a large following, her works have always been published to much anticipation and excitement. ?Taltos,' although d
isappointing some critics, was no exception and was eagerly embraced and more importantly bought by her loyal audience. To better understanding the composition of a bestseller, such as ?Taltos,' an examination of its popularity, reception into the litera
ry culture, the persona of the author, and the books effects on the public should be undertaken.
?Taltos,' published in 1994, is the third novel in the trilogy surrounding the lives of the Mayfair Witches. The first novel was the ?Witching Hour,' which was published in 1990. The second book ?Lasher' was published in 1993. Both of these books were
published to rave reviews and it would not be hard to expect that ?Taltos' would be accepted in the same manner. However with the release of ?Taltos' Rice received a few less than favorable reviews. Some critics called the book complicated and not easy
to follow without previous exposure to books of the series, because there are many assumption on which the book is based upon. They felt that the release of the book was rushed, the book itself was underdeveloped, and too similar to her previous works,
conveying the sensation of "covering old ground." Also unpopular with critics was the reintroduction of characters from other novels, but now with different fates. This however was not foreign to Rice, since she was use to inventing things including her
own life - born Howard Allen O'Brien, she changed her name when in the first grade to Anne. This alteration in the destiny of characters may be a reflection into the soul and thoughts of the everchaging Anne Rice. This negative publicity could have pot
entially helped Rice in the popularity of ?Taltos.' Readers could have been more intrigued about the book, since all they heard about Rice and her works had been good praise. Although critics were quick to point out the weaknesses of ?Taltos' they were
just as eager to denote its strengths. While they felt that the book was rushed and underdeveloped, they stated that the book still retained a fair amount of action atmosphere, betrayal, and suspense. ?Taltos' was crafted for the true Anne Rice reader r
equiring patience - patience that has been refined through experience.
To understand the tale of ?Taltos,' and thus its popularity one must uncover the secrets and stories told in the prequels when the race of the Taltos were first introduce. The Taltos are a race of legendary giants that upon birth grow to be nearly seven
feet tall with full adult capabilities. A taltos comes from Hungarian folklore and is a sorcerer who combats evil witches and has the ability to detect them. From this concept Anne has created her own Taltos and it can been seen through this creation h
ow Rice likes to ties her works into history and real life. Her most notable example of a character drawn from life was the portrayal of Claudia from ?Interview with a Vampire.' Claudia was the reincarnation of Anne's daughter, Michele, whom she lost to
leukemia at the age of six. This bond to history can be further seen when the history of the persecution of the Taltos by the Celts is recounted in the book. The Taltos were forced to take refuge by disguising themselves as a human tribe known as the P
icts. The Picts were actually a tribe from Britain, that Rice was fascinated by. The Picts ruled Scotland for centuries, but disappeared leaving behind a few peculiar artifacts to prove their existence. Realistic and historical characteristics like the
se help to strengthen the basis, and thus the believability, of Rice's work. Intriguing readers of both the fantasy and factual genres.
Although tied closely to history Rice provides a tale vivid and imaginative enough to transcend the everyday reader into her mythical world, walking the reader back and forth between continents and eras in time. Her storytelling skills have evolved from
childhood - when she would write tales of kids from Mars who would commit suicide - into intricate plots and descriptive passages that transport readers away from the stresses and pains of everyday life. The setting of the witches' tale begins in Rice's
own antebellum New Orleans mansion, and a tour through the house will show, room by room, where the tale starts in ?The Witching Hour' and end pages later with ?Taltos.' These are but a few of reasons that have helped to create the popularity of ?Taltos
,' and there are many more which target a larger population of Rice's readership.
One of the central reasons surrounding ?Taltos's' popularity is the fact that it is the third book of a Trilogy. Despite whatever types of review that the book could have received, readers would still be interested in reading the book to finish the tale
of the trilogy. It can easily be detected how this would help to boost the popularity of the book. ?Taltos' was released shortly before the release of the motion picture ?Interview with the Vampire.' The release of this movie helped to gain Rice and n
ew readership and strengthen the one that she already had. New fans would most likely be interested in reading one of Rice's newer works, especially one on the bestseller list. With the September release of ?Taltos' and the opening of ?Interview with th
e Vampire' a few weeks later, Rice was riding the popularity of her works into one of the biggest shopping holiday's of the year, Christmas and Hanukah. People would be very likely to buy ?Taltos' as a gift for themselves or one of their friends or relat
ives, regardless if they were fans or not. The timing of the publication could not have been any better, Rice wet the pallet of readers for the movie release with the book and drew in new fans to her work after the opening of the movie. Following this p
opularity ?Taltos' became a selection of the "Book of the Month Club," with Ballantine Books printing an edition exclusively for the club. Finally, Rice's fans are on of the main reasons for her books popularity, it is not only the fans for there purchas
ing power, but for who they are. Rice, often knows as the "Queen of Gothic Horror," has a large following of the gothic community. The gothic community is fascinated by vampires and witches, devils and demons, as well as sacrifice and rituals and she as
a writer has provided this to them. Anne has since long replaced the tame figures of before, such as "Elvira, Mistress of the Night" or Morticia from the Aadams Family, and she is not close to being dethroned. The gothic community's existence and influ
ence can be most easily seen on the internet, where there are thousands of home pages devoted to the subjects, as well as thousands of links to Anne Rice's or her related pages.
Anne Rice's public persona is another reason that can be attributed to ?Taltos's' popularity. Rice's literary creations contained devils, eroticism, mummies, witches, and of course vampires, mixed with a touch of New Orleans and these fictional devices
reflect aspects of her own personal life. It is this personal energy that has helped to fuel Rice's literary works and will continue to do so. Rice has placed much of herself into her work and writes about life, this it what draws readers into her well
crafted stories and keeps them turning the pages until the end. Her works reflect the immortality that she hopes to achieve, "the justification for all the pain and work and struggling and doubt." Several of the ideas for her novels are centered on the
loses (mother and daughter), pain (alcoholism), and pleasures (husband and son) that she has experienced in her life. In addition to the topics that Anne writes about, her personal contact with her fans has helped to maintain - and in some cases make mor
e popular - the success that she has achieved. Rice has created a personal newsletter called "Commotion Strange" to mail to her fans, as well as an Anne Rice Fan Line and her own official web page. The public persona that she reflects has enthralled fan
s for years and will continue to do so for many more.
Rice' popularity has spread all over the world and can be seen with her works being translated into over five different languages and becoming an international recognized author. Since the publication of ?Taltos' all of Rice's newly released books have
made the bestseller list, that is four books in the past for years - her most recent "Pandora has been out for only a month and has reached the top. Other of Rice's works have adorn by artist who render them into graphic novels to reach another audience.
The impact of her work can be seen all over the world, one just has to look hard enough. But in the end the influence and the sales figure do not mean anything, it is simply how you tell the story and Anne Rice is wonderful at her job of doing so.