The Witching Hour
The Witching Hour is the longest novel I've read to this day... It begins a tremendous tale of a family in New Orleans, present day.
The Mayfair family is a huge family of witches, w/ a huge bank account. In this book, we learn exactly who the Mayfair Witches are, from the very first to the most recent. 13 generations are accounted and each generations story is told in this novel.
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.
Shortly after, Michael returns and there is a fight between Lasher and Michael, which leaves Michael nearly dead and Lasher and Rowan gone.
At the end of this book, we are left in the same position as Michael... All we can do is wait and see if Rowan will come home... Or if she'll even make it home.
Lasher picks up where The Witching Hour left off. We find Rowan on the run w/ Lasher, who turns out to be a species all it's own, which is made from two humans w/ an extra set of chromosomes in each.
Despite the fully grown size of Lasher, he has the sensitivity of a child. Music, rhymes, poems all make him very happy and amused, but the slightest suggestion that he is not loved by Rowan sparks a childlike tantrum of aggression w/ the strength of an extraordinarily strong man to back it up.
Eventually Rowan has to be held captive by Lasher who is now trying to use her as a mate to give him offspring of his own kind to mate w/. When she has two miscarriages, he continues to use her, but also goes back to the Mayfair family to try to find a Mayfair woman to get offspring from there.
Any woman who didn't have the extra set of chromosomes necessary to create his kind died immediately, however...
By the end of the book, we've heard the story and premonition of a Mayfair family ghost; Rowan has been returned in a coma, after giving birth finally to another of Lasher's kind, to the Mayfair house; Lasher has also managed to sneak into the house to see Rowan again after making a deal w/ two Talamasca members who claimed to have a female of his kind; we hear Lasher's story of his life before he was a spirit; and we see Lasher's death when Michael isn't sympathetic to his story.
The whole ordeal seems to be over except for one thing... the second child of Rowan's. She wasn't found w/ Rowan after the birth. Her name is Emaleth and she managed to find her way to the Mayfair house, and brought Rowan out of her coma.
The moment Rowan came to, she was still in shock and the first thought to her mind was "kill it!", and despite the sobs and screams and pleas from Emaleth, Rowan shot her nearly immediately... ending the book w/ these words by Rowan:
"My darling, my baby, my Emaleth. I'll take her down. I'll put her in the earth myself."
Taltos. We discovered in the last book, Lasher, that "taltos" is the name of the species which Lasher came from. And at the very begining of this book we are introduced to Ashlar. Another taltos.
But Ash is not like Lasher. He is a gentle, ancient taltos who has been around since the time when taltos were many and before they had to move off their island to continents where they encountered humans.
The story of the taltos is told by Ash towards the middle of the book, after he meets Rowan and Michael.
The story actually begins w/ Rowan sitting under her tree, Michael, ever loyal, caring for her, and the young cousin, Mona, who seduced Michael while Rowan was gone w/ Lasher, staying in the Mayfair house most of the time to help Michael, and sitting under the tree, talking to Rowan, confessing.
One day while Mona was talking to her, Rowan came out of her stat for a moment and actually talked w/ Mona, but their conversation was interrupted by the screams of a cousin to the Mayfairs who had just seen the murder of Aaron Lightner of the Talamasca.
Aaron, a father figure to Rowan and Michael and dearest of friends, had been run over by a car. After the murder, Rowan set out to find who would want to kill Aaron, and take revenge.
On their journey, Mona discovers she's pregnant, Rowan and Michael meet Ashlar, and we are introduced to the ever chipper, uneducated, but very adorable Mary Jane Mayfair, who stays w/ Mona while Rowan and Michael are gone.
While Rowan, Michael, Ashlar, a Talamasca member and virtual son of Aaron's, Yuri, and a close friend of Ash's, Samuel become acquainted and track down the details of Aaron's murder, Mona realizes something's wrong w/ the pregnancy. The baby is developing too fast. It's a taltos.
Mary Jane and Mona flee to Mary Jane's broken down mansion in the middle of a swamp to deliver the baby, Rowan, Michael, Ash, Samuel and Yuri find the source of the murder, and take revenge, finding the second taltos Lasher was told about, but who turned out too old to mate w/.
Rowan and Michael parted ways w/ Ash, coming home to find Michael's second child, a taltos. The very thing that Ash had been searching the world over for centuries to find....
On a whim visit, Ash sees Morrigan (the female taltos) and Morrigan catches his scent, and they immediately run away together, leaving Rowan and Michael standing, the only ones who understand, and Mona screaming through her tears for her daughter...