Thus begins Anne Rice's lyrical, haunting new novel, a metaphysical thriller of angels and assassins that once again summons up dark and dangerous worlds set in times past. Anne Rice takes us to other realms, this time to the world of fifteenth-century Rome, a city of domes and rooftop gardens, rising towers and crosses beneath an ever-shifting layer of clouds; familiar hills and tall pines . . . of Michelangelo and Raphael, of the Holy Inquisition and of Leo X, second son of a Medici, holding forth from the papal throne . . . And into this time, into this century, Toby O'Dare, former government assassin, is summoned by the angel Malchiah to solve a terrible crime of poisoning and to search out the truth of a haunting by an earthbound restless spirit--a diabolical dybbuk. O'Dare soon discovers himself in the midst of dark plots and counterplots surrounded by a darker and more dangerous threat as the veil of ecclesiastical terror closes in around him. As he embarks on a powerful journey of atonement, O'Dare is reconnected with his own past, with matters light and dark, fierce and tender, with the promise of salvation and with a deeper and richer vision of love.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-10-04
- Reviewer: Staff
In Rice's slim second Songs of the Seraphim novel (after Angel Time), the angel Malchiah whisks ex-contract killer Toby O'Dare back to 16th-century Rome, where Toby must save Vitale de Leone, a young Jewish physician who's been implicated in the poisoning of his gentile master and accused of bringing a poltergeist-like dybbuk into the household. Toby resolves both problems efficiently, but tragedy ensues, shaking his faith and leaving him vulnerable to powers of evil lying in wait to exploit his weakness. Toby's life back in modern times also grows complicated with the sudden appearance of an ex-lover and the son he never knew, neither of whom he can share his angelic interventions with. Though the plot is surprisingly similar to that of its predecessor, Rice's fans will easily succumb to the charm of her lapidary prose and a cliffhanger ending that sets up the next book in the series. 200,000 first printing. (Dec.)