|Series:||Book 9 of the Vampire Chronicles|
Welcome to Blackwood Farm: soaring white columns, spacious drawing rooms, bright, sun-drenched gardens, and a dark strip of the dense Sugar Devil Swamp. This is the world of Quinn Blackwood, a brilliant young man haunted since birth by a mysterious doppelgänger, “Goblin,” a spirit from a dream world that Quinn can’t escape and that prevents him from belonging anywhere. When Quinn is made a Vampire, losing all that is rightfully his and gaining an unwanted immortality, his doppelgänger becomes even more vampiric and terrifying than Quinn himself.
As the novel moves backwards and forwards in time, from Quinn’s boyhood on Blackwood Farm to present day New Orleans, from ancient Athens to 19th-century Naples, Quinn seeks out the legendary Vampire Lestat in the hope of freeing himself from the spectre that draws him inexorably back to Sugar Devil Swamp and the explosive secrets it holds.
A story of youth and promise, of loss and the search for love, of secrets and destiny, Blackwood Farm is Anne Rice at her mesmerizing best.
In the past few years, many fans have sworn off Anne Rice, flinging her later novels against the wall with cries of “First draft!” and “Never again!” But these same fans may want to take a chance on her Southern gothic Blackwood Farm, a fast-paced and erotically charged, though uneven, novel of the Vampire Chronicles. Blackwood Farm has an unusual flaw: it isn’t long enough. Many of its triumphs and tragedies demand more development than they receive. Motivations are sometimes unlikely or unexplained, and the ending is far too rushed.
Blackwood Farm introduces Quinn Blackwood, the sexy, eccentric young gentleman who becomes both a vampire and the heir to the Blackwood estate. All his life, Quinn has been haunted by Goblin, a doppelgänger no one else can see—or believe in. But Goblin is real, and he is becoming maliciously tangible, strengthened by the blood that Quinn unwillingly drinks. Quinn’s only hope of liberation from his increasingly dangerous doppelgänger is to find the legendary vampire Lestat. But Lestat has vowed to destroy any vampire who sets foot in New Orleans….
Blackwood Farm features characters from both the Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair Witches series, but this self-contained novel makes a good entry point for newcomers to Anne Rice’s fictional world (however, Vampire Chronicle virgins really should start with Interview With the Vampire, the first in the series and arguably the finest vampire novel of the 20th century). —Cynthia Ward
Barnes and Noble
This ravishing Vampire Chronicles novel tells the carefully knotted tales of Quinn Blackwood, a brilliant and charming young bloodsucker who has been haunted since childhood by a mysterious doppelgänger named Goblin. Quinn enlists the feared, revered Lestat to help control this ominous creature. Together they return to Quinn’s Southern gothic hereditary estate, where they unearth dark family secrets that only make his nemesis more menacing.