Rowan Mayfair is a fictional character in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles series. She is first introduced in the novel The Witching Hour, which takes place in the series Lives of the Mayfair Witches. Rowan is the culmination of centuries of manipulation of the Mayfair bloodline, often by means of incest and the addition of other people in possession of 'magical' or psychic abilities, by the spirit Lasher.
She is the daughter of Deirdre Mayfair, who was the designee of the Mayfair Legacy and thereby passing on the title to her daughter, but was taken from her at birth by her great aunt Carlotta Mayfair and given the name of Rowan. She was then adopted by a barren and childless extended Mayfair family member named Ellie Mayfair, who raised her. Her father, it is speculated, was Cortland Mayfair, one of Julien Mayfair's sons and therefore was closely related. She grew up in the city of San Francisco where during a kidnapping and attack by a rapist she used her telekinetic abilities to kill him by causing him to suffer from an aneurysm. Previously, at age 6, she had caused a cerebral hemorrhage in a fellow pupil who attacked her at school.
Both incidences were very traumatic experiences for Rowan. Later in life Rowan would use her powers maliciously both involving extremely manic situations. She caused her adopted father to have a heart attack when, 2 months prior to the death from cancer of her adopted mother, he planned to steal her (the mother's) fortune and leave with his mistress, also planning to sell the home to that mistress. She also used it against the mistress when she called at the house after the death of the father, but was unaware of what she had done, never realising the mistress had died. The resulting death occurred sometime after her encounter with Rowan which exhibits the range and power of her abilities.
In her adulthood she becomes a gifted neurosurgeon using both her exceptional intellect and paranormal gifts, including the ability to know if a patient would survive surgery, or indeed if they needed it, just by touching them, to save lives. She is described as tall and beautifully androgynous with ashen blond hair and piercing grey eyes.
Her genetics contain a variation which was caused through incest by the constant interference over centuries time by the Mayfair's spirit as a means to one day recreate his long since extinct species the Taltos. He would achieve this by possessing the body of her soon to be born child with husband, and distant Mayfair family member, Michael Curry, whose combined genetics would create a member of his extinct species, and then use both Rowan's as well as his own power to speed up the growth process.
Rowan is one of several of the most powerful of the Mayfair Witches. Maybe even the most powerful as her abilities mimic those of the Mayfair's spirit Lasher, abilities which no other prior to her could wield without his aid. The genetic variation caused by her family's habitual incest has given her magical abilities twofold to those of her ancestors.
These include telekinesis with which she could cause deaths by natural means such as aneurisms, heart attacks, and strokes. The gift to kill by means of induced natural death was exhibited early in childhood well before her medical training took place. Not being a cold nor psychotic person this aspect of her telekinesis was only employed in a manner of self-defense though it should be noted it was used twice, uncontrollably, during moments of anguish coupled with rage. She was also recorded as being unaware of this power. She did not know until later she had killed her adoptive father, and she never knew she had killed the father's mistress or one of her mentors, a medical researcher, who invited her to join him in his research which revolted her.
Her abilities also include precognition which she often applied to her profession as a neurosurgeon as a means to save patients lives. Usually by sensing what was the true source of ailment and either surgically or paranormally aiding their recovery.
She also has a form of biokinesis, the ability to alter or affect the biology of any living organism from minor healing to genetic recompositioning, which she often employed to heal minor wounds and even resuscitate or resurrect patients. She performed this task twice to save her husband Michael Curry after having drowned on two separate occasions. Though it may be argued this was merely the extent of her immense telekinetic and psychic abilities, which Lasher had previously exhibited but with little to no successful results, coupled with her extensive knowledge of genetics, science and her medical background. This ability would be used by Lasher as a means of bringing about his plan of creating a body for him to possess and return his species the Taltos from extinction.
Like several members of the Mayfair clan, of both the Legacy line and several of the extended family, Rowan can also see incorporeal spirits though in the novels she only sees the spirits Lasher and that of Julien Mayfair, affectionately known by members of the Mayfair clan as Oncle Julien, a powerful witch in his own right with whom she shares minor physical traits and possibly more lineage than of just an uncle.
Read in another language
This page is available in 1 language