Merrick (novel)

Merrick is a 2000 horror novel by American writer Anne Rice, the seventh book in her The Vampire Chronicles series. The novel includes some characters who cross over from Rice's Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy (1990–1994).

Merrick (Anne Rice novel - cover art).jpg
First edition
AuthorAnne Rice
Audio read byGraeme Malcolm
Cover artistHenri Rousseau
The Snake Charmer (1907)
CountryUnited States
SeriesThe Vampire Chronicles
GenreHorror fiction
PublishedOctober 17, 2000
Media typePrint (Hardcover, Paperback) and audio book
813/.54 21
LC ClassPS3568.I265 M48 2000
Preceded byThe Vampire Armand 
Followed byBlood and Gold 

Plot summaryEdit

Louis de Pointe du Lac is being haunted by the spirit of Claudia, a child who, like Louis, had been turned into a vampire by Lestat de Lioncourt but was destroyed long ago. With the help of former Talamasca leader-turned-vampire David Talbot, Louis asks the beautiful witch Merrick Mayfair to use her spiritual powers to contact Claudia's ghost.

Merrick is also a former agent of the Talamasca, and shared many adventures with David in the past. Flashbacks introduce Merrick's malevolent sister, Honey Isabella or Honey in the Sunshine; Merrick's mother, Cold Sandra; and the Great Nananne, a powerful witch whose very presence is enough to frighten and instill respect in David. Merrick and David recall their journey to a cave in Central America which contained malevolent spirits protecting an ancient jade mask, which allows people to see spirits as if they were corporeal.

Merrick retrieves Claudia's diary from the Talamasca vaults, and makes it possible for Louis to speak with Claudia. The spirit's harsh words confirm the negative feelings for Louis that Claudia expressed in her diary, and a despairing Louis attempts suicide by exposing himself to the sun. Made a vampire by Lestat, Louis is too powerful to be destroyed in this manner, and his burned body is restored with vampiric blood bestowed by Lestat, David, and new vampire Merrick. She reveals that from the beginning, she used her magic to lure David and Louis to her in hopes of receiving the Dark Gift of vampirism. The turning of Merrick into a vampire infuriates the Talamasca, but in a letter David advises that they not wage war against the vampires because Lestat is too formidable a foe.


Some characters from Rice's Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy (1990–1994) appear in Merrick, and later Blackwood Farm (2002) and Blood Canticle (2003).[1][2][3]


In 2000, Penguin Random House Audio released an abridged audiobook adaptation of Merrick, narrated by Derek Jacobi,[4][5] as well as an unabridged version, narrated by Graeme Malcolm.[6]

Critical receptionEdit

Merrick debuted at No. 2 on The New York Times Best Seller list,[7] and remained in that position for two weeks,[8] spending a total of 10 weeks on the list.[9] Publishers Weekly wrote, "This volume merges several long-running plots; the first chapters sag with the weight of their exposition, and the prose seems overheated even for Rice ... Displaying her imaginative talents for atmosphere and suspense, Rice creates a riveting scene that shows Merrick's awesome magic at work."[10]


  1. ^ Husband, Janet G.; Husband, Jonathan F. (July 30, 2009). Sequels: An Annotated Guide to Novels in Series. American Library Association. p. 569. ISBN 978-0-8389-0967-6. Retrieved May 15, 2020 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Petski, Denise (May 13, 2020). "Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, Lives of the Mayfair Witches Rights Land at AMC Networks". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  3. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (May 13, 2020). "Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches Series Land at AMC". TVLine. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  4. ^ "Audiobook Review: Merrick by Anne Rice, Read by Derek Jacobi (abridged)". AudioFile. 2000. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  5. ^ "Merrick by Anne Rice (audiobook; abridged)". Penguin Random House Audio. 2000. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  6. ^ "Merrick by Anne Rice (audiobook; unabridged)". Audible. 2000. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  7. ^ "The New York Times Best Seller list: November 5, 2000" (PDF). Hayes Publications. Retrieved May 18, 2020 – via
  8. ^ "The New York Times Best Seller list: November 12, 2000" (PDF). Hayes Publications. Retrieved May 18, 2020 – via
  9. ^ "The New York Times Best Seller list: January 7, 2001" (PDF). Hayes Publications. Retrieved May 18, 2020 – via
  10. ^ "Fiction Book Review: Merrick by Anne Rice". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved May 15, 2020.