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I must say I really enjoyed this book. I read a lot of Anne Rice's books and have always been a fan of the Vampire Chronicles. I've just finished reading this one and was not let down.
Anne Rice's characters are always so colourful and she makes them come to life so well in my mind. She is one of the best writers for doing this and I know it is hard to keep up recurring characters and stories but this is what she does so well.
I was lost in the world of Blackwood Farm from the very beginning, and the main character Tarquin Blackwood is one of her best characters at least in my mind. On the cover of the book there is an image of Tarquin, with haunted looking eyes. Actually I'm not sure if it's meant to be Tarquin or Goblin, but I'll explain Goblin to you in a minute.
The story goes, that the whole time Tarquin has been growing up, before he can remember, he has always had a spirit friend at his side, by the name of Goblin. Goblin has always taken on the image of Tarquin. They grew up together and grew together, Tarquin growing more intelligent in the end, than Goblin. Quinn's childhood was always filled with adults and spirits/ghosts, he wasn't used to children and didn't really know how to react to them. The perspective of this character is very different and I grew to love the character of Quinn.
The story begins with Tarquin seeking out the Vampire Lestat, to get advice about Goblin, as Tarquin is now a vampire himself and Goblin has taken a turn on the evil side. Quinn explains to Lestat, by letter, that Goblin has started to take blood from him, after Quinn himself feeds. Each time making Goblin a bit stronger. Quinn and Lestat talk in person, and you are told the story of Quinn's growing up with the spirit friend. Most of the book is focused on Quinn's growing up. Along the way there are lots of colourful characters, and you learn the secrets of Sugar Devil Swamp that surrounds Blackwood Farm, and the island that is hidden somewhere in the swamp. Also on the farm is a very memorable and mysterious character called Rebecca, who was murdered by Quinn's Great Great Grandfather Manfred, as well as by a mystery vampire who makes herself known later on in the book. This vampire is the same one who finally makes Quinn a vampire.
Blackwood Farm is one of Anne Rice's longer books, and my hands were firmly glued to the pages of this book all the way to the end. I do not wish to spoil this book by giving away the ending of the story, but I will tell you that Lestat and Quinn find the help of Merrick, and together they take on Goblin.
Goblin is a very interesting character in his own right, and the most (I think) that Anne Rice has written on one spirit character in one book. Her attention to detail is brilliant, and finally we get to find out who Goblin really is. It's so simple really, in fact I hadn't even really thought about it, as Anne's writing is so clever that she takes you where she wants you to go.
I highly recommend this book to Anne Rice fans, and if you are reading her work for the first time I'm sure this book can still be enjoyed as Anne always puts a lot of information into her books, although you will not know the characters as well. But perhaps this book could make you want to read all the came before it.