Asher is a Master Vampire and an old companion of Jean-Claude's. Asher is first seen in a centuries old painting in The Killing Dance, together with his human servant Julianna and Jean-Claude, who were a ménage à trois once upon a time. We don't see Asher in person that time, but he comes to St. Louis in Burnt Offering.
Asher has a lot of issues, and his personality is not well suited for politics or polyamory. He is, at times, one of the lovers of Anita Blake and Jean-Claude, although he sleeps with other men as well and has more serious relationships or attempts for such with Narcissus, Mephistopheles, and Kane as well. Kane eventually becomes Asher's werehyena to call despite being a rather bad fit for the role.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Like Jean-Claude, Asher is fantastically handsome, having been selected for his beauty by Belle Morte, the vampire that made him. Anita describes his hair as the color of metallic gold and his eyes as the pale blue of a Siberian Husky. Although the left side of his face and body is angelically beautiful, his right side is hideously scarred; Asher has become an expert at using his hair, posture, and shadow to present only his left side to viewers until an opportune moment arises to reveal his scars, if desired. He is six feet tall.
History[edit | edit source]
Asher was a member of Belle Morte's court for five years before Jean-Claude arrived. Initially jealous of Jean-Claude for his beauty, Asher and Jean-Claude eventually became lovers for over 20 years. Asher, Jean-Claude, and Asher's human servant Julianna then left Belle Morte to travel the world. Their time together (nearly 20 years) came to an end when Asher and Julianna were captured; before Jean-Claude could leave his dying mother and save them, Julianna was burned at the stake as a witch and Asher was permanently disfigured by holy water. Jean-Claude bargained his own freedom for a century of servitude to get Belle to save Asher's life. For the next three hundred years, Asher never forgave Jean-Claude for failing him and Julianna, and was never able to accept the loss of his own beauty.
Asher is introduced in Burnt Offerings when he comes to St. Louis with the intention of killing Anita as revenge for Jean-Claude not being with them or saving Julianna.
In Cerulean Sins, Asher admits that if Jean-Claude had been with them, he probably would have been hurt like Asher. Worse, there would be no one to save Asher so he would have shared Julianna's fate of death. When Belle Morte's representative Musette arrives in St. Louis three months early, this gives Anita the push needed to take Asher into her and Jean-Claude's bed, bringing them into a ménage à trois.
In Danse Macabre, Asher sees some of Jean-Claude's old memories and his feelings of loss after losing Julianna and Asher. The power rush that Jean-Claude and Anita gain from feeding the ardeur from Augustine is shared with the vampires, and Asher receives a notable power boost, gaining the ability to call hyena. At the end of the novel, Anita and Asher have sex privately; Asher bites her during sex and nearly kills her by draining too much blood.
By Kiss the Dead, Asher and Dev have become very close, but they have a fight because Dev wants to have sex with another woman and Asher is jealous. Asher lashes out, injuring Cynric and Anita, and it's finally enough that Jean-Claude decides to send him away for a time. By the epilogue, he has not yet left.
In Affliction, Asher has been away for five months, and has recently begun to lash out and cause problems in the new territory. Anita and Jean-Claude decide to bring him back, because otherwise he might be killed if he stays due to his behavior. When he returns, he brings Kane, a werehyena and new lover with him, but it's clear to Anita that he's trying to be good. Dev proposes to Asher.
Character[edit | edit source]
As Asher explains in Danse Macabre, he is bisexual and deeply in love with Jean-Claude. Realizing that Jean-Claude, although bisexual, prefers women, Asher was able to form a stable relationship only with their mutual lover, Julianna. After arriving in St. Louis Asher fell in love with both Jean-Claude and Anita, but feared that they could not love him fully, either because of his scars or because of their feelings for each other. Recently, he has accepted that both Jean-Claude and Anita love him for himself, although he is unwilling to be restricted to one-way monogamy with Anita, resulting in a longtime alliance with Narcissus. (Many of Jean-Claude's vampires, and even Anita herself, assume that they have an affair but this relationship is denied by both of them. The Harlequin confirms that they are having sex, but Blood Noir retcons this by stating that they are not sexually involved, Anita thinking that maybe she should let them be lovers if it doesn't freak her out too much).
In the epilogue to Burnt Offerings, Anita states that Asher intended to explore whether modern cosmetic surgery could help his scars, and in Blue Moon we learn that he's having consultations with a plastic surgeon in St. Louis but the first operation is still months away. However, when this issue is mentioned in Cerulean Sins, it only refers to Asher's ability in bed, which had been limited until a surgeon had removed the restricting scarred foreskin a few years ago, which would have been before the events of Burnt Offerings. No other cosmetic surgery or options are talked about and Anita says that touching the scars is like touching any other part of Asher. During a few different intimate times, she's made a point to kiss or caress the scarred side first, then the non-scarred side.
Although Asher loves Jean-Claude and Anita deeply, he is something of a libertine and seems primarily restrained only by his fear that his scars would cause would be lovers to reject him. In Micah, Micah and Nathaniel reveal that Asher has a crush on Nathaniel, and in Narcissus in Chains, Asher agrees to top Narcissus. Despite this, he confides in Danse Macabre that he longs for someone - male or female - who loves him exclusively, implying that he is unsatisfied by Anita's occasional sexual interest. This is not unprecedented, since he had previously criticized Anita for her willingness to manipulate him and keep him at a distance, and her insistence on keeping all the available men to herself.
Powers[edit | edit source]
Like many of the master vampires of Belle Morte's line, Asher's powers revolve around seduction. His powers are more intimate than those of Belle Morte and Jean-Claude, and seem to center around personal seduction.
- Rolling. Asher's ability to roll victims with his eyes is nearly unparalleled, and he is one of the few vampires with the ability to roll Anita, despite her formidable defenses.
- He is stunningly beautiful, and Anita describes him as having the supernatural power to "fascinate" his victims.
- Asher's bite is literally orgasmic, to the point where his victims (including Anita) may become literally addicted to his bite, and may experience orgasmic flash-backs hours or days after being bitten.
- Although Asher cannot draw power from lust like Jean-Claude or Anita, he appears able to draw power from those he has deeply seduced (in this case, only Anita).
- Animal to call. In Danse Macabre, he developed the ability to call hyenas and werehyenas (it remains to be seen whether Asher's ability to call werehyenas and his relationship with Narcissus will lead to further developments in the series). He eventually takes Kane as his hyena to call much to everyone's chagrin.
- Flying. Asher is one of the best vampires Anita has seen at flying.
Although Asher is Jean-Claude's second in command, his lack of offensive powers caused most vampires to classify him as less powerful than Jean-Claude's other master-level retainers, at least prior to the development of his newest powers.