Monday, October 27, 2008

Mortally afraid

Somewhere in this harried weekend, I managed to devour a fantasy novel (first in a while) by famed writer Tanith Lee called Mortal Suns, set in a vaguely ancient Greek kind of world ruled by polygamous kings. It's unbelievably eerie and has some gorgeous descriptive writing; you can understand both these attributes when I say that the main character is an otherwise beautiful princess who is born without feet and is sent away by her mother to the Temple of Death; said mother then almost dies of supernatural feet kicking about in her womb.

Creepy as it is (and that's the tip of the iceberg), the writing does at least carry it along for the first half of the novel, but after that, when the romance gets going, phrasing takes over for any kind of characterization and the whole thing falls apart, character, plot, even imagery, and all. It's a pity, really.

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