Personal Darkness

Tanith Lee, Author, Lee Tanith, Author Dell Publishing Company $4.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-440-21470-0
As World Fantasy Award-winning author Lee ( Dark Dance ) imagines Scarabae, they are men and women of elegance and dark mystery, seductive creatures of few words and many secrets. Among them and yet set apart are Rachaela and her daughter Ruth, each unsure of her place in this lost tribe. Ruth's inner torment has exploded in violence against strangers and, shockingly, against her own kind. Their story, set in modern London, unfolds slowly, with grace and freshness, as Lee avoids cliches and weaves her own vision of the life and, perhaps most intriguing, the morality of the Scarabae. Fabulous scenes of death and destruction mingle with moments of astonishing sensuality. Images leap off the page by virtue of the author's evocative descriptions, though in spots she seems to take a false step, with writing that fails to evoke the desired image (``wolf brown day''). One is left wanting to know much more about this strange, complicated and compelling clan. But this is only the second book in Lee's Blood Opera Sequence, and she presumably will build from here. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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