The Book of the Dead

Tanith Lee, Author Overlook Press $19.95 (196p) ISBN 978-0-87951-440-2
The ambience of fin de siecle France imbues these eight gothic tales in the third volume in Lee's Secret Books of Paradys tetralogy, tracing the tortured lives once led by those buried in the crypts and cemeteries of the mythical (or forgotten) city of Paradys. ``The Weasel Bride'' twists a folktale about a man who marries an enchanted weasel and dies of her bite into an account of a young husband who kills his beloved bride on their wedding night and takes her dreadful secret to the gallows. The artist in ``The Glass Dagger,'' who normally saves her emotion for her art, is consumed by jealous rage and turns to supernatural revenge when a jaded aristocrat tries an old stratagem to win her love. In ``The Moon Is a Mask'' a drudge who creates a world of beauty in her garret room steals to buy a mask that turns her into a vampire owl. The miasma of corruption and death, combined with vivid and at times elegiac writing will engross readers who fancy this dark shade of fantasy writing. (Mar . )
Reviewed on: 12/02/1991
Release date: 12/01/1991
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