Rituals: Rhapsody of Blood, Vol. 1

Roz Kaveney. Plus One (www.plusonepress.com), $18.95 trade paper (350p) ISBN 978-0-9844362-7-9
Noted critic and poet Kaveney builds her debut novel on an intriguing foundation of feminist myth. In the dawn of history, a woman named Mara becomes the Huntress, an iconic protector of humanity against those who use mass murder to gain power. In the present day, a brush with an eldritch horror drafts British student Emma Jones into a very similar role. Accompanied by the shade of Caroline, her dead roommate and would-be lover, Emma protects an oblivious populace against the monsters living alongside us, including an antihuman alliance between elves and vampires and a musical performance that may threaten reality itself. Kaveney’s novel is a competent, if very self-aware, effort. Kaveney’s thoughts on how gods become gods provide interesting variations on established ideas. Despite clearly being but the first of a series, Emma’s sequence does have something resembling a plot, and if her interactions with Caroline and her lust-smitten friend Elodie are a bit twee, it is a forgivable flaw. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/09/2012
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