Black Body

H. C. Turk, Author, Diane Reverand, Editor Villard Books $19.95 (517p) ISBN 978-0-394-57713-5
Narrated by Alba, a ``white'' witch born on the Isle of Man, this hefty novel conceals within its ornate 18th-century writing style many a serendipitous phrase and lip-licking lewdery. Unlike her mother and her cronies (who seem to belong to a different species of witch), Alba looks like any mortal ``sinner'' (non-witch), albeit an extraordinarily beautiful one. She also exudes an odor of sensuality that draws men to her--and to their doom, for those who have carnal knowledge of Alba lose their sexual organs and die from loss of blood. After her mother is executed, Alba is taken to London by her self-appointed guardian, Lady Amanda Rathel, who intends to wreak vengeance against a man who jilted her by marrying Alba to his son. But Eric and Alba fall in love and unite against Lady Amanda. With vivid descriptions--the witches are like the hags in Polanski's film version of Macbeth --Turk has created a frightening and disagreeable world, perhaps too much so. By midway through these nearly 600 pages, readers may easily tire of the unremitting unpleasantness. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/06/1989
Release date: 07/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-1-55817-505-1
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