Dark Dance

Tanith Lee, Author Dell Publishing Company $4.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-440-21274-4

Rachaela Day is an emotionally distant bookshop clerk in present-day London. Abandoned before birth by her enigmatic father, Rachaela has lived alone since the death of her mother. She accepts a mysterious invitation to stay at the seaside house of Scarabae with her estranged father and his family. The Scarabae, whose existence Rachaela's mother fearfully concealed, eventually reveal themselves to be a clan of vampires who must interbreed to keep their bloodlines intact. Mesmerized by her father's spell and seduced, Rachaela flees, only to find that she is pregnant with the heir to the family's legacy. Twelve years later, Rachaela must return to the Scarabae to rescue her daughter, Ruth, who has been taken back in order to fulfill her horrible destiny. Lee ( Sabella ) writes horror stylishly, with passages that often approach the lyrical. Unfortunately, certain elements in this work are overwhelmed by her verbose descriptions, most notably those of the places where the story is set. Additionally, the narrative, which moves at a steady, albeit lingering pace, contains many characters and events that strongly recall similar vampire works . (Dec.)