cover image Dance Among the Flames

Dance Among the Flames

Tori Eldridge. Running Wild, $19.99 trade paper (350p) ISBN 978-1-955062-08-4

Eldridge (the Lily Wong series) wows with this astonishing and challenging tale of religion, magic, and trauma. In 1974, Serafina Olegario is raising her newborn son, Carlinhos, in the slums of Salvadore, Brazil, when she is momentarily possessed by the goddess Yansã and compelled to pursue the religion of Umbanda under the guidance of the Mãe de Santos. After a perceived betrayal, however, she splits from Umbanda for Quimbanda, becoming a powerful Quimbandeira and wielding dark and sensual magic to pursue power and seek revenge against those who have wronged her. In a parallel narrative set in the early 2000s, Serafina’s granddaughter, Adriana, experiences tragedy after tragedy before falling in love with an American artist amid an abusive marriage. Eldridge masterfully navigates the nuances of Brazilian religious syncretism and takes a deep and daring look into the issues of colorism, class, generational trauma, and physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Spanning decades and generations, this is both a page-turner and an emotional powerhouse. (May)