Player Two Has Re-Entered the Game

Darkness, I — Tanith Lee
Blood Opera, book 3

Darkness-I

1994’s Darkness, I is the final volume in Tanith Lee’s Blood Opera trilogy. Thank goodness, because I am not sure I could have taken a fourth volume.

In the previous volume, Ruth died, struck down by the revenge-seeking widow of one of her victims. That would have been the end of her story .. except that Ruth is a Scarabae. Not only are the Scarabae slow to age, they reincarnate.

Ruth won’t have to wait too long to live again; Ruth’s mother Rachaela is pregnant….


Ruth was eerily mature for her years. Her new incarnation, Anna, matures faster than a baby on a soap opera. In almost no time, the girl has become adult in body and mind.

Rachaela didn’t want Ruth; forced to have her, she essentially handed off the chore of raising the child to a friend. When that when horribly wrong, ancient Malach stepped in, only to cast Ruth aside when she disappointed him. Anna offers a second chance to both Rachaela and Malach.

Or she would, except that Khau-Kepra, a being far older and if not wiser, a lot more powerful than Malach, has been waiting ages for the reappearance of an old, evil soul, the soul that was in Ruth and is now in Anna. The ancient sorcerer created the Scarabae; now he insists on reclaiming what is his.

Not that Anna resists….

 ~oOo~

I gave my successor as a certain organization’s vice-president (the person literally in charge of vice: parties and such) a folder full of helpful notes such as “members like a hint of the risqué, but just a hint; feathers but not the whole chicken.” Darkness, I gave me the whole chicken. Multiple chickens. I did not order the chicken.

Lee follows the principle of “always escalate.” Previous books featured murder sprees, this one had human sacrifice. Where previous volumes revelled in inappropriate relationships between father and tweenaged daughters, this one had a mother considering the yummy hotness of her not-yet-counting-her-age-in-double-digits daughter. And that’s before Khau-Kepra decides to get involved.

(Someone, somewhere, once complained that fantasy novel rape is almost always male on female. Khau-Kepra is an equal opportunity rapist.)

This was even more disturbing and off-putting than Quest for the White Witch . I cannot recommend it. As it turns out, it’s hard to recommend it to North Americans, because it has been out of print for some time. Used bookstores are your friend in this matter.


Title

Missing or dead mothers

Missing or dead fathers

The Birthgrave

1

1

The Storm Lord

1

1

Volkhavaar

2

2

Drinking Sapphire Wine

0

0

Night’s Master

2

1

Shadowfire

2

1

Death’s Master

3

3

Sabella

1

1

Day By Night

1

2

Silver Metal Lover

0

0

Delusion’s Master

1

1

Cyrion

0

0

Anakire

2

1

Sung in Shadow

1

0

The White Serpent

1

1

The Book of the Beast

0

1

Electric Forest

1

0

The Book of the Mad

1

2*

Lycanthia

0

0

A Heroine of the World

1

1

The Winter Players

0

2

Delirium’s Mistress

1


The Blood of Roses

2

1

Castle of Dark

1

0

Prince on a White Horse

0

0

Heart-Beast

0

0

Quest for the White Witch

1

0

Shon the Taken

0

0

Black Unicorn

1

1

Gold Unicorn

0

1

Dark Dance

1

1

Personal Darkness

1

1

Darkness, I

0

0

Total

29

24*



* Includes one uncle.




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