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Reviews by Contributor: Lee, Tanith (61)

Last night I heard the screaming

White as Snow  (Fairy Tales, book 7)

By Tanith Lee 

21 Oct, 2016

A Year of Tanith Lee

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Tanith Lee’s 2000 stand-alone White as Snow  was the eighth and second-to-last entry in Terri Wildling’s Fairy Tales series. Published by Ace and then Tor, Windling’s Fairy Tales was 

a series of novels that (retold) and (reinterpreted) traditional fairy tales 

In White as Snow , Lee sets aside modern interpretations of the Snow White story, framed to offer Depression Era Americans some solace in poverty, to draw from the original source material. The result? 

Unrelentingly grim” may be too upbeat a description. 

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I will sell my soul for something pure and true

Metallic Love  (Silver Metal Lover, book 2)

By Tanith Lee 

14 Oct, 2016

A Year of Tanith Lee

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Tanith Lee’s 2005 Metallic Love is a sequel to her 1981 novel The Silver Metal Lover. 

The infant Loren is abandoned to an oppressive religious cult. Years later, just when she is starting to question the cult, she stumbles across an illicit copy of Jane’s Story, the first hand account of the doomed romance between Jane and Silver (the work we know as The Silver Metal Lover). The romantic tale strikes a chord with Loren. When she flees the cult, she takes her copy of the book with her.

How could she foresee that she would someday encounter Silver herself? Or rather, encounter what Silver has become?

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Just a stranger on the bus

Venus Preserved  (The Secret Books of Venus, book 4)

By Tanith Lee 

6 Oct, 2016

A Year of Tanith Lee

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2003’s Venus Preserved is the fourth and final volume in Tanith Lee’s Secret Books of Venus. 

Lost beneath rising seas, Venus was resurrected as a submarine city, safe within its impenetrable dome. Not satisfied with granting apartments to those who can prove descent from former inhabitants of Venus, the brilliant minds behind Venus have turned to a bold stratagem to repopulate the city: 

Resurrect the dead! 

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You’ve gotta get up and try, and try, and try

Louisa the Poisoner

By Tanith Lee 

30 Sep, 2016

A Year of Tanith Lee

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Tanith Lee’s delightful 1995 modern-day Horatio Alger story Louisa the Poisoner is a standalone chapbook. 

Pity poor Louisa, raised in March Mire, a swamp so dangerous that none but fools would venture into it,” fostered by a mad, witchy aunt, then cast out into an uncaring world. Her aunt has tragically died in convulsions (after Louisa poisoned her). How is one sad orphan, all alone in the world, to fend for herself? 

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You can fall for chains of silver, you can fall for chains of gold/You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold 

A Bed of Earth  (The Secret Books of Venus, book 3)

By Tanith Lee 

23 Sep, 2016

A Year of Tanith Lee

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2002’s A Bed of Earth is the third novel in Tanith Lee’s The Secret Books of Venus.

A few yards of dirt in a Venus graveyard is all it took to trigger the long-running feud between the powerful della Scorpia and Barbaron clans. To surrender that narrow patch of land would show weakness and betray the family honour. Better bloodshed and death than dishonour!

Betrothed to Lord Ciara, 14-year-old Merelda della Scorpia prefers the dashing musician Lorenzo. The betrothal serves her grasping family’s goals, but eloping with Lorenzo serves Meralda’s heart. There is no real question which option the naive teen will choose. 

Alas for Merelda, intercepting the two lovers and handing them over to vindictive, malevolent Lord Ciara serves Andrea Barbaron’s sense of comic malice.

Lorenzo does not long survive Lord Ciara’s hospitality. Merelda does; Lord Ciara is unwilling to settle for simply killing her; he prefers a more perverse vengeance. Merelda is alive when Lord Ciara sends her away from Eel Island, but … nobody ever sees her again. Alive? Dead? Alive but writhing in torment? No living person knows. 

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How the Light Gets In

Saint Fire  (The Secret Books of Venus, book 2)

By Tanith Lee 

16 Sep, 2016

A Year of Tanith Lee

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1999’s Saint Fire is the second novel in Tanith Lee’s The Secret Books of Venus. 

If it were not for the Council of the Lamb, the masses who call Ve Nara home might waste their lives on love and pleasure. Ever vigilant, the Council diligently guides their charges towards self-denial and suffering, God’s chosen path for mortal humans. The Council’s grip on Ve Nara seems unbreakable, save for two minor details: 

  • The looming war with Jurneia, a country of heretics too blind to see their false god is but a mockery of the one true God, fools who think it’s the Christian God who is false. Whatever the truth or falsity of Jurneia’s theology, their vast fleet is all too real. 
  • The girl with fire in her hair. 


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No people, no problem!

Red Unicorn  (Unicorn, book 3)

By Tanith Lee 

9 Sep, 2016

A Year of Tanith Lee

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1997’s Red Unicorn is the third and final volume in Tanith Lee’s Unicorn series. 

Poor Tanaquil! In the previous volume, she fell in love with Honj. Because he is the paramour of Tanaquil’s half-sister Lizra, he is forever out of reach. Heartbroken, she returns to her mother Jaive’s isolated home, only to discover that an unexpected romance has ruined life there as well. 

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The language of love has left me stony grey

Faces Under Water  (The Secret Books of Venus, book 1)

By Tanith Lee 

2 Sep, 2016

A Year of Tanith Lee

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1998’s Faces Under Water is the first volume in Tanith Lee’s Secret Books of Venus series.

Having ragequit his former life as a pampered aristocrat, Furian makes a scanty living by running errands for alchemist Schaachen. A hunt for salvageable bodies in Venus’ canals turns up something unexpected: a mask of unparalleled quality.

A mask that Furian should have left in the canal. 

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Into the Waste

Wolf Tower  (Claidi Journals, book 1)

By Tanith Lee 

26 Aug, 2016

A Year of Tanith Lee

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1998’s Wolf Tower is the first volume in Tanith Lee’s Claidi Journals , so titled because the story is told as a series of entries in protagonist Claidi’s secret diary.  Wolf Tower was also published as Law of the Wolf Tower , while the series is also known as the Wolf Tower series. Names can be tricky things, as protagonist Claidi finds out. 

The House is an oasis in the middle of a vast wasteland. In fact, most of its inhabitants believe that it is the oasis in the middle of a world-spanning Wasteland and that to be exiled from it is to be consigned to a short, miserable life. Claidi’s parents suffered such a fate, exiled from the House for crimes against propriety too terrible to mention. 

Even the doctrinaire rulers of the House could not bring themselves to punish the infant Claidi for her parents’ crimes. Instead they consigned her to a life of servitude to the stupid and cruel Jade Leaf. Such is the House’s mercy. 

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Player Two Has Re-Entered the Game

Darkness, I  (Blood Opera, book 3)

By Tanith Lee 

19 Aug, 2016

A Year of Tanith Lee

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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.… 

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