Book Reviews
The Stolen Child: Keith Donohue
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Stolen Child: Keith Donohue

The myth of the changeling retold. Henry Day, aged seven, runs away from home and is stolen by the faeries, one of whom takes his place. The story is told alternately by each of the two boys as they attempt to adjust to their new lives. This is a complex tale, with subtexts on the […]

The Chymical Wedding: Lindsay Clarke
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Chymical Wedding: Lindsay Clarke

A huge book in every sense, and deserving winner of the 1989 Whitbread Prize for Fiction, The Chymical Wedding is two stories, one that the reader joins in 1848, and one set round about the time the novel was written. The poet, Alex Darken (fabulous name for a character!) has come to Norfolk to recover […]

The Passion: Jeanette Winterson
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Passion: Jeanette Winterson

The extraordinary story of a French peasant boy and the daughter of a Venetian boatman in the time of Napoleon, told in their own words. Henri and Villanelle (a heroine with the name for a poetic form), each very different, each with their own personal passion. Henri’s is a heroic one for Napoleon, Villanelle’s attachment […]

Fortune’s Daughter: Alice Hoffman
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Fortune’s Daughter: Alice Hoffman

Only a slight leaning towards the esoteric with this one – it’s really more women’s fiction. I have to admit that there was a long gap between reading the first and second halves – I found it difficult to engage with either of the characters and gave up just past half way though, picked it […]

Vivia: Tanith Lee
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Vivia: Tanith Lee

Tanith Lee is a sorceress. The first sentence and you’re well and truly snagged, caught in her net and swept along on a torrent of dark water. I’ve never before read a novel with such filmic action and imagery on every page, and her scope and imagination seem limitless: extraordinary battles, plague scenes, rape, pillage, […]

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories: H.P.Lovecraft
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories: H.P.Lovecraft

What I like about Lovecraft’s short stories is the way he created a whole mythology that not only links them together but pulls in strands from the stories of other horror writers of the era. A little Internet investigation will confirm this – whole dissertations have been written about it and The Necronomicon, that hideous […]

Angel Maker: Sara Maitland
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Angel Maker: Sara Maitland

Angel Maker, Sara Maitland’s stunning collection of thirty short stories published in 1996, reveals not only a rare and special sort of imagination but magic, wisdom and courage too. Many of these stories make use of myths, bible stories, history, folk and fairy tales, but prepare yourself well, for nothing between these pages will be […]

The Left Hand of Darkness: Ursula Le Guin
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on The Left Hand of Darkness: Ursula Le Guin

For The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula Le Guin has created a world, alien yet with similarities to our own, its calendar, topography, inhabitants and politics so exactly imagined and described that disbelief is easily suspended. Winter, as its name suggests, is a planet in the grip of an ice age, its people hermaphrodites, able […]

Fludd: Hilary Mantel
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Fludd: Hilary Mantel

A new Father arrives in a small Catholic community headed by a priest who no longer believes in God. Nearby is a convent of delightfully flawed nuns and a village whose inhabitants are mostly Protestant with whom the villagers are in conflict. Fludd has been sent, supposedly by the bishop, to shake things up and […]

Magick in the West End: Kala Trobe
16th Mar 2010Posted in: Book Reviews Comments Off on Magick in the West End: Kala Trobe

Magick in the West End is Kala Trobe’s follow-up to The Magick Bookshop, in which she introduces us to some of the extraordinary staff and clientele at Mr Malynowsky’s antiquarian occult establishment in Oxford. (See The Magick Bookshop review.) And like the first book, Kala herself is both the heroine and primary human link in […]