The fortune teller had spoken the words, shown her the cards that predicted she would become the focal point of great events. But now, a captive of those who had invaded her land, Ara could only wait, hoping to discover the true path of her destiny. But in a world ruled by the war, what chance did Ara have to attain her heart’s desire? Carried far from her home, alone among strangers, only the will of the goddess, the Lady Volmardra, could protect and guide her.
Yet the path the Lady had set her upon would lead Ara to the very heart of conflict. And through she might gain great wealth or lose it, become both pawn and player in the power games of princes and warlords, there was only one for whom she would risk everything, a soldier who some named traitor and others liberator, the man for whom she would strive to become-A HEROINE OF THE WORLD.
The lowland girl seemed to contain fire. Her hair stirred, flickered, gushed upward, blowing flame in a wind that did now blow.
A tower of light shot up the sky, beginning where the girl stood. For half a second there was only light, then it took form.
The form it took was Anackire.
She towered, she soared. Her flesh was a white mountain. Her snake’s tail a river of fire in spate. Her golden head touched the apex of the sky, and there the serpents of her hair snapped like lightnings. Her eyes were twin suns. The eight arms, outheld as the two arms of the girl had been, rested weightlessly on the air, the long fingers subtly moving…
The girl standing before the well, unblasted by the entity she had released, seemed only quiescent. At last one could see that her face, as it had always been, was the face of Anackire…
Nobody knew where it had come from, or what it wanted. Not even Jaive, the sorceress, could fathom the mystery of the fabled beast. But Tanaquil, Jaive’s completely unmagical daughter, understood it at once. She knew why the unicorn was there: It had come for her. It needed her. Tanaquil was amazed because she was the girl with no talent for magic. She could only fiddle with broken bits of machinery and make them work again. What could she do for a unicorn?
Son of both god and mortal, his destiny must be death or power everlasting.
The setting is a world of eternal winter, where once thrived hit climates and exquisite luxury. Saphay, neglected daughter of a sub-king in the civilised west, is sent off to marry a leader of the barbaric Jafn…not realizing that her own father has arranged for her to be betrayed and abducted on his perilous journey.
Escaping her pursuers, then dragged into the depths of an arctic sea, Saphay is miraculously discovered by her Jafn betrothed. She is still alive, though entombed in an ice pyramid, and their marriage proceeds as intended. However, when it becomes evident that Saphay is not only carrying a child already but is also the focus of a sorcerous and preternatural force, dark suspicions are aroused about the infant’s true origin…Driven out into the icy wilderness to face certain death, Saphay somehow manages to reach unwelcome shelter. There her son can grow up safely in exile, while displaying all the skills of a future hero…and a future god.
The siege was over. The citadel of Avillis had burned, burned through the night, with its terrible Lord and his monstrous children in it. Nothing remained now but broken walls, charred stumps where trees had, grown, tattered lattices open to the sky. But at the heart of the palace the great Cup of Avillis stood untouched: pure gold, crusted with jewels each worth an emperor’s ransom. Small wonder that Kachil, common thief, should covet it. Or Feluce, dapper arrogant climber; riches would mean much to him. But why did Havor of Taon, the hawk, join them to carry the cursed Cup away? For it was Havor who found that the Chalice once stolen could not be lightly cast aside, even in horror and despair. While always, inexorably, half-seen, slipping through shadows, shapes in the mind’s eye, three phantom riders followed after it across the winter-blasted plain.
This chilling tale of flight and inescapable pursuit rises to a confrontation of ghostly powers. Havor thought his story could have only one ending, but the spirit world can summon Forces of Light as well as Dark.
Emenie lives alone. Her vocation is that of a serial killer. She can read the omens and always knows exactly who is her legitimate prey.
In a ruined and collapsing world, perhaps her method is the best one.
Rod, though, has a dreary life, working at an unrewarding job. Without friends, but encumbered by relations, there is something uneasy hanging over him.
Is it the wardrobe?
How unlike Klova, young, beautiful and living on benign handouts, in a sort of Science Fantasy existence of sprints and liquid-silver…
Until she meets the challenging Coal.
And then there is the other one… or are there two?
They also begin to assert their influence – but where do they fit?
Past Historical, Presents Parallel and Everyday – Future Imperfect.
Here, at the outskirts of this City they all call London, what the Hell is going on?
He came to the Honey Garden looking for Cyrion. He was a man in grave danger, convinced only one man alive could help him. A man he had heard about in song and story. A man practically everyone knew something about. A man he had never met.
Some said he was the stolen son of a western king, raised by nomads in the desert. A freelance swordsman, a sorcerer, a master of disguise, some said he attracted bizarre, uncanny events as some persons attract misfortune.
He with hair like the sky of earnest sunrise, his fair complexion, his whiplash reactions and quicksilver elegance was like a being from another world. A legend. A myth.
But was he real?
And was he for hire?
Rachaela worked in a bookstore, a conventional young woman, living a conventional life. Then they beckoned, using a variety of ruses to lure her to the house by the sea. Now she is a prisoner, part of a family of creatures she cannot escape, lover to a demon who thirsts for her blood.
Anna, white-haired and grey-eyed, is born into the luxurious and mysterious family of Scarabae, a family of inhuman age and consuming passions. As she matures, it becomes clear that she shares some of their blood, for at three she appears sixteen, and holds knowledge known only to her dead sister Ruth… Suddenly Anna, along with a score of other children, is kidnapped and carried away to the end of the earth, to the pyramid hidden in the Southern ice that is home to the terrible immortal named Cain.
The planet did not rotate. On one side eternal day, the sun shining down hotly from the centre of the heavens. On the opposite side eternal night, the stars glowing coldly in the black and airless sky.
Yet the planet had been colonised. In ages past civilisation had dug into the rock of the darkside and had thrived. Aristocrats vied with aristocrats, and the poor, as ever, struggled to keep home and body together against the ever-encroaching cold surface.
To keep the lower classes happy, Vitra, the storyteller, spun romantic sagas on the popular network. She imagined a strange world on the sunside, inhabited by men and women enmeshed in crime and love, schemes and intrigues.
Vitra believed she was making this up. But was she? Was there really another civilisation on the bright side and could it be that what she related was not fiction – but events which would inevitably send both worlds out of synch to mutual disaster?
The free humans lived underground, secretive, like rats. Above, the world was a fearsome place for them – the open sky a terror, the night so black, and the striding machines from space so laser-flame deadly.
Esther dared the open; she saw the sky; she saw the Enemy. And she was taken – captive – to the vast alien empty city. Surrounded by marvels of a science not born on earth, Esther did not know what they wanted of her. There was mystery in the city, dread in the heavens, and magic in the handsome alien man who came to her.
It’s jang to be wild and sexy and reckless and teen-age.
It’s jang to do daredevil tricks and even get killed a few times…you could always come alive again.
It’s jang to change your body, to switch your sex, to do anything you want to keep up with the crowd.
But there comes a time when you begin to think about serious things, to want to do something valid. And that’s when you find out there are rules beyond the rules and that the world is something else than all they’d taught you.
Tanith Lee today is one of the most versatile and respected writers of fantasy, horror, and science fiction, and DREAMS OF DARK AND LIGHT represents a massive mid-career retrospective of her achievements over the previous decade.
Here are unforgettable tales of werewolves that prowl chateaux, an Earthwoman in exile on a distant planet, demons that inhabit bodies of the living dead, a race of vampiric creatures who prey upon a cursed castle, and many other works of exotic vision, mythic science fiction, and contemporary horror. Also included are two stories that have received the World Fantasy Award, “Elle est Trois, (La Mort)” and “The Gorgon,” making DREAMS OF DARK AND LIGHT a distinguished one volume library of myth-weaving at its most eloquent and evocative.
Four-BEE was an utopian city. If you didn’t mind being taken care of all your long long life, having a wild time as a “jang” teen-ager, able to do anything you wanted from killing yourself innumerable times, changing bodies, changing sex, and raising perpetual hell, it could be heaven.
But for one inhabitant there was always something askew. He/she had tried everything and yet the taste always soured. And then he/she succeeded in committing the one illegal act – and was thrown out of heaven forever.
But forever is not a term any native of that robotic utopia understood. And so he/she challenged the rules, declared independence, and set out to prove that a human was still smarter than the cleverest and most protective robot.
Dekteon is a slave on the run, exhausted, beaten, pursued by his master’s dogs. When the eerie horse and cart appear through the trees, and its hooded driver offers him shelter, he has no choice but to accept.
But as the cart rolls slowly through the mist, Dekteon becomes uneasy. Who would want to befriend a desperate fugitive? Surely only someone whose own future is even more dreadful than his own?