Now that the festivities have come to end and the year has just begun it’s time to get our reading caps on. Winter is a good time to build upon our literary arsenal. With the right books we can provide our own warmth and generate heat to move us forward, take us into new realms, and open us up to the wondrous possibilities inherent in our imagination. Nurture and feed your imagination with books and soon sweet blooms will appear.
For this installment we’ll be concentrating on sex, love, horror and the guilty pleasure of a good hot story. I’ve got two authors for you to look into; a female fantasy vixen and a handsome horror-lit god. Both have seen me through sleepless nights, lonely days and helped to push my insecurities aside while giving my blood just enough heat to propel me out of the cold and into the light. They are not necessarily literary icons, nor were they taught in any of my grad school classes, though they should be required reading if one wants to push the envelope, and especially if one longs for heat, escape and creativity.
Anne Bishop is nothing like I imagined her as I read the sexy Black Jewels Trilogy. She lives upstate and writes novels that make your toes curl and your thighs feel way too close together. I imagined her as a black lace wearing vixen with a whip and a pen.
Oh Well. Though I do love the kitty.
The Black Jewels Trilogy hooked me from the very start. Luciver Yaslana and Daemon Sadi, the two jeweled half-brothers, live as shackled sex slaves in a land ruled by evil queens. Luciver comes upon eight-year-old Jaenelle, who rides the webbed winds without ever being taught what they are. He recognizes her as Witch. The foretold savior; she who could unite all the jewels and all the realms, both above and below world.
Witch, here, is nothing short of Goddess. Their trials and travels through the webs and winds will spin your mind. Your libido will open wide and you’ll wish to be held tight in Luciver’s wings or burn under the glowing sadistic sexy eyes of Daemon. You will long for each new installment and when finished want to go right back for more exquisite torture. I’m half way through book one, Daughter of the Blood, once again. I couldn’t put it down after I pulled it off my shelf to write about it here.
Clive Barker is massive handsome and writes horror sideways with an Anglophile slant and gives an everyman’s bent to tales of magic, destruction, and hidden woven worlds. His provocative prose and masterful language is more than mythic and alluring, its mind-blowing. Allow his creative vision to take you into worlds unknown but keep a foot on the ground, you’ll need it to pull you back out of his reality. Clive Barker has been called the new Stephen King. I say Barker is the better wordsmith, the more creative horror master and the more literate of the two. Where King goes for shock and awe, Barker goes for electric charge, and plunges us into the depths of fantastic worlds seemingly within our reach.
You probably know him from the Hellraiser movies – if you haven’t seen these, yes, go forth and find your pinhead.
But I want to talk about a couple of his wonderful books:
Weaveworld is an epic adventure. It features a carpet into which a magical realm full of rapture and enchantment has been hidden. This world, called The Fugue comes to life after it’s guardian dies. It falls into the hands of everyman Calhoun Mooney who enters The Fugue and becomes tasked with protecting it’s beauty and promise from evil and greed. Weaveworld is filled with magic and mystery, visions and horrors, searching and protection, love and lust, and wishes to enhance the colors of our own bleak world.
The Great and Secret Show and its sequel Everville also deal with secret hidden worlds. In this case, the mystical dream sea known as Quiddity.
Quiddity, with its exquisite alluring sense of peace and total satisfaction, is only visible three times to ordinary humans. We experience it the first time we sleep outside our mother’s womb, the first time we sleep beside our true love and the last time we sleep before we die. The two books encompass the longing for Quiddity and the quest to control and inhabit this ephemeral state. Nuclear bombsites, hallucinogens, and pathogens lead into Quiddity and must be stopped. And there’s a few generations worth of destruction and desolation, along with the pure gratifying power of love and death.
It’s cold as a Witches iced nipple out there, so heat yourself up with some magic.
Go forth. Read.
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Clive Barker = Yes! The Thief of Always was one of my favorite novels as a child. Very disturbing for an 8-year-old, and awesome illustrations.