Monday, September 20, 2010

Lady Lazarus and Eternal Kiss of Darkness Reviewed

Lady Lazarus
Michele Lang
Tor, Aug 31 2010, $14.99
ISBN: 9780765323170

In 1939 Budapest, Magda Lazarus is the eldest daughter of an eldest daughter whose lineage traces back to the ancient witch Ein Dor. Magda is the servant of Bathory the vampire. Fleeing Stalin’s wrath, a Russian Jew Zihad Juhuri pleads with Magda to help him obtain the Book of the Angel Raziel that only one who has returned from the dead like a Drinker can obtain. He fears the Nazis will obtain the greatest weapon, this biblical tome, ever known. At the same her sister Gisele the seer warns of a pandemic destruction of the Jews by the Nazi abomination.

Magda searches for the tome. On her quest she encounters a horde of diverse supernatural Nazi essences who want to prevent her from becoming the Lazarus witch who can reach the angel Raziel. As she gets closer to completing her mission that she hopes prevents the mass devastation her sibling predicts is coming, she meets and magically duels the King of Lies.

This is a fascinating WW II fantasy thriller that builds its mythos from mostly the Jewish lore sprinkled with some Hungarian and other Eastern Europe myths. The story line is fast-paced as time is running out on Magda while Nazis werewolves, demons, and worse assault her preferable to kill her permanently because she is a threat to their domination. Although the language can turn stilted in an archaic way, which in fairness brings realism with it, readers will enjoy the exhilarating tale of Magda trying to become the Lazarus in order to protect her family, her people and Europe in that order. Harriet Klausner

Eternal Kiss Of Darkness
Jeaniene Frost
Avon, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061783166

Ancient Egyptian Master Vampire Mencheres believes his life is coming to an end. Ti protects those he cherishes from an in family civil war to replace him by designating Bones as his co-ruler; especially since he expects a life and death showdown with his enemy Radjedef.

In Chicago, Ghouls seemingly have trapped Mencheres, but mortal private investigator Kira Graceling saves his life; at least she thinks so when she courageously dives into the fight. Stunned by the mortal’s bravery, Mencheres finds himself dazzled by Kira who is attracted to him though fearful of the strange world she discovered when she jumped into his fight. However, as he now has a reason to live, he fears her distraction and attraction will kill both of them.

The second sidebar spin-off from the superb Night Huntress saga (see First Drop of Crimson) is a great urban fantasy as the Master vampire falls in love at an extremely bad time. Filled with action, as Mencheres tries to keep his beloved from becoming a pawn in the death match with his adversary a great risk to his existence, Jeaniene Frost continues to be one of the sub-genre’s top Master mages.
Harriet Klausner

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