Kill the Dead - Tanith Lee

I'm having a tough time reviewing this book, I've started and scrapped the review three times now. I adore this author so much that anything I write about her work seems ungrateful. Here goes... my last attempt.


The characters are great! Parl Dro is a wonderfully complicated character; he's dark, has a dry sense of humour, and even though he walks with a limp... he's still awesome and attractive. Then there is Myal; he's had a tortured childhood, he's a thief, he's a minstrel (and a musical genius to boot), he's good looking!.. yet he has a weak personality. He's unsure of himself and finds himself drawn to the energy of Parl Dro and so he takes on the part of the unwanted sidekick for most of the tale.


The book opens with Dro demonstrating his craft and incurring the wrath of a woman that did not request his services. Here our antagonist enters the mix, Ciddey; she's an eccentric "noble woman" that knows a bit of witchcraft and will not rest until she has destroyed Dro to avenge her sister.


The journey is fairly linear, although there are a series of flashbacks that explain Dro's backstory and how he was placed on the path to become one of the world's most famous Ghost Slayers. The story tricks you into focusing on one aspect that turns out to be somewhat anti-climatic, but what saves everything is what I love about many of Lee's books... the magical twist! This twist pulls the story tight into a perfect circle of realisation. Needless to say, the ending is satisfying.


Lee's world building skills simply blow me away, for such a short book she really knows how to manipulate her descriptions for maximum effect. The scenery and atmosphere of this book, to me, is something very close to old fantasy adventure films like Ladyhawke. I think this is a great book to start with if you have never read this author before. She writes in several genres and I think this book is the easiest to sink your teeth into because it's a clean adventure from start to finish.


I suppose I'm ending it on this note because I've often felt like Tanith Lee is one of the most underrated authors of our time. I decided to review this book (even though it is not my favourite) because I discovered that this book is available through the Kindle Lending Library, which means that many of you might have the option to check this out hassle-free.