Raised in a swamp by a mad witch, poor Louisa grew up with one goal in mind: to marry a wealthy man, then inherit his lands and money by whatever means it takes. And Louisa may well succeed, for she is a stunning beauty with the manners of an angel. At last she sets off to make her fortune . . . and with the help of her vial of undetectable poison, she soon finds her first victim. A dazzlingly dark fantasy, as only Tanith Lee could write it!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tanith Lee never ceases to amaze me. She has had a very long career, and her writing not only continues to be fresh and compelling in fantasy (probably her "clan terrtitory'), but to conquer other genres handily. "Louisa the Poisoner" is both a fantasy and a twist on a type of Victorian romance. This is a short novel, but with a satisfyingly rich plot and palette of (mostly unpleasant) characters. It is wickedly, sardonically funny, something Lee does particularly well. Its "moral" is, to say the least, unconventional, but, I think, quite apt. A very fine, short read!
The thing that keeps me coming back to Tanith Lee's writing, again and again, is the beautiful fairy-tale prose she expertly uses to weave her story. And this story does read like a fairytale, although a dark, morbid one. The story hooked me immediately and carried me along, despite the amoral nature of the protagonist and her strangely beautiful malevolence.
Although Lee's prose is beautiful, formal, and elegant, it is not stiff. She describes effortlessly the nature and personalities of the widely varying characters, and illustrates emotion readily. The sheer loveliness of the descriptions of Louisa herself, of the clothes she wears, the setting into which she is placed, the workings of her mind, very much enchanted me.
This was very much a pleasure to read, and I think I'll go shop for more of Lee's work now. I just can't get enough of her writing.
Read this book to get a feel for Tanith Lee's work. It was entertaining and short enough to read during lunch. It is a nice peek into the authors style of writing and I'll be buying the Unicorn Series now that I'm more confident in her work.
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