Book Diary: Tanith Lee – Delusion’s Master

Delusion's Master by Tanith LeeI have had occasion to remark on my love for everything Arabian Nights related before, but even among the category Tanith Lee’s Tales from the Flat Earth has always been a particular favourite. I think at least one of the reasons is that those volumes don’t just decorate their stories with same exotic oriental trappings, but attempt a more comprehensive evocation, encompassing not just the setting but also the narrative structure with its serpentine plot twists and abundance of framing devices. And there is of course the always-gorgeous prose of Tanith Lee (which I’m actually experiencing for the first times for the Flat Earth books as I’d previously only read them in German translation) that never fails to enchant.

Delusion’s Master is Chuz and he is another of Tanith Lee’s deliciously twisted creations – it is a pity that he is mostly pulling the strings in the background in this volume and not getting a lot of on-stage time. Or it would be a pity if we did not get a lot Azhrarn instead, the Prince of Demons who I am sure nobody who ever read Night’s Master will forget about. This time, the plot is considerably more straightforward and less involved than in the two previous installments – but within its slim volume it still packs more unpredictable twists and delightful surprises than most doorstopper trilogies. It is fantastic that Norilana are making those available again, and there’s even new volumes planned, which I’m very much looking forward to.

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