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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I hope you dance
"Dark Dance" is an early foray into horror for fantasy author Tanith Lee. I've never read any of her books, and I bought "Dark Dance" based on the cover description and the fact that the novel was published by the excellent, short-lived Abyss Horror (Dell) label. The Abyss Horror books were released in the early 90s, and introduced me to several quality horror novelists...
Published on August 21, 2003 by Plaque

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
A loner bookworm nerd girl is doing her own thing, working away, when she gets an invitation.

She accepts, and ends up staying with a very strange bunch, and she soon is in further than she thinks, pregnant, with the vampiric Scarabae hovering around, wanting to use her for their own ends.
Published on September 24, 2007 by Blue Tyson


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I hope you dance, August 21, 2003
This review is from: Dark Dance (Mass Market Paperback)
"Dark Dance" is an early foray into horror for fantasy author Tanith Lee. I've never read any of her books, and I bought "Dark Dance" based on the cover description and the fact that the novel was published by the excellent, short-lived Abyss Horror (Dell) label. The Abyss Horror books were released in the early 90s, and introduced me to several quality horror novelists and stories. A shame it didn't catch on.
This eerie tale begins with Rachela, a young twenty-something woman with some issues. She lives her life working jobs that go nowhere, and is haunted by her memories and personal demons, the most demonic of which was her mother. Mother kept Rachela under a clamp, molding her into a hermitesque life, while reinforcing the fact that Rachela was NOT to associate with her unknown father and his family. Rachela, of course, thinks her mother is a nut, and has been (almost) content since she died.
Then the summons arrives.
Her father's clan, the Scarabae family, has sent a messenger to find Rachela and offer her a chance to live in the family mansion deep in the English countryside. Rachela is stubborn and independent, and refuses the offer as long as she can. Fate seems to take over at that point, and she finds herself making the journey out of London and toward her destiny.
There are a couple of reasons why I won't expand very much more on the plot. Number one is a fear of spoilers. Number two: this novel tells a long story, but is slow in developing, meaning that certain plotlines shouldn't be spoken here for fear of giving away the whole novel. I will say that the Scarabae clan is strange, ancient, detached from reality, and never leave their home. Rachela has a love-hate relationship with them and in particular her father Adamus. The Scarabae wish to continue their family line, and it just wouldn't do to poison the bloodline with any "outsiders"...
The story takes place over a long period of time, with excellent usage of sinister prose combined with a sense of building horror. Ms. Lee has a style not unlike Anne Rice, and builds her own reality as the story dictates. This book is not as realistic as some would like, but I appreciate the fact that Lee does not waste time dwelling on the small stuff. The tale is told with the detail required to advance the plot with no padded filler.
I couldn't put this book down. It captivated me all the way though, although it could have had a little bit more detail regarding the Scarabae and the history of this bizarre family. The ending worked for me. The book has little "shock" horror, but makes up for it with general creepiness. The characters all seem to be detached from the events around them, and I thought the characters could have expressed more personal horror during their journey of the damned. Still, "Dark Dance" rates a firm 4 star rating from me.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark story, beautiful writing, very odd, October 27, 1999
This review is from: Dark Dance (Mass Market Paperback)
Yes, the heroine of the tale, Rachaela, is depressing and sulky, but for some reason I really, really like her; her personality is so clear, complex, somehow REAL. A unique protagonist with an odd charm, a clear vision, a quick mind. Very different.
This book, like all of Ms. Lee's stuff, is completely outside the norm. Her stories seem to follow a predictable plot, but somehow Lee's writing makes the whole story veer off its tracks. Lee's novels always seem to be isolated and lonely, distant, almost cold. And yet, despite all this, her characters are strange and engaging, and you actually care about them.
To anyone who likes it a little different, who enjoys an original prose style, who likes the characters different and compelling and unusual, I recommend this book. IF you can find it. This book, Dark Dance, is all but impossible to find anywhere. *sigh*
Lee's writing style is, as ever, truly excellent. Her plots take off into their own forests along their own dark paths, the characters are truly different and arresting. Altogether, a fabulous book. Tanith Lee, you're a wonder.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Vampire Novel, September 25, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Dark Dance (Mass Market Paperback)
Rachaela Day is the protagonist in Dark Dance, an attractive, dark-haired 29-year-old who lives a quiet, uninterrupted life between her small apartment and meaningless job in a bookstore. Her mother died four years ago (a woman Rachaela didn't mourn) and, many years earlier, her father had abandoned them. Otherwise, she has no family, no friends.
Then she is contacted repeatedly by messengers: her father's family want to meet with her, to make amends for his abandoning her all those years ago. Obviously, Rachaela is apprehensive, but when she is mysteriously fired and notified of a future building eviction, she has nowhere else to turn but to these strangers.
The House, simply named, is home to the Scarabae (pronounced Scarraby), a group of a dozen or so eccentric family members, including her father Adamus. As her mother had explained to her as a child, the Scarabae are unusual, "darkly ominous" people, which Rachaels discovers is all too true. She also learns their invitation had a more deviant purpose: to mate father with daughter. However, nobody expected the outcome to be so fatal.
Dark Dance is the first of three books in the Blood Opera Sequence; "Personal Darkness" and "Darkness, I" follow. This series is so far my favorite Tanith Lee series, as well as my favorite all-time vampire series. It's not as bloody as most present-day vampire books (in fact, there's very little gore; it's more gothic than violent), but if you're a big vampire fan (which I am), I would recommend you read all three books.
As fair warning, there are some sex scenes between father and daughter that might offend some readers.
If you've already read the Blood Opera Sequence, you might like Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles or Lives of the Mayfair Witches. Both series are somewhat alike to Tanith Lee's tale of the Scarabae, that is, if Anne Rice had merged her vampire world with her witch world.
I also recommend reading "The Kiss" by Kathryn Reines if you like vampires.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tanith Lee; a Literary Genius!!, August 6, 2004
This review is from: Dark Dance (Mass Market Paperback)
All I am about to say about this author and this book, is that it is well worth your time to read this tale. I feel that you will leave this book, feeling amazed and smitten by the beloved Rachella. Tanith Lee tops my list of extraordinary storytellers, she has captured the hearts of all her fans and will not ever let go. This book is beautiful. Read it. (and the other 2 in the Blood Opera series.)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful- a mind altering drug, September 25, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Dark Dance (Mass Market Paperback)
I read this book a few years ago, and I felt it tapped straight into my dreams. I actually read the sequel first (my local library always buys books in the wrong order) and I loved it. a lot of people have been cruel about Personal Darkness, but I found myself addicted. I read Dark Dance about a month later and found it just as delicious... Tanith Lee is a modern genius. Even in these stories, set in contemporary London, she weaves a subtle web of symbolism and Magick. She highlights the wyrd goings on behind the mask of normality in modern culture, making the stories a lot more sinister than if they were set in a different time or different world. Tanith, your work is beautiful and inspiring. Give us more.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, December 1, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Dark Dance (Mass Market Paperback)
Rachaela is like no other character I've ever read about. She is written so well, you care for her. The story it self is disturbing, but you can't put it down. I had a hard time doing that my self. It is, unfortunatley, hard to find. I'm lucky a local library carries a copy of it. I recomend it anyone who loves horror.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, confusion evolving into fascination, May 25, 1999
This review is from: Dark Dance (Mass Market Paperback)
A dynamic book that reads like an intriguing psychological thriller set in a fantastic world. However, what really makes this book shine is Tanith's writing style. The descriptions are nothing short of captivating especially when referring to the character's inner thoughts and motivations.
A fantastic story, complimented by a truly creative writing style.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultra Goth Vampire Story, Complete With Madman In The Attic, June 16, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Dark Dance (Mass Market Paperback)
Beautiful prose illuminates this vampire tale set in an ever-changing mysterious house just outside of London and starring the most depressive & apathetic heroine you'll ever care about. (Sadly, the sequels aren't nearly as good--they actually spoil the mood of this book.)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader, September 24, 2007
This review is from: Dark Dance (Mass Market Paperback)
A loner bookworm nerd girl is doing her own thing, working away, when she gets an invitation.

She accepts, and ends up staying with a very strange bunch, and she soon is in further than she thinks, pregnant, with the vampiric Scarabae hovering around, wanting to use her for their own ends.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tanith must have been slumming., May 31, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Dark Dance (Mass Market Paperback)
This book reminded me a little too much of Ann Rice. Tanith Lee usually does MUCH better.
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Dark Dance
Dark Dance by Tanith Lee (Mass Market Paperback - November 1, 1992)
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