- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
It's no surprise that Tanith Lee has won the August Derleth Award and several World Fantasy Awards. She writes elegantly of love and lust, hatred and obsession, in decadent, morally ambiguous, fascinating novels and short stories that owe more to Angela Carter and Oscar Wilde than to any established tradition of fantasy.
Lee finds the perfect setting for her rich style and dark visions in Venus, an alternate-history, 18th-century Venice caught up in a fevered Carnival that requires everyone to either wear masks or be killed. When Furian Furiano, searching for bodies in the canals, finds instead a floating mask of Apollo, he becomes entangled in the complex plots and counterplots of warring religions and the secret societies of powerful guilds. And he encounters the beautiful Eurydiche, who has been cursed from birth with silence and an immobile face that make her both a powerful symbol of the historic role of women and an irresistible, inscrutable, and possibly fatal attraction for the hot-blooded young Furian.
This fantasy murder mystery, Faces Under Water, is Book I of the Secret Books of Venus, but its plot is self-contained and complete. This is no fat fantasy; rather, it is a properly proportioned novel of somewhat more than 200 pages, a length that displays Tanith Lee's considerable gift at its finest. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Lee (the Paradys series, etc.) throws more jeweled prose at the city of Venice than almost any writer since George Sand. People sleep under "rose death sheets" and roam in palazzi where the ceilings are painted with pictures of "cloud blown Gods." Except this isn't quite Venice. The canals are still there and Carnival is still that famous time of desire and revenge, but in Lee's alternate 15th century, Titian's Venice is combined with haunting references to Venusberg, where Tannhauser was tempted. The young man being tempted here is Furian, who from disgust has forsaken his wealthy parents and now plies various trades for the alchemist Schaachen. While trolling for corpses in the canal during Carnival, he comes upon an odd mask of Apollo. The mask, it turns out, belonged to a young musician who has drowned. Furian brings the mask back to Schaachen and, suddenly, Furian is a marked man. His wandelier (gondolier) is cut up into 11 pieces, like Osiris, and Schaachen is attacked. Furian seeks a motive, which leads him to Eurydiche, a woman whose face is frozen into statue-like beauty. Everything starts to fall in place for him when he meets her father, Lepidus, a traveler in the Marco Polo mode. Lepidus is the head of the Guild of Mask Makers and as such has assumed an occult power for himself, employing the magical arts of the distant peoples among whom he has traveled. But what does he want with Furian? And is Eurydiche simply a lure, or does she love Furian? This is a fast start to what promises to be an exciting, innovative fantasy series.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Though the writing felt staccato -almost tripping over itself - at times; even with this narrative tic I rushed through. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Cat Hellisen
As first time reader of Lee, this series is fantastical. They all wrap together in the last book, so pay close attention to all of the details and characters in each book. Read morePublished 20 months ago by LizyLiz
Tanith Lee's writing seems to come in two categories, though not exclusively. Her Flat Earth series, and her fairy tale stories, are written in an arch style which suits them. Read morePublished on November 23, 2004 by Jessica Levai
I like Tanith Lee and I happen to think that she writes beautifully, but all that aside, this story didn't really hold my attention. Read morePublished on September 21, 2003 by Heather Hays
Set in a fantasy version of the 18th-century Venice Carnival (a setting I really liked), "Faces Under Water" follows Furian Furiano (very original name ;) as he comes... Read morePublished on January 23, 2003