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Dark Victory
Dark Victory
by Michele Lang
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.29
61 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michele Lang's Dark Victory continues the fine Lady Lazarus Story!, January 30, 2012
This review is from: Dark Victory (Hardcover)
What began as intimate, largely internal, spiritual conflict in Michele Lang's historical urban romantic dark fantasy series with Lady Lazarus (Tor, trade Sept. 2010 $14.99, mass market June 2011 $7.99), explodes onto the mind's screen with this 2nd installment, Dark Victory (Tor, Jan. '12 hardcover $25.99, Kindle $9.99), with new spiritual-ethical dilemmas of how far is too far to go to save a soul, a person, a whole people?--to make your head spin as only Lang knows how. It picks up where we left off: August 30th, 1939 on the almost-eve of Hilter's invasion of Poland. Magda is back in Hungary and has captured the dark angel Asmodel, demon-brother of her beloved and once-archangel Raziel (he gave up his immortality to join her fight against the Nazis and make a difference, instead of being a spectator...shades of the Watchmen ethical dilemma of To Do or Not To Do?). She's pulling out all the stops so that everyone can join forces and maybe, just maybe, thwart her powerful-but-fragile sister Gisele's dire prophecy of blood and doom for her Jewish people and certain, final death for all, including herself (able to return from the dead, but at terrible cost and with severe limitations). Whatever happens, Magda has to try to protect her precious friends and all she loves, even if it means her own, ultimate damnation (shades of Bleach's Ichigo, and you can also hear Scarlett O'Hara saying, "I don't care what it takes...if I have to lie, cheat, steal, or even murder...as God is my witness..."). Magda is not afraid to get her hands bloody-dirty. A lot. But not without her resources--she is not totally mad! And she has gained respect and even a bit of fear from the witches and vampires and demonnesses upon whom she's fixed her slightly helter-skelter gaze. After all, she's died several times and lost almost everything she's ever loved and has been told she's going to lose it all and then some, anyway, so what's she got to lose? Makes her über-ballsy moves seem downright rational, at times. And there are those resources: her taciturn angel-man Raziel (Secrets of God) who is getting used to his human limitations and freedoms, both; the begrudging help of the Zionists and her forever-fierce friend Eva; the loyalty of her embattled vampire-employer, Count Bathory, whom she'd served for ages; those demonnesses, forest spirits, even golems, her own creation from Kabbalah (yes, once again, Lang has done her homework--this stuff is real!), and the arch American bookseller Knox who has leads on her Book of Raziel for which the women of her line had, indeed, sold their souls. But not completely. There is always hope. Even Winston Churchill comes into the picture! Lang spares no imaginational expense in this 2nd venture of her view of the world on the verge of war and one young woman's quest to stop the juggernaut of the demon-possessed Hitler's Reich. The book has a bit of the middle-of-a-trilogy set-up vibe for the Big Finale, but hey, if Tolkien could manage the big pay-off in Return of the King after Two Towers, I have no doubt that Lang can, too. The difference is the internal-external shift in point-of-view between books. Raziel gets more screen time but says and does very little save for at key junctures--he's big and Present, at Magda's side vs. his sibling, the silver-tongued and oh-so-deadly Asmodel. Magda is not afraid to use any of the powers she's being trained in and discovering on-the-fly--crisis is the hothouse of learning, sometimes. The rest of the characters mature in the face of unspeakable odds and reveal key facets of their personalities over the course of this Greek- and Shakespeare-level operatic-style tragedy. Can Lang pull any light out of this darkness? Will anyone be saved, spiritually or physically? Is Magda her own woman or still trying to be mama's and papa's little girl? Perhaps. Can't wait for book 3 to find out whom and how. (as appeared on [...])


Lady Lazarus
Lady Lazarus
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $7.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spirit Rising: Michele Lang's Lady Lazarus, January 17, 2012
This review is from: Lady Lazarus (Kindle Edition)
Spirit Rising: Michele Lang's Lady Lazarus - Alexandra Honigsberg

It has been documented that the first word a child learns to utter is, most commonly, "no". Michele Lang's historical urban dark fantasy, Lady Lazarus (Tor, trade Sept. 2010 $14.99, mass market June 2011 $7.99), and her heroine Magda make a fine art of "no" that turns into a resounding "yes" on the eve of WWII (up to Hitler's invasion of Poland, Sept. 1st, 1939 and the Hitler-Stalin pact), from the cafés of Buda-Pest through Austria, Germany, and Paris, to the booksellers and brothels of Amsterdam and back again! The first installment of the story, this book is as good as it gets. You cannot guess where she will take you, even in the historical bits but, once Lang gets there, it is perfectly logical and believable, even at its most outrageous. Why? Because Lang has done her history, theology, and Bible homework and Knows her Kabbalah in a way that even some whiskery old masters do not. And she makes you believe. Even her undead, demonic, and angelic characters are utterly human and thus you are compelled to watch this tragic train-wreck of a story (after all, we know the atrocities of WWII) that is not without the insanity of hope. Her prose sings--even in her English translations the music of the German, Hungarian, Hebrew, and Aramaic remains. Amidst all the darkness, the light shines, even in some romance with an angel, Raziel (Secrets of God), whose description really is like that of a Greek god (trust me, I know one...wink). But no clichés, here, and no punches pulled, ever--no flinching. People suffer exquisitely for what they believe in, to save their way of life, their people (Jews, witches, vampires, demonesses). Lang tortures her characters in ways unimagined by those not acquainted with the depths of the mystical lore in all its facets, beautiful and horrifying. All to a purpose. Imagine a world where the daughters of men perpetuate their legacy since primordial times, since Eve, where angels fall for their beliefs, and a line of daughters can return from the dead and work great magics, but always at a great price (and Lang's word painting is worthy of renderings in movies and graphic novels)? Can you stop a war? Can you stand back and not even try--hide or run? The entire story hinges on the last two lines of the book: "Who do you love? Do you seek the darkness or the light?" Only, once you read this, and I dare you to be unaffected by it, your definitions of dark and light may not remain so neat and tidy. Sweet dreams. Call on your guardian angels. They will come. They are real.

[...]


Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity
Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity
by Otto F. A. Meinardus
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.70
55 used & new from $13.95

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for All Church Scholars, June 19, 2005
As the other reviewers said, this is absolutely a foundational compendium, worth much for its charts and appendices, alone, and for the fact that it's rather up to date (originally published in '99 and updated in '02).

A word of warning -- the binding is very poorly done on this trade paperback and every page falls out as you turn it, so the book will have to be rebound, probably spiral, for the repeated reference use that it will get.


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