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Death's Master: Tales From the Flat Earth, Book 2
Tanith Lee
Norilana Books, 456 pages

Death's Master
Tanith Lee
Tanith Lee was born in 1947 in London, England. To date she has published almost eighty novels, thirteen short story collections, and well over 250 short stories. Four of her radio plays were broadcast by the BBC, and she wrote two episodes of the BBC TV cult SF series Blake's Seven. She has twice won the World Fantasy Award for short fiction, and was awarded the August Derleth Award in 1980 for her novel Death's Master. Tanith Lee lives with her husband, the writer and artist John Kaiine, on the southeast coast of England.

Tanith Lee Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Night's Master
SF Site Review: Indigara
SF Site Review: Black Unicorn
SF Site Review: The Silver Metal Lover

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Sandra Scholes

As Night's Master is the first novel in the Flat Earth series, it was identifiable by its unusual arabesque content, its definitive fantasy style set in the Arabian Nights world of the One Thousand and One Nights; it showed an ancient world of myth and splendour all linked together as several short stories. It also contains a new introduction by the author and comes as a brand new issue.

Death's Master, the sequel of short tales is a reprint from Norlana Books' imprint Taleka. The basic story is Death's Master is about ancient times when the Earth was believed to be flat, and Gods reigned over all, and the world was separated into three different levels much like in the Norse pantheon. The Gods lived on the Upper Earth realm, while the Lords of Darkness and demons lived far below in the bowels of the Earth. Normal mortals resided in the middle world between the order and chaos and had a much harder life as a result.

Tanith Lee is the highly acclaimed author of many outstanding fantasy novels that have been read by many worldwide for over thirty years. To date, she is responsible for penning 77 full-length novels, 14 novel collections, and has had nearly 300 stories published. Known for her radio plays broadcast by the BBC in the UK, she worked on two scripts for well-known science-fiction TV show Blake's 7 which aired between the 70s and 80s. Winner of the August Derleth Award for this particular book, Night's Master this new novel continues the series.

Tanith Lee has shown her creativity in more than just her writing, as she has illustrated the cover for this novel along with John Kaiine, and her interior illustration, "Salome." She has many talents and it is noticeable in this book. The Night's Master is the first of the five lords of Darkness, Azhrarn and his aspects are night and wickedness while the second lord, Death's aspects are shadow and pallor though rather than a permanent state as far as death is concerned, his is more an idea rather than a terrifying reality. She has the knack for making her writing read like a series of adult fairy tales as it does in this particular novel. Based on a far away plane that, in many ways, resembles Egypt with its strong warriors and mention of leopards, the writing is descriptive and manages to evoke a setting and a mood in her work that tends to last in the mind of the viewer. For some, Tanith Lee is a classic writer of fantasy fiction, while to others her work might not be as interesting if they are not into her style of writing. She does remain strong as one of the best fantasy writers of her era though, and has not always stuck to fantasy, but dabbled in science fiction in-between.

The stories vary from strange tales of the world the characters inhabit to tales of the individual characters' lives and how they are shaped by fate and circumstances beyond their control. She has managed to shape these stories using her particular writing style to bring to life new and interesting people and places where their lives can be realised by those who read them.

Copyright © 2011 Sandra Scholes

Sandra Scholes has a desire to move to Alaska where she believes she might be able to take the colder temperatures better in a new setting, however between writing short stories and reviews she hardly has time to contemplate going, let alone going. Her work can be seen in Quail Bell Magazine, The Zone, and The Chronicles magazine to name a few.

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