A macabre retelling of Beauty and the Beast... Daniel Vehmund escaped a violent past for the langurous pleasures of the Orient, but then a mysterious jewel re-awakens the darkness hidden inside him. In the frozen north country of his birth, the lovely Laura marries a man she does not love and receives a precious gift... with Daniel hot on its trail. Mysterious, lyrical, seductive, violent and sultry - quintessential Tanith Lee.
Usually, I enjoy anything written by Tanith Lee because she is an excellent writer with a talent for crafting stories and developing characterss. This book I found confusing and the characters uninteresting. Rarely will I not finish reading a book because I want to know how it ends. This book I stopped before completing half of the book with no interest in the ending.
Although I didn't enjoy the book or the characters other readers who prefer complex and convoluted plots with unsympathetic characters may have a different opinion.
A dark fantasy, this is the tale of Daniel who is possessed by a wolf-like shape imprisoned in a diamond given to him by a strange man. Daniel, who killed his father for beating his mother, left home as his mother bade. He roams working whenever he can until he meets the stranger. In possession of the diamond he, in turn, finds himself possessed becoming a creature of the night that comes alive on the three nights of the full moon. As this beast he does not recall that he is human, killing at random those who roam about at night. He returns home and his mother tells him that the beast is the essence of the evil each person holds in his heart. When she dies, he loses the portion of his humanity. Yet he is drawn to the enigmatic and self-centered lovely Laura, another man's wife. Her husband, Hyperion, loves Laura with all her heart as well as Daniel. The story spirals to an unexpected end.
Tanith Lee's very different take on Beauty and the Beast. I just could not get into this book.
From the back of the book: In the streets of the sukh, Daniel Vehmund moves among snake charmers and dagger jugglers. Wanted for murder, he travels the world, lured on by a brilliant diamond and a curse, caught in the sway of every full moon..
On a Mediterranean seacoast a death ship washes ashore, and the tide takes it out again, cleansed of its bloody cargo....In the frozen West, a woman, trapped in a loveless marriage, receives a rare diamond from her husband. It has a flaw in its center that looks almost like a wolf.
Unknowingly, she awaits the beast, and will be drawn to him as he is drawn to her. Until a deadly sliver of meteorite in the snow sets them both free....
In the snow-covered forest the beast lifts his heavy head. He kills and is unkillable. He is beautiful and horrific. He is the fear and the power, the envy and the magic and the desire. And he has come home to claim his place at last...Heart-Beast.
This book is somewhere between a horror story and dark fiction, a good read.