From Publishers Weekly
A family saga isn't what we'd expect from Barker (Sacrament), the most ambitious dark fantasist of our time, but that's what he delivers in his most elegant, and most conventional, novel yet. A Barker family saga is perforce unlike othersAand so not only are two entwined families chronicled here but one, the Barbarossas, descends from voracious divinities, "two souls as old as heaven"; the other, the Gearys, are modeled roughly on the Kennedys. The story, an intricate mosaic of first-person and third, is narrated by the reclusive Maddox Barbarossa as a history he writes in the family manse hidden in the Virginia woods and designed long ago by Thomas Jefferson, one of his divine stepmother's countless lovers. Its canvas stretches from New York to Hawaii to the Middle East, from the "ancient day" when Maddox's half-brother, Galilee, was baptized through the American Civil WarAduring which Galilee joins forces with the impoverished Southern founder of the Geary dynasty, whose cruelty and greed ensures the Gearys' immense wealth and power. Most of the story rests in the present, however, concentrating on the newest Geary, n?e Rachel Pallenberg, who marries a callow Geary scion only to witness the outbreak of "war" between the Gearys and Barbarossas and to become the latest Geary woman to fall under the spell of the near-immortal, sexually mesmerizing Galilee. The novel's scale is smaller than that of previous Barker effortsAmissing are the titanic battles of form vs. chaos, good vs. evil, the riot of wonders and terrors. But it's less cluttered, too, despite abundant inspiration and invention and satisfying smatterings of Barker-brand sex, scatology and violence. Above all, there is a new richness of character, of its warpings and transfigurations by hatred and love, blood legacy and death.
This is a wonderful book of dark fantasy. It tells the story of very long running feud between the richest, most powerful family in America and an American family of gods. It is an epic story with a large cast of characters, and spans several centuries. Barker paints a wonderful portrait of power, romance, and rage.
Clive Barker is at it again, he brings up a new series starting with this book. It gives us a new look at two families locked in a war of flesh and fantasy. Its a must read.....
Those grand shapes moving overhead, like columns of smoke passing across the sun had all the gravity of a requiem; while the forms that moved close to me reeled and swaggered as though to a drunken polka.
When you read that sentence, do you see a picture? If you do you have to read this book. It is the story of 2 families that takes place over centuries of time. While reading this book I would sometimes forget where I was. I was so caught up in the story I did not want to put it down. I read all 637 pages in less than a week. I am just sorry that I forgot how great a writer Clive Barker is. I plan to read the books by Clive Barker I did not read and reread the ones I read years ago.