Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow by Lily Childs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Lily Childs’ second book - in what one hopes will be a continuing series - featuring earth shaman Magenta Sweeney, is, if possible, even more breathtaking and compelling than her first novella, MAGENTA SHAMAN.
MAGENTA SHAMAN STONES THE CROW takes Magenta (Maggie) from her safe haven on the English coast with her husband Tom, to the dark forests of the Czech Republic, to an ancient castle where her father is prisoner.
In a style reminiscent of horror master Clive Barker, Lily weaves a dark tale filled with horror and magic, love and death, monsters and corrupt spirits. Lily writes with a verve and authority that draws the reader in immediately, grips them and doesn’t let go until the very end.
MAGENTA SHAMAN STONES THE CROW is only my second journey along the astral planes between this world - one that most of us only see with half-opened eyes - and the magical worlds of other planes… other dimensions in time and space. Even to the most diehard non-believer, Lily’s powerful prose brings a sense of wonder, danger and excitement that quickens the heart, and… at least, in my case… makes one sleep with the night light on full!
After reading Lily’s first book, MAGENTA SHAMAN, I had mentioned that, even with a night light on, I’d tossed and turned all night. I told Lily that if her book had evoked any lesser reaction in me, I would have been disappointed. With MAGENTA SHAMAN STONES THE CROW, I ‘suffered’ the same sleeplessness and turmoil… oh, such a sweet ‘suffering’! What I was not… was disappointed. Once again, Lily delivers beautifully!
MAGENTA SHAMAN STONES THE CROW is a rich, dark, magical story… taking the reader across the astral planes with Maggie, on mission to rescue her father from a terrible dark force… from the pits of Hell itself!
Lily’s vivid description of her journey through a supernatural world leaves this reader more than a little breathless! When I dare close my eyes, I can almost see the dark forest before me… feeling the vibration of the boar’s hoof beats on the forest floor… all the rich scents of flora and fauna around me. At one point, I actually felt a bitterness in the back of my throat when Magenta… well, I can’t say here… that might spoil it for the reader. The dusty blackness of the crow is all too real!
Throughout her narrative, Lily enthralls the reader with everything Magenta is doing, from her preparation to do battle with dark forces in the spiritual world, through to the fight itself… a struggle to the death… all in the name of love. While explaining all of this in rich detail, what Lily does not do is burden the reader with a lot of writerly detritus, losing the reader in so much description and ‘authorly voice’ that they become lost.
Lily’s rich prose carefully blends magic, evil and love in a masterful telling that keeps the reader’s interest throughout, captivating their imagination… and upon reaching the end of the tale, leaving them wanting more! Wanting more… not because Lily’s storytelling is lacking in any manner; but wanting more… because her voice so captivates the reader that they don’t want the story to end.
For those of you disappointed that I didn’t relate more of the actual story - tell you about Tom’s struggles for instance, or what happens in the castle - I say this… go buy the book and read it yourself! I mean no disrespect, but really… I’m not your ‘Cliff’s Notes’. Besides, I could not come within a continent’s breadth of coming close to Lily’s rich, magical prowess with the written word.
I will tell you this… Lily’s dark imagination tells a story… a love story, if you will… of the power of love… both in this earthly realm, and in the magic and spellbinding wonder of the supernatural realms.
One final thought. It has been three nights since I turned the first page of MAGENTA SHAMAN STONES THE CROW, and I will have the night light on again tonight. My inamorata and wife, Tina, asks me why I read this ‘stuff’ if it is “…only going to cost you sleep and give you nightmares?” I say to her, with a smile and a wink… “That is the whole point, honey!”
Once again, Lily… a simple ‘Thank you’ somehow seems rather inadequate.
Brava, sweetie… BRAVA!
(Author’s note – visit Lily at Lily Childs Feardom for more of her dark prose and verse of horror and urban fantasy. Lily is also the horror editor over at THRILLERS, KILLERS ‘N CHILLERS.)
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
9 December 2011
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