Author: Tanith Lee
Themes: family, love, royalty, fate, blessings, deformities/disabilities, hard work, incest, death
Plot: Horrible screams pierce the night air as the Daystar, Queen Hesta of Akhemony, wrestles with the delivery of the King's child, beautifully formed except for one heartbreaking deformity -- she is born without feet. Consigned immediately to the world of death, the lame infant is dispatched to Thon, the underworld temple, and baptized Cemira -- "snake" -- the name she will bear throughout a lifetime of darkness. It is only at the behest of Urdombris, the Sun Consort, that Cemire is wrested from te temple of death, renamed Callistra, and restored to her rightful place in the kingdom.
My Thoughts: Basically, I think this blogger sums it all up nicely. I recommend checking it out for a quick and easy review of Mortal Suns.
- Another typical Lee protagonist and plot-very beautiful and slightly off heroine with a love/lust/obsession for someone powerful (and usually blood related, to be frank). Enjoyable, but familiar if you have read much of Lee's work.
- A vaguely alien Egyptian world, a different planet, but the court life and sun worship just strikes me as Egyptian for whatever reason.
- A diverse and well made mythos. Lee provides not only a complete official pantheon within the story, of well fleshed gods/myths/superstitions/rituals but also gives the world a bit of depth by showing that there are competing mythologies in her world.
- This story is essentially the first half of the narrator's life, and by the conclusion, you will feel something is missing-namely what comes next! Although I wouldn't necessarily call it a cliff-hanger.
- Political intrigue and shifting alliances take up the majority of the plot, our narrator is merely a powerless player.
Recommendation: I enjoyed Mortal Suns quite a bit. It has Lee's excellent world building, if also her typical protagonist/plot outline. I felt the narrator had a strong and distinctive voice, but it did not really connect to the main character (herself) as described. In the end, I would recommend this to any fantasy lovers out there as a fun and intriguing read.
Similar Reads: Heroine of the World by Tanith Lee,
Random Quote: "From the smoke, maybe, the moon blushed rosy.
In his tent hung with crimson, Nexor dined with a meager scatter of sycophants.
They heard the songs.
Over the valley of two miles, the Ipyrans heard them, too. A joyous bridegroom sings before his marriage day, they said, in Ipyra. They listened to the joyous bridegroom singing, and wondered if marriage would mean, for them, something else. (p. 201)"
Lee, Tanith. Mortal Suns. Woodstock: The Overlook Press, 2003.