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Storm Constantine

Storm Constantine(1956-2021)
Since the late 1980s Constantine has written more than 20 novels, plus several non-fiction books. She features in the Goth Bible and is often included in discussions of alternative sexuality and gender in science fiction and fantasy. In 2003 she launched Immanion Press, based out of Stafford, England. The publishing company publishes not only her own works but those of new writers, as well as well-known genre writers, mainly from the UK.

Wraeththu: Lyrically written dark fantasy

Wraeththu by Storm Constantine

Oddly enough, I started reading Wraeththu because I happened upon it randomly in the bookstore and I was absolutely entranced by the fact that I didn’t like the cover art at all. That’s the opposite response I usually have toward cover art. I’m not sure why this is the one book that I looked at and thought, “Wow, that’s pretty terrible cover art. I better read the book.” Whatever the reason, I’m glad I did.

This was my first experience with any of Storm Constantine’s work, and I have never read such flowing, beautiful and absolutely evocative prose. While the subject matter will be hit-or-miss with readers, the writing itself is worth reading the book for. Constantine has mastered lyrical, flowing prose. Her writing makes her world and characters fly off t... Read More

Stalking Tender Prey

Stalking Tender Prey by Storm Constantine

Stalking Tender Prey draws on the legend of the Grigori, or Watchers. The Grigori are said to be angels whose over-entanglement with mortals led to their Fall. The central character in Stalking Tender Prey, Peverel Othman, is a Grigori who takes up residence in the small English hamlet of Little Moor, with life-changing results for the townspeople. His arrival precipitates an awakening of sorts, and a loss of inhibitions.

At first, what this means is sex. This is where some readers may be put off. I'll put it this way: it's not often that I say there's a lot of weird sex in a book. There's a lot of weird sex in Stalking Tender Prey. People sleep with their siblings; they sleep with anthropomorphic cat-men; they sleep with the Earth itself. The sex is relevant to the plot and to the character development, but there's a great deal of it, and it's not for th... Read More

Mythangelus: Strange, haunting stories that will draw you in

Mythangelus by Storm Constantine

Storm Constantine has frequently taken inspiration from the legends of the angels. Mythangelus is a collection of her angel-themed short fiction. The stories deal with issues of religion, gender, and sexuality; and are filled with lush prose:
At first light, a flock of birds known as the guardabarrancas, the guardians of the ravine, wake Silva with their tinkling song. It sounds as if a thousand wind chimes are being subtly excited by a tantalising breeze. The light, when Silva opens her eyes, is opalescent, glowing. Gold-green radiance falls in spears across her bed, shining motes held in the beams. The air is cool, caressing, and has a sparkling taste, like fern wine. Silva is caught in a transient moment of pure Earth beauty, those times when the planet unveils itself, when it does not realise it is being observed by a member of the hungry race it spawned. Read More

Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane: Like a box of chocolates

Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane edited by Jonathan Oliver

Magic is, almost by definition, esoteric and arcane; something known only to a few, kept secret from the masses, practiced only by initiates. Still, the grandiose title of this themed anthology of original stories may oversell it slightly, since many of the tales here are quite conventional. Jonathan Oliver gathered a shining collection of talent, though, and with fifteen stories spanning fantasy, dark fantasy, urban fantasy and horror, most readers will find something to enjoy.

The book has a lovely cover by Nicolas Delort. It’s a simulated woodcut. A Victorian-era woman holds an infant with horns, while a hooded demonic figure stands guard, and the cover is replete with lilies, skulls and ravens. Editor Jonathan Oliver opens the book with an introduction that talks a little bit about each story. I wish he had written instead about the g... Read More

Other books by Storm Constantine

Magravandias — (1998-2001) Publisher: Where the wild mountains of Caradore, in the northernmost part of Magravandias, reach the ocean, there the sea dragons make their mournful lament … The emperor, seeking the powers and ancient wisdom granted to the Palindrakes by the sea dragons, forces them to submit to a rite that surrenders their heritage to the fire god Madragore. Though the emperor has succeeded in subjugating the family, a secret female sect keeps alive the memory of the old magic until the time comes for a new Sea Dragon Heir to reclaim the powers of his ancestors. Now, three generations on, the twins Pharinet and Valraven Palindrake are about to discover their mystical heritage.

storm constantine magravandias sea dragon heirstorm constantine magravandias the crown of silence reviewstorm constantine magravandias the way of light

Stand-alone novels:

storm constantine burying the shadow Burying the Shadow — (1992) Publisher: Rayojini lives an idyllic life amongst the soulscapers of Taparak until she reaches the age at which she will be initiated into their ranks. Her initiation rite, though it follows the traditional pattern of thousands of others, is different in one vital respect. The guardian-pursuers that are invoked to watch over Rayojini’s progress are real. In far off Sacramante, the artisans who are patronised by the upper echelons of Bochanegran society, live in isolated atelier courts. The public may watch performances at chosen times, but only the patron families have constant access to the astounding creations of the eloim artists. The eloim themselves are more than content to remain a race apart, for so they are, and if the majority were to know their true nature, their lives would be forfeit. After eons of contented cohabitation, a phenomenon known as the Fear is beginning to infect the eloim, who have previously considered themselves free from the petty psychological problems of humanity. They have been virtually immortal-thanks to the protection of the patrons, who exchange their life’s blood for culture-but now the artisans are beginning to die in despair. Gimel and Beth Metatronim, an actress and a painter, set out to find a Tappish soulscaper, who will be proficient enough to enter the racial soulscape of the eloim, track down the cause of the Fear and eradicate it. The soulscaper of their choice, Rayojini, is puzzled that her guardian pursuers should be so much more real than those of other soulscapers. Then, as she delves deeper into the cause of the terrible ‘non-death’, a mysterious affliction akin to the Fear, their attentions become unavoidable.

storm constantine sign for the sacred reviewSign for the Sacred — (1993) Publisher: Lucien is a vibrancer of the Church of Ixmarity, dedicated since childhood to an enslaved life of religious dance… until he meets Jeopardy. Cleo is a child-bride of a poisoner, until one of Jeopardy’s offspring is brought to her home for disposal and she falls in love with both the child and his father… Jeopardy. Delilah is orphaned when a berserker named Trajan attacks and kills everyone in her village. She is the only one who is immune to the plague that Trajan carries, and promises to watch over him as he returns to the sanctuary… of Jeopardy. Dauntless Javelot is a chivalrous knight of Ixmarity on his last campaign… until he joins Cleo on her journey to seek Jeopardy. Lord Pliance is a courtly vampire who accompanies the pilgrims in the hopes for a cure… from Jeopardy. And as they all seek the elusive Jeopardy, they are haunted by a ruthless adversary. Wilfish Implexion is an ecclesiarch in the Church of Ixmarity. Threatened by the power of the pagan Jeopardites, he will use any means possible to kill their prophet… Jeopardy! And what of Resenence Jeopardy himself? Is he all that he seems? What is the secret of his charismatic power… and what will he decide to do with it?

storm constantine review calentureCalenture — (1994) Publisher: Casmeer is the only living soul left in Thermidore, high atop the mountains of Overhang. So it has been for hundred of years. Immortal historian and chronicler, Casmeer is the self-appointed keeper of the city’s remains and its crystalline inhabitants. Finnigin is a young terranaut, whose people collect the crystal fragments from Thermidore that wash down from the mountains to use as pilot stones to guide the floating cities across the Flatlands. Finnigin is forced to leave his people on an initiation of manhood, to journey across the plains and confront the mystery of the pilot stones. Ays is a Priest of Hands, a consoler to the dying, in the floating city of Min. His faith shaken by the words of a dying man, he undertakes a journey of his own, and leaves his floating city to face the unknown on the Flatlands. But as both Ays and Finnigin travel throughout their world, they are huanted by a mysterious figure who seems to know more about them than they dofantasy and science fiction book reviews themselves. And as Ays and Finnigin cross paths, they find their lives linked in ways they could not have imagined. While in Thermidore, Casmeer, the last immortal, has one last chronicle to write.

Thin Air — (1999) Publisher: Against her better judgement, music journalist Jay falls in love with Dex: a rock star with a conscience and “screw-you” persona. She becomes used to his disappearing for days, but when the days turn into months she fears she may never see him again. Then she hears rumours that he has been spotted.


By Michael Moorcock & Storm Constantine

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsSilverheart: A Novel of the Multiverse — (2000) Publisher: This is a novel set at the very heart of Michael Moorcock’s multiverse, in Karadur, city of metal, steam, and ancient families, the mighty clans of the metal. In six days, Max Silverskin, thief and trickster, must discover the secrets of his heritage or die from the witch mark — the silverheart — which will devour his heart. Lady Rose Iron, daughter of the leader of the powerful Clan Iron is thrown into an edgy alliance with Max, as she searches for the secrets that could save the city’s future. Captain Cornelius Coffin, head of the clans’ security forces, is in love with Lady Rose and obsessed with capturing Max. And, there are others, in Shriltasi, Karadur’s underworld twin, who know the prophecy which says that only Max Silverskin can save both realms. In “Silverheart”, Michael Moorcock and Storm Constantine have combined their talents to produce a novel that is both surreal and gothic.