The Book of the Damned
The award-winning author of The Birthgrave invites you to Paradys, an alternate Paris, with three tales of dark magic, eroticism, and gothic fantasy. Three novellas from Tanith Lee—World Fantasy Award winner, Nebula finalist, and the first woman to win the British Fantasy Award for best novel—cast shadows on the history of the City of Light.Stained with Crimson: In the nineteenth century, poet Andre St Jean comes into possession of a ruby scarab ring, only to discover it belongs to the pale-skinned, ebony-eyed Antonina von Aaron, the most beautiful woman in Paradys. Preying upon Andre, she taps into his deepest, darkest desires, drawing him into her vampiric world of gender shapeshifting and bloody nightmares . . . Malice in Saffron: In the Middle Ages, young Jehanine has had her innocence torn from her by her brutal stepfather. Fleeing to Paradys, she seeks sympathy from her stepbrother, Pierre, who accuses her of lying and casts her out into the inhospitable streets. Finding refuge in a nunnery, Jehanine tries to live in God’s grace. But when dusk falls, she transforms into her male alter ego, Jehan. Prowling the alleyways with a gang of Devil-worshippers, he stalks the city’s denizens, unknowingly sowing the seeds for the fall of Paradys . . . Empire of Azure: In the early twentieth century, writer Anna Sanjeanne receives a cryptic note from a mysterious man: “In a week or less, I shall be dead.” On the predicted date, Anna follows the stranger’s trail. A chain of clues—a shattered window, a hanging corpse, a leather-bound diary, and a portrait of an unknown woman—soon lead the young journalist toward a sinister and ancient force . . . Told with lush fantastical prose and an acute aesthetic sense, The Book of the Damned ventures into a morbid and disquieting parallel world, exploring the recesses of identity, gender, and sexual transgression that lie within.