BOOK REVIEW: Kill the Dead, by Tanith Lee. Tarot-inspired Gothic fantasy

Kill the DeadKill the Dead by Tanith Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The 1980 novel KILL THE DEAD is a perfect introduction to Tanith Lee’s writing in the Gothic mode. The short novel has all of her hallmarks: two tortured Byronic anti-heroes, a beautiful witch antagonist and a plot that is full of twists that allude to and subvert literary tropes. The novel concerns the mordantly humored exorcist Parl Dro, and his dealings with a hapless musician and a vengeful female lich (an undead sorceress). The prose is lovely and musical, full of rich imagery that incorporates Tarot symbolism throughout the text. The dialogue is is full of quips and dry humor. Some of Lee’s best work is at the novella length, and KILL THE DEAD, reissued as an ebook by Immanion Press, is an excellent example.

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