Maledicte

Maledicte

by Lane Robins
4.3 18

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Maledicte 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Paul_Genesse More than 1 year ago
Maledicte, by Lane Robins is a dark and lush novel the likes of which I've never read before. It takes place in a fantasy world similar to 1700's France, and the somewhat aristocratic prose fit perfectly with the subject matter-courtly intrigue, revenge, and twisted love affairs. Robins has tremendous writing skill and I was so impressed with how the book unfolded. I have to admit that it's been a while since I've come across words that I didn't know, but in Maledicte I found several, and each time I found one I felt like it was a little mystery that had to be solved, adding to the experience. The main plot of the book involves a young woman named Miranda, who eventually enters into the aristocracy of Antyrre, a crumbling kingdom who has lost a war. Disguised as a man, Miranda becomes a dark cavalier that everyone wants to bed-or run away from-as she is obviously possessed by some sinister force of evil. She has chosen this path to regain her lost love and take vengeance on the man who took him from her. She is aided by a bloodthirsty goddess with whom she had made a dark pact. The goddess, raven winged Ani, has given her some of Her brutal power-including a deadly sword that hungers for blood, and Miranda, who renames herself Maledicte, must struggle to remain in control rather than go into murderous rages and appease the hungry spirit within her. I thought most of the book would be from Maledicte's perspective, but I was surprised to learn that much of it is from the point of view of a handsome young man named Gilley. He is the bound servant of a nobleman, Vornatti, a lecherous old pedophile who takes Miranda in and helps her attain her goal of revenge. Vornatti facilitates her becoming a courtier and gains her access to the man she wants to kill. I didn't see Gilly coming when I picked up the book, but he emerged onto the page and became the heart of the story. Gilley was plucked from the ranks of the poor folk to lead a privileged life as a servant, though the price he pays is steep and disturbing. Despite it all, Gilley is the only character portrayed in the novel-except perhaps the kindly king of Antyrre-with any moral qualms about murder and assassination. The ends justify the means and Maledicte will do anything to accomplish his goal. She, or rather, he, is driven to the brink of madness by the spirit of the goddess inside her. Miranda/Maledicte's background as the daughter of an uncaring drug-addicted whore makes her behavior all too believable and at times cringe-worthy, but it was Gilley who made me believe that redemption was possible. He was the soul of the book for me and kept me connected to the novel when the darkness clouded my eyes. The book is shocking and there is a brutal reality to everything that happens. What would you do to regain your lost love? The depravity that these characters engage in is mind-blowing, and Robins managed to show it, but kept the curtain pulled just enough so that we the reader would not be too repulsed. Instead, I read ever onward, hungrily taking in the scenes and wondering how far Maledicte would go to accomplish her goals and get back her lover. Maledicte is a masterpiece of dark fantasy that will leave you quivering for more and checking for poison in your cup. Drink if you dare and afterward you'll never forget the dark power of twisted love, or the price of revenge. Paul Genesse Author of The Nubian Queen Featured in the Steampunk'd anthology from DAW Books
jessisabookworm More than 1 year ago
A good book, but definitely hits a slow spot about 3/4ths of the way through. Push through it, and things will get interesting again!
mrsvaljones More than 1 year ago
In a debut fantasy, Robbins introduces the readers to the city of Murne and the court of Antyre, forsaken by the gods and ruled by old aristocracy values. After Miranda’s best friend and companion Janus, the bastard son of the earl of Last and last living blood relative, is kidnapped from the slums to become heir, she is devastated. In her despair, she seeks refuge in the fallen temple of the Black-Winged Ani, the goddess of love and vengeance. The story follows the transformation of the then 15 year old Miranda, from a street smart thief of the Relicts, to an attractive male courtier possessed by Ani and seeking revenge for her lost friend. Maledicte, as she renames herself finds shelter in the home of the old and dissolute Baron Vornatti, another enemy of Last. As she plots her revenge, she trains herself in the skills necessary to navigate the lewd and vile baron as well as the treacherous court-politics, blackmail, dueling, twisted love affairs and murder. Along the way, she finds friendship, loyalty and trust in the baron’s servant Gilly. But her trust only extends so far, and Ani’s possession grows more bloodthirsty every day. A dark and complex plot, as deep as the characters themselves, Robbins creates a compelling storyline, balancing the emotions of love and vengeance through Maledicte’s feeling for both Janus and Gilly and her internal battle with the merciless Ani. Although, at times a little long winded, and high on sexual tension without eloquent release, the complexity of the characters and the storytelling of Robbins create a unique fantasy novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best fantasy novels I've ever read, right up there with The Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, and the Earth-Sea books. Loved it!
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sam_ann More than 1 year ago
Very dark and atmospheric fantasy setting, with a uniquely done revenge plotline. I thoroughly enjoyed this book until the ending, which I felt was rushed and kind of an afterthought.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a delightful and refreshing read. It is dark, malicious, filled with intrigue and fantasy and yet still manages to fill the reader with a warm feeling at the end. The book is well written, a bit too much charecter driven, and interesting. It explains all the nuances of this diffrent world without being repetitive or boring and is a good plot. Someone said that it reminded them a little too much of the Kushiel seires by Jaqueline Carey (sp?) but i dissagre, yes the two book have female heroins and vengful gods with court intrigue but Maledicta definetly makes itself heard and distinguishes itself from other books. I deffinetly recomend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing. i've been finding it hard to find well-developed books that don't put me to sleep and i've definitely stumbled upon one here. the twists and turns in the plot kept my attention. i anticipated the ending to be terrible but was pleasantly surprised. i highly recommend this to anyone who loves powerful women and crazy plots
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an absolutely riveting novel. Robins does an excellent job at developing characters and provides ample plot twists--and the adventure literally flows to the last page. Readers will find themselves empathizing with and really liking the character Maledicte, even when Maledicte plays the part of someone less than likeable. And Maledicte himself is a stroke of brilliance as a character. He starts out as the woman Miranda, but through the transformation into a courtier and a man (and because of the heavy use of the pronoun 'he'), Maledicte becomes a wonderfully androgynous character, gender lines blurred, and I found myself thinking of him as simply a PERSON. It was extremely refreshing. I highly highly recommend this book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the Kingdom of Antyre, the Earl of Last needs an heir to begat his aristocratic grandson. He selects his teenage offspring Janus, born on the wrong side of the sheets and raised in the worst slums of Murne. Janus¿ girlfriend fifteen years old Miranda is appalled when her long time companion and lover is taken from her and vows to be at his side after she kills his patrician sire.------------------------- Knowing a female cannot just walk about Murne by herself especially a young woman trying to move about in the upper crust circles, Miranda needs a disguise so she turns herself into a male noble and gains entrance into the home of wastrel Baron Vornatti, who detests Last. The Baron and his servant Gilly train the eager Miranda in what she needs to know about treachery amidst the debauched aristocracy. When the Black-Winged Goddess Ani completes the metamorphosis of Miranda from love sick teen to deadly avenger, the young female becomes Maledicte, whose goal remains the same with just more victims to dispatch.---------- This is a terrific fantasy due to the powerful emotions of the lead character. The audience will follow the capers of this seemingly innocent urchin who willingly becomes an expendable pawn of the violent Goddess of Love, as the deity and the girl share the same traits of deep love and even deeper hate. The story line focuses on Miranda¿s obsessive efforts to be with her Janus so much so that she becomes more and less than human too achieve her goal. Readers will appreciate Lane Robins¿ character driven dark fantasy.------------- Harriet Klausner