Four thousand years ago, the Minoan culture of ancient Crete was the most successful, advanced, elegant civilization the world had ever seen. This darkly erotic novel, steeped in moral ambiguity, brings this spectacular time and place to life in all its color, joy and brutality. It is narrated in the amiable, citified voice of Ekoto, high priest of the goddess Britomartis, Mistress of Beasts. Ekoto is a harmless sort who wouldn't stand out in a crowd except for two things: he has hooves instead of feet and his singing voice has very strange properties. His sister, the starchy high priestess Therasia, does not possess these odd attributes.
Ekoto is exiled from the luxuries of the capital city Konoso for a crime he didn't commit. (The queen doesn't like him.) Through a series of harrowing circumstances, he falls in with the monstrous, primordial races of the Forest known to the human world as the Dwellers.
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His time among these creatures of myth triggers a hormonal cascade that changes him---in slow stages of increasingly disturbing intensity--into something vastly different that what he was before, something with an immense sexual appetite and an alarming capacity for violence. His sister falls in with the Dwellers as well and embarks on an erotic relationship worthy of the steamiest romance novel (much to Ekoto's dismay). City politics, unknown family connections and past acts of violence lead to a spectacular and savage climax whose outcome is never certain from one moment to the next.
The Last of the Dire Dwellers stands every cliché of high fantasy on its head through the use of highly nontraditional characters who produce highly nontraditional outcomes that can't be predicted by even the most jaded and genre-weary reader. Who wins? Who lives? Who loses? Who dies? You won't see it coming.
On one level, this is a breathless, ripping yarn about an exotic and little-explored byway of human history. On another, it speaks to humanity's destruction of the natural environment and its enslavement and annihilation of minority races. In this latter vein, it is sure to engender quiet reflection and spark online debate. But even if you don't feel like thinking deep thoughts, it's a wild ride. Don't pass it up.
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|File size:||3 MB|
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