Christian is a sickly young man who inherits a mansion during the 19th century. He has some fatal illness that will finish him off eventually so he figures that he might as well die in a remote location. The mansion has a bare minimum staff and the villagers are rude and xenophobic. However, there is a couple that lives in the woods that everyone tells him to stay away from so of course he goes and pays them a visit. The couple flirts with him and threatens to eat him if they catch out at night.
Did you guess that Lycanthia or The children of Wolves was about werewolves? Yep, you’re right. Rest assure, sexy times are had and the occasional villager gets murdered. Christian gets healthier and the village gets madder. There is a horrifying conclusion.
This such a Gothic book that there were times that I thought Tanith Lee was making fun of the genre. Other times I thought she was crafting a perfect example of the genre that also includes some rather cutting commentary.At the end of the book I realized that Lee was not as much making fun of the genre as she was building an indictment on the types of characters that drive such books.
In the meantime, she wrote a lovely book with her usual lush language. This book drips with sensuality and made me wish I had a remote mansion in the French forests somewhere. The ending will haunt you and make you look differently at other Gothic novels.