Red Witch: The Tales of Ingrid Redstone by Sean Patrick Traver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC!
I admit I grabbed this title mainly because of the gorgeous cover and was amazed that there weren't more glowing reviews after I began, but by the end of the read, I was flabbergasted. Why? Because I can see why there might be two camps for a tale of this scope and magnitude. It's non-traditional all the way down the board. That's not to say it wasn't easy to follow, either, just that it does very well to bend all kinds of genres.
We can assume, first of all, that it's a really dark fantasy with romance, and this is absolutely true. But it's also epic in scope and because of the in-depth exploration of the world of the dead and the peculiar qualities of timelessness there, this book also fits neatly into time-travel and segues even better into a well-thought-out piece of historical fiction going all the way back to Aztec sacrifices, through the silent age of film, the World-Wars, druggie sixties and the modern world of Indiana Jones and lasers, and all of this can be accessed through the door of the dead. It's pretty awesome.
But most importantly, this is a love story between the King of the Dead and a modern occult witch right out of Aleister Crowley's pagebook, full of passion and misunderstanding and disillusionment and even a few surprise twists in the span of their relationship. It's not a simple relationship, either, but it certainly felt like a genuine one. Even if it does sour.
So much happens and so much is explored in this book, I'm not going to be able to touch on even a fraction, but I can say that it's pretty epic. It's also one of the most unique and fascinating takes on necromancy that I've ever read. This is not a simple tale. It's actually rather emotional and brilliant.
If the world had any justice, then complicated and exploratory adventure/romance/horrors like this would fill all the shelves of the world. We'd be steeped in the glories of more truly creative fictions that aren't afraid to cross all those silly boundaries of the genres. :)
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