ETRUSCANS by Morgan Llywelyn


Beloved of the Gods
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Historical—in the broadest sense—fantasy from the Irelandresident authors of 1916, etc., (Morgan) and various horror yarns and Celtic fantasies (Scott). In the sixth century b.c., the Etruscan civilization is lapsing into decadence, while young, barbaric Rome grows more threatening and powerful. A demon, BurSin, once an architect in Babylon, now a slave of the Netherworld goddess Pythia, gains power by draining one of her many breasts and escapes. He rapes the young Etruscan noblewoman Vesi, who becomes pregnant and rapidly gives birth to a child—by whom BurSin can be traced and hunted down by the vengeful Pythia. So BurSin and various creatures sent by Pythia have good reason to seek Vesi and her child. Despite the assistance of the barbarian warrior Wulv, Vesi's mother Repana and their protector, Lord Pepan, are killed by BurSin. Nobody knows that Vesi has been possessed by Pythia; her son Horatius—he's already grown—takes her to Rome, assisted by a ghostly Pepan. Here, BurSin possesses the strong young Etruscan Lars Porsena and grabs Vesi after killing King Tarquinius. Horatius, helped by Khebet, an Egyptian magician, must descend into the Netherworld to rescue Vesi and battle the demon he doesn't know is his father.

A nonsensical reworking of material from Rome's earliest history, all action, no brains; the screeches, gibbering, and rotting animated corpses will prove popular in some circles. Expect sequels.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-86627-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2000


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