Etruscans (Beloved of the Gods, #1)

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9780312866273: Etruscans (Beloved of the Gods, #1)
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In the early days of the Roman Empire, the noble Etruscan civilization in Italy is waning, Vesi, a young Etruscan noblewoman, is violated by a renegade supernatural being. Outcast then from Etruria, Vesi bears Horatrim, a child who carries inexplicable knowledge and grows to manhood in only six years. But a savage Roman attack leaves Vesi unresponsive and Horatrim homeless and vulnerable, and he travels to Rome where his talents confound powerful businessman Propertius, who arranges to adopt Horatrim as a son, changing his name to Horatius.

And all the while his demon father is seeking him to kill him, for Horatius is a conduit through which the demon might be found and destroyed.

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Review:

Slumming it out of their native Eire for a spell, Morgan Llywelyn (1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion) and Michael Scott (Irish Folk and Fairy Tales) have turned their erudite scholarship and lyric prose to the far south: The Etruscans recounts a mythic tale of the Rasne, the "Silver People," a prosperous and sophisticated culture dwelling in what is now Tuscany that was forced out by the rise of Rome (or rather absorbed, as was the custom in those days).

Reminiscent of other well-crafted historical fantasies (such as Guy Gavriel Kay's two-part Sarantine Mosaic), the duo takes a simple but compelling story arc--buttressed by meticulous research--and brings it alive with a restrained infusion of magic and fable. The universe of the Rasne/Etruscans hangs between three worlds: "Flesh is tied to Earthworld, Spirit to Otherworld, Death to Netherworld." Scott and Llywelyn's characters exist at the intersection of these balanced but competing planes, always aware and influenced by the supernatural in otherwise mundane lives, caught between good and evil, life and death. The historically sound plot catches the Rasne just as Rome is rising to power; a young Etruscan girl is raped by a demon (a siu), but through the arcane influence of her forebears, her super-powered offspring will prove to be a hero of the ages--a man the Romans will know as Horatius. Skillful prose and moving characterizations carry the day for Llywelyn and Scott, making The Etruscans a worthy read, likely to become a classic for fans of the genre. --Paul Hughes

About the Author:

Since 1980 MORGAN LLYWELYN has created a body of work chronicling the Celts and Ireland, from the earliest times to the present day. Her critically acclaimed novels, both of history and of mythology, have been translated into many languages. She lives in Ireland.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780312875510: Etruscans: Beloved of the Gods

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ISBN 10:  0312875517 ISBN 13:  9780312875510
Publisher: Tor Books, 2013
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9780812580129: Etruscans: Beloved of the Gods

Tor Fa..., 2001
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