Read East of Midnight by Tanith Lee Online


The last thing he remembered was the darkness in the hollow below the stone, and the dogs belting overhead, cheated of their quarry - Dekteon, sometimes called Red, the rebellious runaway slave. Why was he lying now, here, in this wood of burning red leaves, with a cold red sunrise in the sky? What sky? And when the cart came so suddenly out of the wood there was somethingThe last thing he remembered was the darkness in the hollow below the stone, and the dogs belting overhead, cheated of their quarry - Dekteon, sometimes called Red, the rebellious runaway slave. Why was he lying now, here, in this wood of burning red leaves, with a cold red sunrise in the sky? What sky? And when the cart came so suddenly out of the wood there was something strange about it, too. The horse that drew it had the feet of a bear, and the man who drove it had phosphorescent eyes, or so it seemed to Dekteon. Yet it appeared he was expected. 'Come,' the man called. 'Come, hurry and get in.' Dekteon was afraid. Where would the cart take him? 'You have no other place to go to,' the pale man said. And that was true enough. 'I've nothing to lose,' said Dekteon, and the words seemed ominous. Yet how could he know what worlds there might be to lose - or win?This edition was published as #15 in the MagicQuest series by Ace Books, a reissuing of classic young adult fantasy novels....

Title : East of Midnight
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780441181919
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 176 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

East of Midnight Reviews

  • Nicky
    2019-02-28 21:31

    Considering how prolific Tanith Lee is, this is only one of two of hers I have read, and I didn't enjoy the other, so much so I can't remember what it was called.A fantasy tale where everything is tightly controlled, and yet under the magic Tanith shows the mundane, the effort that goes into the glaze of perfection. It is a short book, a very slim volume, and all respect to Tanith for creating such a vivid tale in so few words. I've read this countless times since I found it in the school library when I was eleven.

  • Rachel Brown
    2019-03-02 23:30

    Dekteon, a slave in fantasyland, escapes and blunders into a strange world between worlds where horses have bear paws and he gets hired by a man who looks just like him to guard him from the terrors of the night. At least, that's the excuse. But it turns out that his new employer has a much more sinister task in mind. This odd fantasy has some very beautiful, striking images and scenes, and the first fourth or so has a wonderfully spooky, dreamlike atmosphere. Unfortunately, once Dekteon is sent to the matriarchy of cold, bitchy moon women and the sun men they rule, the magic falls away and is replaced by an annoying plot in which he gets the better of the entire society just by being a manly man and not doing what the women say. I'm not objecting just because it's sexist. I'm also objecting because it's dumb and boring. Not one of Tanith Lee's best. Though I do love the cover, which is 100% accurately taken from the book. A woman with an ivory bow riding a horned lion is what I read fantasy for; wish she was in a better book. It was part of the MagicQuest series, a fantastic YA fantasy imprint which published books by Patricia McKillip, Jane Yolen, Diana Wynne Jones, Peter Dickinson, Robert Westall, Paul Fisher, and Elizabeth Marie Pope. They had great covers and sometimes also great interior illustrations, and I haunted libraries and bookshops for them - all were reliably worth reading, though I liked some more than others. I wish the imprint had lasted longer, but it only put out 18 books. (And looking them up now, I see that I never saw or even heard of The Last Days of the Edge of the World by Brian Stableford.)

  • Story
    2019-03-06 19:20

    So, I have an unusual fondness for Tanith Lee's world building, and many of her stories stand out in my mind for the odd breaks from tradition and vivid descriptions she usually has. This one only stands out for the painful prose and the things it says about the "essences" of men and women.The notions she explores about dignified masculinity are the same old tropes about men ought be strong and bold, yadda yadda, with no examination: she creates a world in which women rule over men in a moon cult, and then instead of doing anything interesting, has her main character, Dekteon, simply subvert their entire social order by acting dudely. That the main character's foil, Zaister's, major character failing was his fear and obedience to his undudely culture, felt rather like a slap in the face. It all comes across in her turns of phrase, things like "why is it that you don't kill me and keep my identity? One would say you've earned it. To be a lord in my world. To have my woman-- why not?" from the mouth of Zaister, whose "woman" culturally isn't his-- she's king, and rules over him, and he is treated as a favored child in his world, and even after he's switched worlds with Dekteon, still fears the women of Dekteon's world. It's entirely not credible. This kind of thing is scattered throughout, but a whole big lump of it comes toward the end.The prose... I understand this is one of her earlier works. I found myself editing it in my mind as I read it, eliding "suddenly"s and words that did not match the tone of her setting.Unless unexamined sexism and clunky prose is totally your jam, I'd give this one a pass.

  • scarlettraces
    2019-03-13 19:08

    This reads like a reaction to the Womyn's Movement and also at the start, with all its red-headed sacrifice and slave culture, like something of Sutcliff's, but after that it just becomes pure Tanith. (I like the horses with bear paws.) My copy was reprinted in 2001 (with the most God Awful cover), presumably off the back of the Wolf Tower books - very different in tone, I add - and I am bemused as to why it was considered suitable for a children's imprint. Although it contains nothing *unsuitable* either. However I'm going to try it on the almost-10-year-old & see what she thinks.

  • Allen Garvin
    2019-03-13 22:30

    Vintage TL, with very tanithesque gender reversal, ending with them being righted and each character finally be made full. Another TL book I've had for years but have never gotten around to reading till now.

  • Ria
    2019-02-27 02:07

    A really clever idea for a book, a weird fantasy with a good ending.Well worth reading but a bit hard going for people who don't like time shifts and lots of characters.

  • Milliebot
    2019-03-06 22:18

    This novella was lacking for me. There was very little world building and it was fairly sexist. Basically a typical ye-olde-y time that Dekteon lived in and a ye-olde-y time with magic and hybrid animals and woman kings that Zaister lived in.D and Z switch lives and D is puzzled and somewhat disgusted that women hold power (cuz, you know, they're supposed to be submissive property) so he decides to just be manly and powerful and do the opposite of what the women tell him to do.So basically the women only hold power because the men never thought to argue that point???In the end, I didn't get the message Tanith was trying to send. I didn't care about any of the characters (except the horned lions the women rode like horses), though I do think Izvire is a sweet name.I read this in about 3 hours, and Tanith is bae and I want to read all her work, so I'm not mad. But I wouldn't recommend this to the casual fan.

  • Jonathan
    2019-02-24 23:22

    Atmospheric story of witchery, sacrifice and how one may skip out on the above and substitute a lookalike to take the fall. An uneducated fugitive is raised to dizzy and enjoyable heights before realising what is about to happen to him.

  • Peter
    2019-03-10 23:24

    Usually I quite like Tanith Lee's prose, and her worldbuilding, but in this book the writing was clunky and the world didn't feel real.

  • Tessa Low
    2019-02-23 19:17

    I loved the twists, and the extremely unique, beautiful concept. It made for some horrifying and astounding images.

  • Jared
    2019-02-25 22:05

    A little too esoteric towards the end to be an unqualified success. The author is at her best when her story telling and world building are tightly wound.