The third book in Tanith Lee's compelling series based on alchemy and the elements focuses on the element of earth. It is a haunting journey to a parallel version of sixteenth century Venice, where a fierce territorial rivalry between two noble families the della Scorpias and the Barbarons unearths a supernatural force from beneath the placid surface of the canals and rotting understructure of the city.
The struggle between the two families for space on the Isle of the Dead, the overcrowded burial ground for generations of Venetian nobility, becomes more and more heated, and fourteen-year-old Meralda della Scorpia is forced to pay the ultimate price. But as the years pass on, parties complicit in her disappearance, from both houses, begin to suffer the consequences in a series of shocking deaths that could have come from none other than a supernatural foe. As these bizarre events throw the city into a panic, a humble apprentice gravedigger is left to sort out the mysteries-an effort that will enable him to unearth the secrets of his own shadowy past.
"Lee's images pull the reader in with mysterious ephemera on the edges of sight." Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Tanith Lee is an elegant, ironic stylist one of our very best authors." Locus
"Few writers today can match the sheer beauty and inventiveness of Tanith Lee's writing." Millennium Science Fiction and Fantasy
Tanith Lee is one of the leading fantasy authors writing today. She has written over 50 novels and short story collections, among them the best-selling Flat Earth Series. She is also the author of another Overlook fantasy series, The Secret Books of Paradys. She has won the World Fantasy Award numerous times as well as the August Derleth Award.