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Black Body

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*Completely revised for 2012*

An historical novel originally published by Villard to rave reviews, BLACK BODY is the story of a white witch, Alba, and her struggles to survive 18th-century English society.
BLACK BODY is a sweeping tale of good and evil, and the captivating woman intimately acquainted with both. Set in England and Wales, the story is told in the form of testimony given by an imprisoned witch who must reveal all the secrets of her race or be burned and become a “black body.” Both literary fiction and convincing fantasy, BLACK BODY is as compelling as magic, as touching as a daughter's love.
Alba is the rarest example of her race: the invert or white witch. An anomaly to her equally gentle but unsightly sisters on Man’s Isle because of her uncommon beauty, Alba alone is able to pass as a “sinner"—as witches refer to normal humans—and to excite the desire of mortal men. After her mother is executed for witchcraft, Alba becomes the ward of a sinner, Lady Amanda Rathel, who brings the girl to London and instructs her in the ways and wiles of society. Lady Amanda’s design for Alba is a consummate act of revenge. Appreciating that sexual contact between this witch and a male sinner can be fatal to the latter, Rathel plans on raising Alba as a lady, then marrying her off to Eric Denton, handsome son of a man who jilted Amanda. During the next several years, in which she survives not only Rathel’s stratagems but the British constabulary and her own prejudice against sinners, Alba comes to love Eric deeply, even though she can only satisfy his passion at an unspeakable price.

Here are excerpts from reviews:

Edward Stewart (author of PRIVILEGED LIVES, & ARIANA): “BLACK BODY is hypnotic, eerie, erotic. An exploration into the very bedrock of sense and sexual instinct, of human good and evil, it compels the reader’s admiration and fascination. H. C. Turk possesses the touch of a poet and the skill of a shaman. He has Barbara Tuchman’s ability to bring the historical past leaping to life, and H. G. Wells’ to articulate the mysterious realms of possibility that exist enfolded in the familiar. He has taken a theme that in its beauty will recall Hans Andersen’s LITTLE MERMAID and in its terror Carl Dreyer’s DAY OF WRATH, and has ingeniously, masterfully rooted it in the smell and buzz of the world we know. The book is not only a virtuoso, utterly satisfying achievement, but a blood-thumping good story.”

The Orlando SENTINEL: “A wonderfully intricate and fascinating tale of sorcery...beautiful, probing, and deliciously descriptive.”

THE ATLANTA JOURNAL & CONSTITUTION: “A literate book with humor and charm. The reader falls under the spell of the narrative. Mr. Turk’s language and tone make BLACK BODY a highly original tale.”

Selected by S. F. CHRONICLE as a Book Of The Year.

From Publishers Weekly

06 July 1989 – Narrated by Alba, a ``white'' witch born on the Isle of Man, this hefty novel conceals within its ornate 18th-century writing style many a serendipitous phrase and lip-licking lewdery. Unlike her mother and her cronies (who seem to belong to a different species of witch), Alba looks like any mortal ``sinner'' (non-witch), albeit an extraordinarily beautiful one. She also exudes an odor of sensuality that draws men to her--and to their doom, for those who have carnal knowledge of Alba lose their sexual organs and die from loss of blood. After her mother is executed, Alba is taken to London by her self-appointed guardian, Lady Amanda Rathel, who intends to wreak vengeance against a man who jilted her by marrying Alba to his son. But Eric and Alba fall in love and unite against Lady Amanda. With vivid descriptions--the witches are like the hags in Polanski's film version of Macbeth --Turk has created a frightening and disagreeable world, perhaps too much so. By midway through these nearly 600 pages, readers may easily tire of the unremitting unpleasantness.
Black Body
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  • 4,49 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: 21 January 2009
  • Publisher: H. C. Turk
  • Print Length: 976 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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