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Lammas Night is excellent but mainly appealing to readers of occult fiction
September 1, 2016
by Katherine Kurtz
Open Road Integrated Media
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date 5 July 2016
Lammas Night is an unusual piece of historical fiction. Set during WWII, it isn't big on physical action, rather it is more of a metaphysical human drama. Katherine Kurtz ingeniously blends historical fact with a fictional tale of the occult struggle to protect Britain against invasion by Hitler's forces. By taking history and bits of truth, such as Hitler's known fascination with astrology and the occult, Kurtz weaves a fascinating and seemingly possible tale - a hallmark of good fiction. She even incorporates time appropriate descriptions of occult practices.
The novel revolves around two men, Graham (Grey) head of the department of MI6 devoted to occult intelligence and Prince William. The two have been close friends for a long time, including in numerous past lives. More than that, each plays a special role in the ritual sacrifice of King (or king substitute) that is necessary for the land to flourish. Much is focused on the acceptance of the roles, and the necessity of sacrifice for the sake of Britain.
This is an extremely well written novel, but I fear that casual readers might be put off by the amount of detail, both historical and occult. I also feel readers might lose interest because of lack of action. Pretty early on we know what has to happen, but it takes a huge number of pages before Graham accepts fate - even I was a bit tired of his extreme reticence by the end, and I liked the novel. Lammas Night will appeal to readers of historical or occult fiction, but it isn't necessarily a good selection for the casual reader.
I received a copy of Lammas Night from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
An ingenious melding of espionage and the occult based in part on a true event in the secret history of the Battle of Britain during World War II.
The year is 1940, and Great Britain’s forces struggle against the invincible Nazi war machine. France has fallen easily to Adolf Hitler’s army and England is next in his sights. A British secret agent pays the ultimate price to deliver early warning of the Führer’s secret plan to harness the awesome power of the occult to conquer Great Britain by launching a supernatural assault that no defending military force could possibly deflect.
British Intelligence operative Col. John “Gray” Graham of MI6 is not only a valuable player in the great game of wartime espionage, he is also a practitioner of the ancient occult arts. In this life—and other lives before—Gray’s destiny has been firmly intertwined with that of his close friend Prince William of the British royal family.
Now, with the future of Britain at stake, these two men, the spy and the royal, must rally the hidden adherents of the Old Religion, hoping to unite the British covens in defense of their endangered island homeland. But it will take more than combined Wiccan sorcery to repel the Reich’s black magic on Lammas Night—and the sacrifice required might be greater than imagined and truly terrible to endure.
Lammas Night is a spectacular feat of creative imagination from the author of the acclaimed Deryni fantasy series. Smart, affecting, and brilliantly conceived, it is an enthralling combination of historical fiction, war novel, and the occult that will appeal to fans of all fantastic literature.