Friday, January 7, 2011

Illyria by Elizabeth Hand

Rogan and Maddy are cousins who have fallen in love with each other. But, even as they hide it from their families, they begin to explore their talents.
I touched my fingers to his lips, then kissed him.  I was afraid to guess at what might be there, beyond the tiny stage; afraid to give a name to what we saw there, just as I couldn't give a name to what I felt for my cousin.
Magic; love.   p.50
You'd expect the main theme of this novella to be the incestal relationship of the cousins.  Surprisingly it's not.  It definitely factors into the whole book since the relationship of Maddy and Rogan is such a huge part of her life.  But really I think this is not only about love, but art.  Rogan has a huge natural talent while Maddy is much more plain.  But their aunt sees more in Maddy than Rogan since Rogan is inclined to be more reckless and wasteful.  Maddy is a steady kind of girl, more inclined to hide in Rogan's shadow than stand out.  But, as this book shows, sometimes it is better to the rock than the star.

I expected to be squicked out by Rogan and Maddy, but I felt sad for them.   That no one was going to accept their relationship and that they had to hide it (though I don't think they did that good a job at it since everyone seemed to know) was a little heartbreaking for me.  It was sweet to see how much they loved each other.  I thought the actual sex scenes were well done and described tastefully, not exploitative at all.   

It is a book worth reading; full of love and sadness and magic.  The relationship was very well developed and idea of talent and how it is used is an interesting one.

Hogwarts: Charms


  1. ooh, I don't know about this one. But I'm glad you enjoyed reading this one. And the cover is amazing. This is the first review I read about it and I have to say I'm thinking about buying it. :) Great review.

  2. I like what you said about the rock and the star!

  3. Wow. Sounds goood! I love the cover. It's both eerie and romantic.


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