Book reviews Book reviews
"Volkhavaar" (published 1977) is a young adult story by Tanith Lee. A young girl falls for an actor in a mysterious travelling theatre company. She discovers that the actors and actresses in the theatre company are in the power of twisted sorcerer Volkhavaar. So she seeks help from an aged witch to defeat the sorcerer's magic - but the course of true love does not run smooth.

Tanith Lee spins her tale of love and magic with a sure hand. In a key part of the story the aged witch persuades a sword that it hasn't done what it thinks it has done. This passage feels very magical to me, both as an example of story-telling but also as an example of magic itself.

Another magical passage is where right triumphs over wrong at the climax of the book. This is not only an unexpected plot twist that feels right once one has read it, and magic itself playing a key role in the story, but also profound. Black is black because we call it black, white is white because we call it white.

"Volkhavaar". Magic. Romantic. Great read.