“Castle of Deception” by Ed Fitch

[amtap book:isbn=0875422314]

Tanithia, sor­cer­ess, witch, keep­er of the Ancient Ways, is sent to scourge the ancient forces of dark­ness who have a foothold in a dis­tant cas­tle. But not all is at is seems inside the cas­tle, and dan­gers await her with­in and with­out its walls.

Descrip­tion: Tanithia is sent by her supe­ri­ors of the Craft and Ways to scourge the ancient forces of dark­ness who have a foothold in a dis­tant cas­tle. But not all is at is seems inside the cas­tle, and dan­gers await her with­in and with­out its walls: first, she falls under the allur­ing and sen­su­al hyp­not­ic spell of the castle’s evil, vam­pir­ic enchantress; then, to make mat­ters worse, when she escapes, she falls into the hands of a fanat­i­cal witch hunter who believes her the evil force that pos­sess­es the cas­tle. Then, to final­ly cleanse the cas­tle, she must col­lect and empow­er a faith­ful band of war­riors to help her storm the cas­tle and destroy the evil fes­ter­ing there.

Com­men­tary: Tanithia is def­i­nite­ly an mes­mer­iz­ing enchantress: in fact, after an ambush ear­ly in the sto­ry, there is casu­al men­tion of how she mes­mer­izes the men who ambushed her into for­get­ting cer­tain incon­ve­nient mem­o­ries about the ambush and what hap­pened there. But her real chal­lenge is when is cap­tured and impris­oned by the witch hunter, who, while he falls under the spell of her hyp­not­ic eyes and com­mand­ing voice and mag­i­cal pass­es, is immune to her fem­i­nine charms not just because he hates women but also because he’s more than just infat­u­at­ed with his image of his god.

That isn’t to say Lyla, her vam­pir­ic coun­ter­part, isn’t equal­ly mes­mer­iz­ing: through their mutu­al attrac­tion she is able to repeat­ed­ly enchant Tanithia by exhaust­ing her both phys­i­cal­ly and men­tal­ly, thus low­er­ing her defens­es. She is, though, only the pup­pet here, under the fig­u­ra­tive con­trol her­self of her pup­peteer demon­ic overlords.

Rec­om­men­da­tion: For what it is, it is a quick but lik­able read, illus­trat­ed with very nice (and some NSFW) B&W ink draw­ings. (Tanithia is quite an eye-full and quite a hand­ful for her lovers, as well.) Even though Llewellyn pub­lish­es fic­tion, this is not exact­ly the norm. Its cer­tain­ly more adult than its fare these days: Tanithia is gor­geous and seems ever will­ing to enjoy sex and even to employ it for rit­u­al pur­pos­es. It should come as no sur­prise that she spends a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the book naked, albeit part of the time shapeshift­ed into wolf form. But, if you find such things inter­est­ing, then I would rec­om­mend find­ing a copy.

Adden­da: The author states that Ed Fitch is a pseu­do­nym: it could be inferred that at the time (1983) the book was pub­lished, the author believed he had valid rea­sons to dis­as­so­ci­ate his day job work­ing in the defense indus­try from his Gard­ner­ian faith and exten­sive writ­ings. How­ev­er, all of the resources I have dis­cov­ered make no men­tion of that. These sources all state, though, that he was part of the Buck­lands’ orig­i­nal US Gard­ner­ian orga­ni­za­tion, ini­ti­at­ed by the Buck­lands them­selves, so his occult lin­eage is impeccable.

Ref­er­ences:

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