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Starving to death somewhere in Europe, Anna meets Raoul.
She is ready to sell herself for a meal, but he has other plans. He takes her to England, to a summer of torrential rain, and the dubious mansion of his arrogant and unsavoury relatives, the Basultes.
It seems Anna is also to 'enjoy' the godly Basulte life. But the mounds of stodgy food, the genuflecting servants, the mindless cruelty of class, (the endless rain), affront her. Besides, she is becoming aware of the family, Raoul included, is playing with her a macabre and silly game.
Anna is a survivor - she has had to be - practiced at acting out the impossible. Both the aristocratic malignities, and the Hogarthian orgies of the servants, can be accommodated, if they must. For did they but know, Anna has a past as savage and explicit as anything seen in the Basulte house.
The past, that was Preguna, where Anna loved Arpad, during a European summer of soft heat. Until love ended in the darkness that now hangs on every moment of her life, reducing all other things, however murderous, to nothing.
Tanith Lee is an award-winning, highly-rated fantasy writer here and in the United States (adult books in Headline: EVA FAIRDEATH; WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT). With 17 children's books, 43 adult novels, 8 short story collections and several awards to her name, she also writes for radio and television. Her book LAW OF THE WOLF TOWER was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Book Award.