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Delusion's Master [Paperback]

Tanith Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 15 2011
"Love me and you, even you, will tell no difference between illusion and reality, for in this case they are one."
-- from Delusion's Master

Delusion's Master is the third book of the stunning arabesque high fantasy series Tales from the Flat Earth, which, in the manner of The One Thousand and One Nights, portrays an ancient world in mythic grandeur via connected tales.

Long time ago when the Earth was Flat, beautiful indifferent Gods lived in the airy Upperearth realm above, curious passionate demons lived in the exotic Underearth realm below, and mortals were relegated to exist in the middle.

Chuz, Prince Madness, third of the Lords of Darkness -- beauty on one side, foul corruption on the other -- "takes pity" on the world. In his gentle soft embrace mortal minds repose in a tide of illusion and twisted desire. Yet no one is immune from the sweetest madness of all, and even immortals fall at the cast of the bone dice...

Come within this ancient world of brilliant darkness and beauty, of glittering palaces and wondrous elegant beings, of cruel passions and undying love.

Discover the exotic wonder that is the Flat Earth.


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5.0 out of 5 stars Cruel Beauty March 30 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
From the first scene of the woman cradling the finger bone of her dead son to the final stoning in the city of dreams, this book is what fairy tales and fantasy should have been all along. Mystical this book puts you into a completely different universe and wakes you to possibilities unimagined. More profound is the painter's aesthetic running through the book. Color, lights, shading, description without running into the awful Victorian novel trap. Tanith Lee is definitely a voice to be reckoned with.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The third book in the Lords Of Darkness series. June 2 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the third book of the Tales of the Flat Earth, Tanith Lee once again takes us into the dark and mystical world where five Lords Of Darkness reign over the inhabitants of the Flat Earth. One is Azrharn, Night's master, whose beauty and cruelty riddle the lives of the mortals with living nightmares and sensuous wickedness. Another, Uhlume, Lord Death...and a third - Delusion's Master. He is Prince Chuz, and he plagues the world with madness. When his sights are set on touching Azhrarn with a bit of lunacy, he begins a war of the titans, which cannot be resolved until justice has been served..
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The third book in the Lords Of Darkness series. June 2 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the third book of the Tales of the Flat Earth, Tanith Lee once again takes us into the dark and mystical world where five Lords Of Darkness reign over the inhabitants of the Flat Earth. One is Azrharn, Night's master, whose beauty and cruelty riddle the lives of the mortals with living nightmares and sensuous wickedness. Another, Uhlume, Lord Death...and a third - Delusion's Master. He is Prince Chuz, and he plagues the world with madness. When his sights are set on touching Azhrarn with a bit of lunacy, he begins a war of the titans, which cannot be resolved until justice has been served..
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cruel Beauty March 30 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
From the first scene of the woman cradling the finger bone of her dead son to the final stoning in the city of dreams, this book is what fairy tales and fantasy should have been all along. Mystical this book puts you into a completely different universe and wakes you to possibilities unimagined. More profound is the painter's aesthetic running through the book. Color, lights, shading, description without running into the awful Victorian novel trap. Tanith Lee is definitely a voice to be reckoned with.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and original adult fantasy. June 1 2005
By frumiousb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Delusion's Master is the third book in the Flat Earth books by Tanith Lee. While the first two (Night's Master and Death's Master) stand very much on their own, Delusion's Master is the beginning of a story that will take the Flat Earth stories through two more volumes.

In Delusion's Master, Lee introduces us to Chuz, the eternal master of insanity. He stage manages the fall of a great nation which indirectly leads to the strange love affair between the Master of Night and the Daughter of the Comet.

The Flat Earth books are structured more as a series of linked stories than as traditional character-oriented narratives. They are short and pleasant to read. Lee herself is a master of dark fairy tales and uses the structure admirably.

While you can begin with Delusion's Master, it probably makes the most sense to go back and read Death and Night first. Although the sexual content seems rather tame by the standards of today (this was written in 1981) these are still adult-themed books and probably not suitable for very young readers.
5.0 out of 5 stars Madness never looked this familiar March 5 2013
By E. Tokes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you had read the previous books, you know this is a family affair and it just gets deeper and more complext as you follow them along the path of their journeys. Tanith Lee is different in the way she can make abstract concepts look human and like the man sitting in the bus next to you.

Yet another incredible story, a rich tapestry of incredible adventures and lives being put in your hands like a treasure beyond value. Appreciate what she is offering, there is no regret reading this. Only one sadness. It evnentually ends and you want it to continue for ever.
5.0 out of 5 stars Peerlessly gorgeous May 5 2012
By Kat Hooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In Delusion's Master, the third of Tanith Lee's FLAT EARTH novels, we're introduced to another Prince of Darkness: Chuz, the Prince of Madness, who is handsome when seen from one side and hideous when seen from the other. Chuz watches humans and uses the opportunities they give him to practice his craft: There were several doors by which Madness might enter any house; one was rage, one jealousy, one fear.

We first meet Chuz when a jealous queen tries to get rid of the baby she believes has caused the king to stop loving her. When she accidentally kills the child and her husband puts her aside, Chuz shows up to comfort her by helping her descend into madness. When he offers to grant her a wish, she asks that Chuz make her husband, the king, as mad as she is. That's why the king decides to build a tower to heaven where he will wage war on the gods. Everyone knows that pride comes before the fall so, sure enough, disaster strikes the land. This sets off a string of strange events that have the demons, once again, meddling in the affairs of men.

The beautiful demon Azhrarn, from the first two FLAT EARTH books, continues to be a main character. When he becomes involved in Chuz's doings on earth, we see Azhrarn get his feelings hurt, seek revenge, fall in love, and have a child. The demons are not like the uncaring gods above -- they are passionate creatures. Occasionally they can be tender and compassionate with favored mortals, but their fickle emotions can suddenly turn to vanity, petty jealousy, and hate. And then the humans suffer.

Delusion's Master is quite a bit shorter than Night's Master and Death's Master and Chuz, the title character, isn't nearly as interesting as Azhrarn, but fortunately we get plenty of Azhrarn here. All of the FLAT EARTH tales have been dark, but Delusion's Master actually gets uncomfortable because it includes baby killing, rape, and the torture of a mentally disabled girl. The imagery is vivid and I admit that I squirmed. Still, Tanith Lee continues to enchant us with the exotic setting and peerlessly gorgeous writing.

There are several biblical allusions in this installment: the Tower of Babel, the Flood, redemption of humanity through death, and man's natural hatred of snakes. The most beautiful moment in the book is when Azhrarn goes up to the Earth to find out why men hate snakes and then, as a favor to snakes, sets out to make them more palatable to humans.

I'm still enjoying this series on audio. Susan Duerden's narration gets even better with each book. Each also has an interesting introduction by Tanith Lee. In this one she talks about how her mother influenced her writing.
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