Estri, the heroine of High Couch of Silistra, a/k/a "Returning Creation, ventures further than she ever has before into this exotic and sensual fantasy novel. Here she meets Chayin, price of an alien culture, and discovers more about her past, and future. Full of passion and adventure, this is the second book in the Silistra series of four volumes. High Couch of Silistra was reviewed by the New York Times Sunday Book Review with great enthusiasm, and created a firestorm of controversy and a genre of imitators. All four books were published in French, German, Italian, and other foreign-language editions, as well as multiple editions in the States. The German covers are the best.
Sensual and multi-layered, this book can be read as erotic fantasy or as a much deeper exploration of the limits of female -- and male -- sexuality and the effect of sex on decision making. Be warned: the main characters are all bisexual and very smart. Janet Morris lets you choose how deep you go: read it for the titilation of the body, or of the mind. By the time 'Wind from the Abyss,' third volume in this series appeared, rival publishers were welcoming their authors "to the pantheon of Janet Morris" in full color posters and splashy ads. See where sexual liberation and strong female characters really got started in science-fantasy. But be warned: Estri is no male in high heels. Get inside the feminine psyche as never before or since as Estri gains power and begins to wonder what her limits are, and how powerful women can co-exist with their male counterparts.
A fully realized culture, complete with a language and mythology and ethos different from any other, rounds out the series. Remarkably realistic, considering its content and the driving philosophy behind the tales, there's never been anything like the Silistra series before or since. Erotic and unabashedly exploring the relationship of sex to power, the Silistra series will make you think about why we do what we do. I adored it, and read all four more than once. So will you.