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Gothic and surreal
on 24 November 2002
Lair of the Lion is a wonderful gothic romance by Christine Feehan. She bends the genre of gothic by including a supernatural element (which is explained away at the end of most gothic lit.) Isabella comes to the dnagerous lands of Nicolai DeMarco, a Don that visitors do not see. His family has been cursed, or blessed with the ability to become a lion and to control the beasts that they legendarily rescued from the Roman beast pits. The present Don also appears to be a lion all of the time to his people. But when Isabella comes, she sees him as he is, a man.
Isabella has come to the valley, asking him to rescue her brother from the dungeons of their neighbor. She is all alone, and her families lands have been confiscated. She comes to the Don as a petitioner, but his price for his help is marriage.
This is a great Beauty and the Beast addaptation. (Dark and Dangerous castle, girl learns to sees the person inside the monster, fall in love, curse is broken.) Even though you know there will be a happy ending, there is a wonderful job of creating suspense, tension and danger. You know how one of the bad guys is, but not all of them. People are hiding secrets, and you learn disconcerting information as you go through the book. A wonderful story told in a wonderful way.