Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review: Lords of Rainbow

Lords of Rainbow
Lords of Rainbow by Vera Nazarian

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: anyone
Trigger Warnings: Fairly graphic representations of sex acts (not a lot, but they are there); rape (minor and short scene, fortunately)

Disclosure: I received an e-book copy of this text through the LibraryThing Member’s giveaway in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Imagine a world without color, illuminated by a gray sun … An unrequited love... War... mystery... exultation... An epic fantasy of unspeakable wonder...

Lords of Rainbow

Imagine a sudden brilliant flash—an artificial orb ignites, filled with peculiar impossible light...

The nature of this light bears no description. It lingers in dreams, inciting an unrequited love for a goddess.

A corrupt city is shaped like a perfect wheel, and is ruled by a sister and brother, Regent and Regentrix, by perverse desires, and by a secret...

A loyal warrior woman swears to serve a mysterious lord. At the same time, an epic invasion is precipitated by a being of utter darkness, who is the one absolute source of black in a monochrome silver world.

And amid all this, flickers an ancient memory of a phenomenon called Rainbow and of those who had once filled the world with an impossible thing called color...

Lords of Rainbow.

My Thoughts: This is another book absolutely filled with lyrical and poetic language; it is very obvious that Vera Nazarian spent a lot of time on these earlier books honing her language skills. Reading them is a sensuous act in and of itself if you enjoy words, like I do.

Nazarian has an odd tendency to describe the color of things and people with botanical terms. I first noticed this in Dreams of the Compass Rose (review here where formatting allowed). Instead of “red” she’ll use “persimmon” or “amaranth”; instead of blue/purple she’ll use “heliotrope”. I noticed at least three separate instances in the first 20 percent of this book in which she described people’s hair as “dandelion” in texture (since this is a world without color, any descriptions of color are theoretical). There is also an underlying message that leads me to believe she is at least sympathetic to PETA.

The essential idea of the book itself requires a substantial suspension of disbelief, in that you must be willing to accept that the world’s colors are affected by an external element and not perceived by each individual, as in reality, for color vision is the result of the physiology of the eye, after all, and I cannot think of any specific thing that could cause the world to lose all color. This idea is actually mentioned in the book, but no real explanation as to why color perception was lost is explained. And, in fact, humans still can perceive color, in the monocolor orbs; but no color exists anywhere else. It’s a real stumper, really.

Ranhé is a most interesting character. Androgynous, skilled in almost everything, ambivalent to the world around her, and somewhat mad. Vorn is another interesting one. Nazarian does a great job overall of creating memorable characters in this book. If I were to list each of them, I would essentially need to list the entire cast, and there are quite a lot of them.

I do want to point out that hidden among all the rest of the story is a beautiful love story. It’s subtle (just the way I like it) but definitely there. Wonderful! Also, wonder of wonder and joyous days, a sequel is planned for this book, called Lady of Monochrome. I have no idea when, but I will be watching for it! Nazarian has some fun things associated with this book, like a quiz to show which Tilirr (Lord of the Rainbow) you serve at (link where formatting allowed). Mine is Dersenne, Yellow. Find yours! Other info about the series can be found at Nazarian’s series-specific website, linked where formatting is allowed.

Another highly recommended work by Vera Nazarian. If you love a good story that is well told, don’t miss this one!

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