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 Witchvox Chapter: Pagan Books   Chapter Page Views: 8,761,514  

Book Specs.

ISBN: 20060911
Released: Aug - 2006
List Price: $10.10

Wvox Stats.

Vox ID: 98219

Book ID: 1405

Posted: 9.11.2006

WV Impressions: 1,956

Dark Of Light - a post-modern historical romance novel of the ancient mysteries

Dark Of Light

Author: Stone Riley

Publisher: Spirit Hill Studio

Category: Novel   Level: All

With a profound love of human beings, a deep curiosity about reality and avant garde prose, Riley has made a book of our own time to be set on the same shelf with Apuleius, Boccaccio and Chaucer. Frank, lyrical, philosophical and humorous by turns, it is fundamentally a romance. There is a woman who wants children and a man who is deeply scarred by war. Each has their own work to do - their own duty, power, hopes and fears - so their meeting is an intersection of worlds.

How would life be in a civilization with a very high degree of expertise at crafting the whole array of human spiritual experience? Dark Of Light finds such a place amid the tumult of Pagan Greece in late antiquity. And it tells a compelling story there. The pilgrimage to Eleusis - premier religious festival of a society where religion is the greatest art - is challenged by brute force, and wins the game on its own terms.

A leading Pagan visual artist tries his hand at literature and turns in a credible performance. It is a ragged piece of work. Important segments of the plot are simply missing. Characters become confused. Historical facts are disregarded wholesale. But the reader is lured into a lively conversation with the writer and imagination weaves a web of vivid realism.

A priestess and a conqueror fall in love, set out to seek the healing of his wounds, and find happiness twenty-three centuries later. Along the way there are many scenes of dazzling beauty and some of fearful ugliness. And there is sex. Sexual intercourse is presented as the key to love and love as the key to all that is good. Here is something like an artist's sketchbook for a Kama Sutra for our wandering modern lives.

Author's Notes: The Mystery of Eleusis was the crossroads and central hearth of Greek civilization for a long time. And that civilization must be very interesting to any modern Pagan. But how can you even hope to accurately depict the very nub of a culture that is so long gone? I really want to be there, to find myself there on that pilgrimage. I want to take my audience too for company. But we are people of this time. So how? How can you even try?

I used basically the same approach as if this were a storytelling piece. First study, study, study to amass a heap of lore. Years of study. Then shovel out the heap, retaining only threads and knots and gleaming bits that can make sense to us. Then weave a story. Much is lost of course, but much may be gained.

And I adapted the great high style of storytelling to the printed page. The performer has many tricks to arouse the audience into active conversation. I used them all.

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