What Are We Reading?: Furnace, Livia Llewellyn
Rating: 5/5 Passionate Screams
Give me the short version: Peel your eyelids back and staple them to the top of your forehead. Ah, there now; it’s all happening and you can’t look away.
Do you want to read something really different? The whole beautiful universe turned inside out with all of the blood and sex and horror on display? Ms Llewellyn’s style is exquisite and utterly fearless. Quests of longing and rites of passage find themselves transmogrified into more sinister paths, darkly glittering and drawing you helplessly in. The collection is also generous in size and scope, the menagerie of tales defying the reader to define a favourite. If you are confronted by frank depictions of erotica and the raw, ever-flowering safe space of sexual fantasy I suggest you read Furnace anyway. Question yourself, everything you knew and especially the reality under your feet. Fans of Catherynne M Valente or Laird Barron will particularly enjoy Llewellyn – a weird collision, or collusion of groups, true; but the common thread is lyricism grounded in the stony granite of reality. Savage fantasy juxtaposed against plain ordinary lives, characters who bring the action all too close to home.
My favourite bit:
“Signs have long decayed into dust in this part of the city, and only ravens and dogs know the lay of the land. But the jewels of information gathered over the years are a crown, and for this single day you are Queen.”