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Addendum: On Pagan Romance

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A few months back, I recommended a few of my favorite Pagan- and polytheist-friendly romances. They covered a variety of sub genres, from urban fantasy romances to science fiction romances. I am pleased to report that I have discovered two more books which should interest Pagan romance readers out there, especially Kemetics.

Seducing the Jackal and Hunting the Jackal by Seressia Glass are part of the Harlequin Nocturne Cravings line of short paranormal romance novels. They run only seventy to eighty pages, but Glass builds a whole, fascinating world in just a few chapters. In the Jackal books, there was once an alliance between the magically-talented Daughters of Isis and the shape-shifting warriors, the Sons of Anubis. Thousands of years ago, they fought side by side to protect the land of Egypt from the Lost Ones*, those souls which failed -- or refused -- to cross over into Duat and returned to torment the living. 

But then there was a vicious betrayal. Dozens of the Daughters of Isis and Sons of Anubis were killed. Each group blamed the other. Their alliance collapsed. Now enemies, the Daughters and Sons ignored, vilified, even actively fought one another -- and the strength and numbers of the Lost Ones grew.

The story picks up in the present when Markus, leader of an Atlanta-based clan of jackals, kidnaps the young Isis witch Tia in a desperate bid to find a cure for the curse which is killing his jackals. And this is where the of-interest-to-Pagans part comes in ....

The Daughters of Isis and the Sons of Anubis are active and passionate devotees of those Gods. Tia has an entire room in her home set aside as a shrine to Isis. One of the more artistic jackals painted the walls of their sanctuary in the old style, creating magnificent frescoes of Anubis. As the leader of his clan, Markus can shapeshift not only into full jackal form, but also into the dog-headed, human-bodied form of Anubis himself. Prayers in the old language are recited constantly, icons of the Deities can be found in every home, and ankhs and jackal pendants are worn by everyone.

These people do not pay lip service to their Gods. They know they are real. And the Gods reward their faith and devotion to duty by coming to their aid when called and lending the Sons and Daughters the strength they need to carry on. Perhaps the most moving scene in the two books occurs when Tia and Markus invoke Isis and Anubis to help them heal the cursed jackals -- and everyone can feel the love and power of those Gods when they manifest.

Finally! A story which does not treat the Gods as caricatures or the faith of their devotees as a joke or throw-away plot device. 

A word of warning, though: the Nocturne Cravings books are erotic romance novels. That means there is graphic sex: heterosexual, homosexual and menage. It is not gratuitous, though: Glass does a good job of incorporating sex into the storyline. Tia's magic, for instance, like that of all Isis witches, manifests different aspects of Isis' power and personality; in her case, healing and sex. She is a very very good healer, and sex is the best way to strengthen and recharge her magic.

If I have one complaint about the books, it is that they are so short. Glass has created a rich and fascinating world. I would love to see it more fully explored; the Nocturne Cravings books only allow for a glimpse, though. I really really hope that Glass will be able to return and write more books. I want to know more about the origins of the Daughters and Sons, their lives and adventures in ancient Egypt, their trials in the centuries following the great betrayal; heck, if Isis and Anubis have such gifted devotees, do the other Egyptian Gods, as well? Are there Daughters of Sekhmet and Sons of Horus running around, too? So many stories to tell!

Treat yourself to an entertaining couple of hours. Go read the Jackal books.

 

*Kudos to Glass in her creation of the Lost Ones. A cross between mummies and zombies, they are scary, creepy and pathetic all at the same time.

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Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine Eternal Haunted Summer. She is also the editor-in-chief of Bibliotheca Alexandrina. She thinks it is incredibly unfair that she must work for a living rather than being able to read all day. In her next life, she would like to be a library cat.

Comments

  • Heather Freysdottir
    Heather Freysdottir Thursday, 04 July 2013

    I am so tickled to see someone else who enjoys Pagan romance! :D I got started writing with Loki as my Muse in romantic fiction, and I'd never written anything but poetry, so you can imagine the shock of going from that to writing to genre. It was interesting, and I would say to anyone who thinks that writing to genre is easy, perhaps, but writing it *well* is a very different, and much more difficult task.

  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan Thursday, 04 July 2013

    Totally agree. :) I can spin a good magical realism yarn, but my attempts at romance are drivel. Oh, well.

    If you have any Pagan romances you would like to recommend, please do!

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