Title: The Lustre
Author: Kate Policani
Category: Contemporary fantasy suitable for adults & young adults
The Lustre is charming and delightfully different in both concept and execution. The fantasy arena is choked with tales of vampires, werewolves, fairies, demons, dragons and so on, but never before have I heard of an Akatoromai, and that’s because it’s a construct of the wonderful imagination of Kate Policani, Awesome Indie author of The Disenchanted Pet.
Akataromai originate on Earth, they look like humans and conceal themselves by blending within the Human population, but they live for centuries and feed upon negative Human emotions. Angelina Quorra is unique among her people in that she absorbs pain as well as emotion and gives anyone who feeds her overwhelming pleasure. This talent is called The Lustre and it brings her both fame and trouble.
From the author’s synopsis
Born to young and rebellious parents who selfishly flout their society’s standards, little Angelina flounders in poverty and isolation. Her savior is Luciano Quorra. He transports her into comfort and wealth in the bosom of her people, sheltering her until she can reach adulthood. Together they discover her unique gift, astonished at its power. Unfortunately, even love and marriage can’t save Angelina from the machinations of Jaques Trace. Through murder, kidnapping and treachery he will destroy her happiness just to taste her charms. Will he succeed in monopolizing that intoxicating experience and the only woman who can impart The Lustre?
The character of Angelina is truly angelic, and I couldn’t help but love her. This seemingly flawless shining example of purity and innocence might have been too perfect if the story had been written from Angelina’s perspective, but it wasn’t. The men who adore her write her story in their own words and it is through their eyes that we come to know her and the events that make up the story. Though each man has a different relationship to Angelina, their adoration is an inspiring thread that runs through each account.
This lovely tale highlights the different ways that people can react to a gift. Some with generous hearts want to share it, others with greed and jealousy in their hearts want it completely for themselves to the degree that in their grasping they may kill the very thing they long for. We see one man struggle with his jealousy and overcome it and another fall victim so deeply that he loses sight of honour and decency. These may be supernatural beings but their struggles are very human, and this is where this fantasy story illuminates reality.
Kate’s stories are an excellent example of the beauty of independent publishing. They are way outside the box of what traditional publishers look for, and in the old days readers wouldn’t have had the option of reading such refreshing stories. I read The Lustre in a couple of hours – but I am a fast reader – and I recommend it for everyone who likes something charming and different. I’m also adding it to the Awesome Indies listing.
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About the Author : Kate Policani has a wild imagination and an addiction to reading and writing. Her hobby is exploring and analyzing all kinds of stories. She uses them like a literary chemistry set to examine a variety ideas and concepts and to fuel her own writing. She prefers writing in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres because the exciting flights of fancy make a thrilling plot.
Kate Policani says
Thank you for the awesome review!
Maria Tatham says
Great review of ~The Lustre~, Tahlia! It was good to see you picking up on things like the credibility of Angelina’s character as wonderful, because it is others who tell her story; and also picking up on the fact that gifts can bring out jealousy in others — some conquer this jealousy, while others don’t. So true!
Your own story “A Hole in the Pavement” is refreshing too! I recommend it as a delightful read.
Tahlia Newland says
Thanks Maria, there’s so much heavy stuff out there, it’s really lovely to see something that is fresh and charming and doesn’t rely on killing for dramatic affect.