So begins the Prologue of Michele Lang’s Lady Lazarus, a book first published by Tor in September 2010. The protagonist in the tale is Magda Lazarus, whose life changes in 1939 with her sister’s terrible vision that Nazi Germany will overrun Europe and exterminate millions of people, including her own family. And so Magda sets out to change the course of events and protect her sister and childhood friend, truly the only family she has left.
Aiding her in her quest is her guardian angel, Raziel. As they become personally acquainted, her relationship with Raziel threatens to become more, an event that could lead to him walking away from his angelic duties, possibly with terrible consequences. Nonetheless, Magda sets out to find the long-lost Book of the Angel Raziel, even as she is pursued by SS werewolves and a Nazi wizard.
I found Lady Lazarus to be an intriguing tale and possibly different from any other book I’ve read. Historical fantasy can be that way. It’s the big “what ifs” that drive stories such as this. I commend Michele Lang for her vivid imagination and creativity as she crafted this book. It is a dark tale rife with witches, wizards, demons, werewolves and vampires and, although we know the ultimate, historical outcome to World War II, Lang keeps the reader in suspense by, if by nothing else, the inclusion of these fantasy characters.
If you are attracted to dark fantasy fiction with a hint of romance, you might want to give Lady Lazarus a try. Personally, I give the book 3.75 out of 5 stars. I found it an entertaining read that I wouldn’t mind reading again, however it probably wouldn’t be on the top of my stack. All the same, there is enough suspense at the end of the book that I wouldn’t mind checking out the sequel, Dark Victory.
You can find the author at http://michelelang.com/.
What about you? Do you have a favorite dark fantasy you’d like to recommend? If so, leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.