Retro Book Review

Vazkor, Son of Vazkor by Tanith Lee

Burn, baby, burn!
Burn, baby, burn!

So I found this book in an Alibi staff member’s office (I'm not mentioning any names) a couple of weeks ago, and I was intrigued. With a cover like this, what girl wouldn’t want to indulge in a few hours of hot barbarian masturbatory fantasy? It’s a classic—a big, beefy warrior with boots made from some freshly-killed animal clutching a semi-nude and helpless female clad in a metal bra and gold arm cuffs. I took the paperback home, grabbed a bowl of chocolate Blue Bunny ice cream, got in my fuzzy slippers and sat down for a good read.

The book starts out pretty slow, with lots of boy-into-manhood blather, a few fights and some useless dribble about tribes and stuff. Booooring! Muscle-bound protagonist Tuvek (he turns into Vazkor later) then takes a wife or two, unceremoniously to my ire, and does more boring-assed man things like gratuitous slaughter, fighting with other dudes and going on raids. There isn’t much in the way of character development, and the only things we learn about our caveman is that he has un unhealthy attachment to his mother, can't stop beating up his dad and has a thing for statues. So far, reading this book was a lot like watching a David Lynch film, only no with Dennis Hopper to show up and huff nitrous to get the plot rolling.

Finally, after about 60 pages of crap, he goes on a slave raid and captures half-naked Demizdor (who thinks of these names? They sound like antibiotic meds!) who curses him and tries to shank him a couple of times.He then has his way with her with all the ceremony of making a grilled cheese sandwich. Here are the lines: “The gate between her thighs was as golden as her hair, and the road beyond the gate was made for kings.” “Despite her heart and her mind, her body was good to me.”

What the shit was that? Now, when I pick up a romance novel, I am fully aware that the book will be ridiculous, inane and stupid, with plot holes big enough to drive a Lincoln Navigator into, and the only good parts worth bothering with are the steamy, sweaty, BDSM-laden sex scenes. This book has none. Zero. Zilch. Nada. This guy gets it on like a high school boy in the back of Mom and Dad’s Ford Taurus. The rest of the book is as insipid and uninspiring as the beginning, with our boneless beefcake discovering his true heritage as the son of some dead guy named Vazkor. My overall opinion? This book is good for only two things: starting a campfire or letting your Chihuahua use it as a chew-toy. If you want a decent romance novel with some actual hunka-chunka in it, check out [link].