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by John Gale
Publication Date: June 2011
Details about the book: sewn hardcover with dust-jacket printed on deluxe heavy paper, cloth boards, gold and silver folio, silk ribbon, end papers and full-color frontispiece.

Allurements of Cabochon is the sombre new collection of seventeen stories and prose poems from John Gale - tales of madness and melancholy and relentless obsession.

Heading the collection you will find the legend of The Unpassing Sorrow of Lady Winter – but who is it that she seeks so avidly for, sending forth into the world for this purpose her three horrible daughters, Snow, Hail and Frost? Along the way, as you weave your way through the hushed amethystine shades of these tales, you will encounter the shadowy, dust-laden mansion where Aevernia has been crowned by ghosts as their queen, and the tale of the prince who forever mourns for Allenjah who died where the willows cast their tresses into the jade of the river. Fallen are the Domes of Green Amber is perhaps at the heart of the collection: Ruarial in his tree-encircled house is beset by visions of a fallen city, and slowly the events that led up to its ruin are revealed to him in all their dramatic glory. Here, scattered like five dusky jewels throughout the volume, are several episodes telling of the immortal, saturnine sorcerer Lord Kandra of Vindru as he wanders through his eternal empurpled days seeking to fill the weary, ennui-laden millennia: his encounter with the woman who dares to enter his phantom-haunted manse in search of apprenticeship, with tragedy as the end result; the sliver of bone from the vampire Ashghul, that the pale lord brings forth after much seeking from the desert-whelmed City of Broken Chalcedony; Death taunting him with cruel visions of a bejewelled phoenix; the lord of Vindru’s dream of the tomb of malachite and marble, but who lies cold beyond the gates of blackened bronze?; finally, of his wandering through the sombre crimson of an autumnal woodland and of the terrible revelations revealed at the dénouement of Fires of Remembrance.

Autumn threads its way like a melancholy chant through a number of these pieces: the ancient forest of Vhaelambre and the two votaries who make their annual journey of ritual; the priestess of Autumn’s passionate rhapsody to her goddess; and the symbolic autumn of russet-cloaked Lord Rhasiphae, who once he is called from his obscure, black mooned realm cannot depart until the devastation is total, as the city of Veltique found to its utter cost. Ending the collection we have a change of style in The Green Lady Pavilion, a tale of the quintessentially English Duchy of Greywall and John Silks’ enforced visit to the strange world of Faery. All these, plus other pieces that rise like purple smokes from thuribles of sable pearl, go together to compose the contents of this superbly written collection of many hues and other wordly tinctures.

The Unpassing Sorrow of Lady Winter
The House of Silent Ravens
A Rhapsody for the Goddess of Autumn
In Autumn Sempiternal
Phulygia’s Song of Ebony
The Final Ward
Ashes of the Phoenix
Fallen are the Domes of Green Amber
The Moon of Obsession
The Votaries of Autumn
Lord of the Porphyry Nenuphar
Aevernia, My Lady of Reflections
Fires of Remembrance
Reverie at Twilight
The Green Lady Pavilion

Allurements of Cabochon is a full-colour illustrated sewn hardcover book of 148 pages with dust-jacket, silk ribbon, endpapers and a full-colour frontispiece. Collector's edition limited to only 100 hand numbered copies.

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