The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers
Fantasy Book Review Book of the Month, September 2012
LAKE GENEVA, 1816
As Byron and Shelley row on the peaceful waters of Lake Geneva, a sudden squall threatens to capsize their boat. But this is no natural event – something has risen from the lake itself to attack them.
Michael Crawford’s wife is brutally murdered on their wedding night as he sleeps peacefully beside her – and a vengeful ghost claims Crawford as her own husband.
Crawford’s quest to escape his supernatural bride takes him to the edges of Europe: a journey shared by other victims of the ghost’s embrace. The greatest poets of the day – Byron, Keats, and Shelley – embark with Crawford on a desperate Grand Tour through Europe, seeking to outrun the demonic presence who takes her pleasure in their ravaged bodies and imperilled souls.
This highly acclaimed 1989 novel by Tim Powers has been re-released as a “prequel” to the recently published Hide Me Among the Graves. Having read and generally enjoyed “Graves” I was eager to see for myself what the fuss was all about regarding the first book.
It is lengthy at over 500 pages, but, I can happily report, it was well worth it. With the original premise of following the poets Byron, Keats and Shelley and blending their exploits with fiction, Powers has pulled a masterstroke in the genre of horror/fantasy.
This Gothic novel is descriptive, atmospheric, gripping, gory, chilling and utterly compulsive. Unlike its sequel, the characters here are exciting and charismatic. You really feel for the main character of Michael Crawford and the terrible predicament he finds himself in.
A story that has vampires, nephelim, living statues and a supernatural curse as the reasons for literary greatness gets my vote! This is about enjoying talent, but at a great personal cost.
Lyrical, ambitious, sprawling and epic, “The Stress of Her Regard” sees horrific events taking place against the backdrop of some of the most beautiful and picturesque parts of Europe: a neat juxtaposition.
This is about outcasts living in forced exile in Europe, being stalked by ancient mythical creatures. Frantic and fast-paced, the desperation leaps off the page.
Its only faults are some anachronisms: English and Irish 19th century poets would not use American slang and terms of phrase for example, exclaiming “Goddamit!” repeatedly. Also, they would not describe autumn as “the fall.”
Nonetheless, this is an excellent novel and fully deserves the plaudits it already has, and it should enjoy new fans and a wider readership this second time around.
Reissued 2012 by Corvus
This The Stress of Her Regard book review was written by Daniel Cann
Have you read The Stress of Her Regard?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Stress of Her Regard reader reviews
Jeremiah from USA
This is actually the third release of this book. Tachyon released it as a Trade paperback with the same number of pages as this mass market, and selling for the same price. Get the Trade Paperback :) Absolutely fantastic book like almost anything by Powers.
9.8/10 from 2 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client and his castle. Soon af...
Anno Dracula series
It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar character...
There are worse things in this world than al-Qaeda and North Korea, Zach. And they are just waiting for their chance at us. Sharp and ambitious, Zach Barrows is on his way ...
Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world. She is. Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever ...
It wasn't that she feared death. She just despised losing. Genetically engineered warrior Sephti would go to any lengths to destroy the fae that made her their killing ...
Mark is a Day Boy. In a post-traumatic future the Masters - formerly human, now practically immortal - rule a world that bends to their will and a human population upon whi...
The Dark Angel
Meredith Ann Pierce
The Darkangel, a vampire of astounding beauty and youth, can only summon his full power when he finds his 14th and final bride. But for Aeriel, whom he kidnaps to serve his...
Raylene Pendle (AKA Cheshire Red), a vampire and world-renowned thief, doesn’t usually hang with her own kind. She’s too busy stealing priceless art and rare je...
The Eastern Seaboard of the USA is experiencing the worst winter weather in living memory, and John Redlaw is in the cold white thick of it. He's come to America to inv...
Southern Vampire Series
Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much - not because she's not pre...
The Danilov Quintet
On 12th June 1812, Napoleon's Grande Armee forded the River Niemen and crossed the Rubicon - its invasion of Russia had begun. Charged with delaying the enemy's ine...
It wasn't that she wanted to live forever. She just didn't want to die. When artist James Wesley realizes Evie Reed is dying, he is so moved by the beautiful report...
Fae exile Amalie Shepherd takes refuge from her nightmare past by burying herself--and her heart--in operating her Texas horse ranch. That's where the immortal Nick Fle...
The Last Vampire
Kathryn Meyer Griffith
The earthquakes with their falling ash, the global floods and the devastating fires arrive first. Then the worldwide plague with its stench of death. And as mankind suffers...
When Kassina’s sorceress mother and vampire king father are brutally murdered, she forges a pact with Shindar, the Demon of Darkness. In exchange for her soul she obt...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer's legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the was...
A Tale of Time City
Diana Wynne Jones
When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside ti...
The Guns of Empire
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace... After their shattering defeats at the hands of brillian...
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth....
Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasu...
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four...
The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures...