Paul Monette
book reviews:
· general fiction
· chick lit/romance
· sci-fi/fantasy
· graphic novels
· nonfiction
· audio books

Click here for the RSS Feed

· author interviews
· children's books @
· DVD reviews @

win books
buy online


for authors
& publishers

for reviewers

click here to learn more

Get *Sanctuary* delivered to your door! Sanctuary
Paul Monette
95 pages

previous reviewnext review

In the Editor's Note to Sanctuary, Paul Monette is quoted:

"It's been on my mind for a long time that there aren't enough tales and fables that take into account the gay and lesbian experience, both the tragic and the exalted. Ours is a mythology invisible to history. Thus I would love to fashion a story or two worthy of being told around the tribal campfire."

Curled Up With a Good BookAn accomplished writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, Paul Monette died of AIDS in February 1995. This small fable serves his memory. Vivienne Flesher's haunting illustrations add depth and clarity to the tale.

The witch who keeps the last forest safe with her spells loses herself to the energy-draining sanctuary enchantment. Her longtime familiar, the horned owl, sees his chance to seize his own measure of power. Having no inherent magic of his own, he sows mistrust amongst the animals, urging them to report to him any "differentness" among their fellows. Those who are different, the owl says, are the cause of all that is wrong in their world.

Enter Lapine the Rabbit and Renarda the Fox who meet in "a predator's game of tag" -- Fox hunting Rabbit:

In one way, of course, they were perfectly matched, by way of their inexperience. Renarda had been taught all the hunter's right moves by her mother, but had still never brought down any prey of her own. It was a virgin season for both. Perhaps that was why they lengthened the course of the hunt, darting over the ice of a woodland pond, scrambling through brambles, leaping the beavers' dams along the stream. And perhaps they wouldn't have admitted as much -- a thought too radical for a hunter's world -- but they were enjoying the chase for its own sake. Playing, almost. Lapine casting a glance over her shoulder, almost locking eyes with the enemy, almost getting the ghost of a smile in return. In a word: different.

The two young animals quickly fall in love. Because they are of different species but not of different genders, they hide their love aboveground in daylight, spending their nights together in their burrow. Soon the seeds the owl has sown bear poisonous fruit. Lapine and Renarda are reported and incarcerated in widely separated prison camps created by the owl.

When a young wizard from the outside world discovers this area of enchantment, he comes to see for himself what is found there. Pitting himself against the owl, the wizard will wield the powers of truth and love to overcome the opposing power of arbitrary intolerance.

Simply told with gentle humor, Sanctuary is a short piece, originally intended to be part of a collection. It stands luminously now on its own, a graceful admonition to the world on the power of love and of the need for a more benevolent morality.

Buy *Sanctuary* online
click here for more info
Click here to learn more about this month's sponsor!

fiction · sf/f · comic books · nonfiction · audio
newsletter · free book contest · buy books online
review index · links · · authors & publishers

site by ELBO Computing Resources, Inc.