I would have fallen down long ago and let the ground drink the blood of my slit throat, were it not for you. So long as you are by my side, I can endure. You ease the stoned-to-death feeling in my soul.
I clench my fist around your stiffness, and your breathing quickens as I draw it back and forth. After your warm, sticky release, I lick my hand clean. Then I bury my face in your wild, stinking hair and hold you. To hold you is to be at one with you. To be at one with the starry cosmos of ancient gods above. As I hold you I will the night never to end. For our oneness fades with the disappearing stars. And by daylight you are other again.
—From: The Incarnations, by Susan Barker
Cruelty and sorrow abound in this novel. And yet, amid the hardship and strange landscape that spans lifetimes and dynasties, one finds moving and luminous passages that urge one on to turn the page in order to find out what happens next. Such are the joys of being caught in the spell of a good tale.