The award-winning novel Starblood, from Scottish horror author Carmilla Voiez, is making a glorious comeback. This time around, her story about passionate love, magic, and demons will be liberated from the confinements of text, and will be accompanied by the ethereal and ghostly artwork of Belarus artist Anna Prashkovich. Part of the Starblood Trilogy, the first installment is now available (as of September 30) in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.
Starblood follows the lovelorn Satori, a thin and shirtless dark magician, blindly in love with Star, an equally stunning physical specimen. Foolishly, Satori summons the sultry temptress succubus Lilith and as expected things don’t quite go as planned for the desperately romantic Satori when Lilith lures Star into a passionate sexual affair. Bent on destroying Satori’s life while threatening to steal the woman he loves, Satori must now step up to salvage his splintering life and cast the demon from whence it came.
The text in Starblood is wordy and novelistic (appropriately so), poetically elaborate as it is fluid, like a pained poem in line with Edgar Allen Poe, and infused with a rampant and vividly described sexuality. At times, the narration takes the form of a hurried staccato-ed poem, as if mimicking the intensity and urgency of passionate sex.
The expressive artwork encompasses a goth aspect which harkens the pained romance of 80s bands like The Cure and Morrissey neatly incorporated into a world of magic, demons, love, and sex: a true Gothic love affair. The images are evocative and mesmerizing crafted in a format unlike mainstream comics. From page to page there is a near absence of traditional panels as Prashkovich’s art completely takes over, shattering the confines of the panel in the process. She opts to liberate her images into fluid full page spreads of passionate scenes, heightened emotions, and violent outcomes with few panels. In fact, when panels are incorporated they are usually small inserts within larger images and moments.
Prashkovich’s gentle and soft art works in tandem with the book’s sexual nature, which takes particular care and attention to female sexuality, both celebrating the female body and codifying female sex, passion, and orgasm as natural instead of imprisoning female sexuality as taboo. At the core, Voiez’s text is a feminist sexual emancipation from rigid phallocentric imagery that normally bars female sexuality in favor of male sexual privilege. In Starblood sex is not just an egalitarian ecstasy, but with its steamy artwork, it’s a promotion for female sexual enjoyment. The artwork expresses this sexual freedom by avoiding the confinement of the images to panels, as mentioned before. The loose aspect of the graphic novel works in tandem with a feminist ideal that celebrates female sexuality without being trite or smutty without purpose.
Starblood is full of eroticism and expressively beautiful black and white imagery to accompany the dense text by Carmilla Voiez. This is a graphic novel that should not be missed as it incorporates aspects of horror — like demonology and the occult– with a stroke of Goth culture, tortured love, and joyful melancholy. The book is recommended for adults as it features explicit sexual images and sexual dialogue. You can purchase your own kindle version on Amazon. Starblood is the first installment of The Starblood Trilogy which also includes Psychonaut and Black Sun. The full trilogy is also available to purchase through Amazon.
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