7

Trying to think of a series of novels. Fantasy setting, elves/demons. Fairly old, I would have read them in the 80s.

I remember two plot lines:

  1. A queen who is a lesbian and eventually turns to bestiality. The land is cursed, and she must bear a child to break the curse. She forces herself to sleep with men to break the curse, but it doesn't work, and eventually figures out the curse's wording means a dead person will father the child, so she sleeps with some undead guy.

  2. Small boy is kidnapped/adopted by an elf/demon. From the demon's perspective, he loves the boy and dotes on him, and checks in on him multiple times per day, but due to perception of time differences between the humanity and elves the boy is in reality checked on only every few years. Lots of mythological allusions in this story line, such as gifts from gods/elves, like a horse that can run on water

  • Piers Anthony Xanth series maybe? There are about 400 of them and I remember some of them dealing with some odd themes. I haven't read them in 20 years so couldn't really comment on specifics – Blair Aug 28 '17 at 23:41
  • Definitely not. I read those, but this didn't have any of that satire or humor. – Jason Coyne Aug 28 '17 at 23:42
  • I had a vague recollection about necrophilia and bestiality being involved in at least one of his books, but perhaps it isn't that uncommon a theme! – Blair Aug 28 '17 at 23:57
  • My goodness, trying to answer story id questions sometimes leads you some strange places. – John Rennie Aug 29 '17 at 10:43
  • @Blair: maybe you're thinking of Pornucopia? But that doesn't match the other details. – John Rennie Aug 29 '17 at 10:59
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I think I've found your first book. It is Death's Master by Tanith Lee. It is the second book in the Flat Earth series.

There is a Wikipedia article about the book and it has the following to say about the plot:

The lesbian queen Narasen is forced by a curse to become pregnant in order to save her city. After fruitless sex with many men, she realizes that she cannot lift the curse till she has sex with a dead man. She makes a pact with Uhlume, Lord Death, and brings this about.

I have the book in my collection though it's so long since I read it that I have no recollection of it. However skimming it I can't find any explicit description of Narasen indulging in bestiality, though she does say (my emphasis):

“I have indeed, though I am no lover of the arms of male animals. I have given myself to the man-bull and the goat-man, to the wayside oaf, the stinking robber—all I have lain down with, and not spared myself. But I am barren still. For the scorpion’s tail of the curse was this: that my womb shall never quicken from the seed of any man living.”

Later:

I have managed to track down a copy of the first book in the Flat Earth series, Night's Master, and it matches your description as well. The demon Azhrarn adopts the child of a dying woman. As you say the demon's time and the child's time do not match:

The time of demons did not at all resemble human time. By comparison, a mortal life flashed by like the span of a dragonfly. Therefore while the Prince of Demons went about his own midnight business in the world of men and out of it, the child, glancing up, seemed to see the man in the inky cloak only once or twice a year, while Azhrarn had perhaps gone to the nursery, as it were, twice a day.

And there is a horse that can run on water:

Azhrarn had given him, along with all the other gifts, a demon horse to ride, a mare with a mane and tail like blue smoke and the remarkable quality that she could run over water.

So it seems certain that the books you want are Tanith Lee's Flat Earth series.

| improve this answer | |
  • Great job! Thanks for the work! – Jason Coyne Aug 29 '17 at 12:13

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