Midnight Enchantments: Corine Solomon
By Cerridwen Iris Shea
I’m very fortunate — I get to discuss two of my favorite magical practitioners back-to-back. Yesterday, I talked about Juliet Blackwell’s creation, Lily Ivory. Today, I get to talk about another of my favorites, Corine Solomon, central to Ann Aguirre’s BLUE DIABLO, HELL FIRE, and SHADY LADY. There are at least two more scheduled,up for pre-order on Amazon, DEVIL’S PUNCH (April 2012) and BLOODY MARIA (April 2013). I’m very excited — at the end of SHADY LADY, it felt like it could have remained a trilogy, or continued on. I’m thrilled there will be more Corine stories — some of the revelations in SHADY LADY left me eager to see how Aguirre develops the threads. And, no, I won’t spoil them for you — you should sit down and read them for yourself!
Corine’s had a hard life, and spent a lot of it on the run. She’s now settled in Mexico, running an antique store. Both Corine and Lily are hereditary — magic runs in the family. Both are specialize in psychometry — they can touch an object and learn its history. Corine is a “handler”, and a sought-after one. Her gift is a curse for her, and causes her enormous physical pain.
In Corine’s case, however, people tend to bring her things with dark pasts that get her into all sorts of trouble, and she’s got a lot more demon-fighting to deal with than Lily. Corine’s love life is complicated, too, especially with Chance, who’s got his own magic good luck (not just in the looks department), which, unfortunately, causes bad luck to rebound on those around him.
Aguirre’s skill is so smooth that she not only draws you into Corine and has you root for her, she makes you want to step into the book as an individual and help Corine fight the fight. When Corine returns to her nasty, small-minded, pea-brained home town in HELL FIRE, the town where her mother died and she was feared for her magic, I wanted to break every Rede known to toast it. And I’m not talking about with champagne! I would have been perfectly happy to have demons eat the town, provided they could be contained there!
But Corine is a better person than I am, which is why she is the center of a series, and I am not. And, of course, there was more at stake than some small-minded ignoramuses.
When there’s a wonderful revelation in SHADY LADY about Corine’s lineage, you just want to stand up and cheer (especially if you know what they’re talking about)! And she takes a character who could have been a frightening antagonist and turns him into something beautiful, wonderful, and fascinating.
For a reader, she gives you everything you could want from characters and story, and more. For a writer, she’s exceptionally inspirational.
The series is action-packed and dark and heartbreaking and hopeful all at once. Each book is an exciting, wonderful jewel, and every time I finish one, I mark my calendar for the next release date.
You can find more about the Corine Solomon novels and Ann’s other books on her website.
Cerridwen Iris Shea wrote for Llewellyn’s calendars and almanacs for sixteen years. She also writes the Merry’s Dalliance fantasy pirate adventures. She teaches tarot workshops, and is thrilled to finally have her own herb garden and still room. Find her on the web at www.cerridwenscottage.com. This is her busy season.