|Cover photo from Abebooks.|
ted, in no way would I consider him superior in any way.
So, to the novel The Danger Mark. To be sure, The Danger Mark is not what I had wanted, or hoped for, when I began reading it. I had hoped for something along the lines of some hard weird fiction. That was not what I got. I got a romance. After having read The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper and suffered from some of the worst melodrama in years, it was actually quite easily read and digested.
The story is roughly that of a privileged circle of people who become a part of the Seagrave twins. For a long time, I held out the hope that there would be a dark turn and some interesting weird fiction would poke its nose out. But the danger mark, though referenced a few times, was nothing more than the risk of alcoholism for one of the principal characters, Geraldine Seagrave. She fights it off successfully at the end, but not before it claims the life of a much less likeable character.
Over-and-over I had to remind myself that Chambers was not European. His turns of phrases are often beautiful, sometimes poetically beautiful, which made the whole go down more easily. An example, "... one still, sunny afternoono, standing alone on the dry granite crags of the Golden Dome, he looked up and saw, a quarter of a million miles above him, the moon's ghost swimming in azure splendour. Then he looked down and saw the map of the earth below him, where his forests spread out like moss, and his lakes mirrored the clouds..." These types of gorgeous landscapes come up with some frequency.
I also appreciated the fact that Chambers was clearly not one of those who saw women as particularly inferior to men. Geraldine, from early on, is able to stand up to her brother and beat him up. There is a scene where Kathleen, the love interest of her brother, mentions that when she marries Duane, he will be able to mold her as he pleases. While that was unpleasant enough, I have certainly seen worse. When hunting for boar, it's not the men who take down the dangerous boar, but the skillful shots of Geraldine and even another female character, Rosalie.
I don't really recommend reading the book. It's definitely a good read. Perhaps if you're looking for a romance between the child-like descendants of wealthy families, it will have an appeal for you. If, on the other hand, you're looking for weird fiction, I'm afraid that this is a blank.