In the Doors of a Vampire, in the Blood Lust of the Moon. In the Riddles of a Serpent, in the Whispers of the Twilight. That's just where you'll find her, the First of her Kind, the Oldest of the Old, the Queen of the Vampires - a Midnight's Seductress, Adam's First Wife, a Princess of Darkness, Lilith:
For in Midnight's Verse, was it not written ... That only on the Darkest Nights - would you Dream of Lilith. I saw her once, with Fiery Red Hair, Temptress of Men, worry of Wife. I saw her twice, with guise of the Serpent, Charmer of Faithful, bane of the Husband. For this Vampire called Lilith, knows only too well - the Lure of the Lunar! For in Daybreak's Verse, was it not written ... That only on the Sunniest Days - would you Ponder of Lilith. I saw her once, down by the Pool, Fountain of Fun, worry of Half. I saw her twice, down by the River, Silver of Line, fret of the Other. For this Vampire called Lilith, knows only too well - the Warmth in a Hug! For in Sleepless Nights, was it not written ... That only on the Hottest Eves, under the Reddest Moon, of a Stormy Night, in the Velvet Sheets, of a Midnight's Realm - could a Vampire called Lilith, bring to bear, her Curves of Seduction, and her Charms of a Serpent. For this Queen of Vampires walks within, thy Paths of the Temptress ... A Vampire's Powers of subtle curves, that blend and twist, with Bite of Fang. A Heavenly Body that knows for well, the Spell that She Casts, in Want of Touch. A Vampire's Spells of perfect form, that twist and turn, with Rend of Nail. A Flawless Guise that knows for well, the Sins of this Night - Desires of Taste, Forbidden Fruit! For Lilith knows, only too well, the Charms of a Snake, and the Fork of a Choice ... Be thee Good as Gold, or Bad as Boy - she knows thy type, flutter Bad. Be thee White as Saint, or Red as Fire - she knows thy guise, Fiery Heart. Be thee Nice as Pie, or Sin of Cake - she knows thy taste, Chocolate Flake. Be thee Wait in Line, or Jump thy Queue - she knows thy way, Careful Sneak. Be thee Toe thy Line, or Do what Thou - she knows thy Time, Follow Me. Be thee Know thy Place, or Speak as I - she knows thy Path, it's My Way! For this Vampire Queen, forever took - thy Paths of Temptation, and the Sins of the Night :) For this Vampire Queen, walks hand-in-hand, with Pillow Talk, and Missing Time! And so it was ... A whisper came to me ... Where in Midnight's Realm does Lilith abide? Her answer came: a Fantasy City, at the Edge of Midnight :) With her stone-like Pillars, and her Sheets of Passion, she barres the way, to her Sin of Sins. A whisper came to me ... Where in Midnight's Realm does Lilith reside? Her answer came: in her Fantasy Domain, at the Red of the Moon :) With her Ruby Veins, and her Darkened Side, she guards the way, to her Heaven's Body. A whisper came to me ... Where in Midnight's Realm does Lilith lie? Her answer came: in her Fantasy Realm, at the Foot of the Bed :) With her Sensual Sheets, and her Silken Touch, she guides the way, to her Midnight's Kiss. A whisper came to me ... Where in Midnight's Realm does Lilith seduce? Her answer came: in your Mind's Eye, at the Start of a Dream :) With her Wish all the Way, and her Mistress Spells, she knows the way, to her Fruits of the Vampire! For Lilith is ... A Fantasy Being, where all Men wonder, for the Barest of Seconds - what if ... I listened to the Call of the Serpent? I agreed with the Logic of the Snake? I smiled with the Sanity of the Python? Well then ... I'd be a Vampire of the Night! Both bowing and betrothed to Lilith. I'd be a Vampire of the Night! Both protected and slaved to Lilith. For I would be a Vampire King, from Dark Fantasy Falls, with my Kingdom in the Night ... A Prince of Darkness would I be, with Power to shake - the Foundations of the Earth! But ... With a Whisper to Adam, from this Eve - Lilith has no need of Kings, but I do of Eve :)
Being the fourth Vampire novel, in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, do I find this Dark and Urban Fantasy Tale, to be a passionate mix of both Anita's Love Life, and thy Secret Realms - of thy Werewolves:
Being hip deep in both, it's as though Anita, is on the verge of drowning ... Her Passions Run Deep, and a Promise is a Promise - Deputy Numb Nuts :) And yes, there's a fair amount of humour, within this Fantasy Tale! For me though, is this intermixed, with an important underlying theme - that of Family ... There's the Werewolves and their Pack Order. There's the Vampires and their Hands Off. There's the Spook Squad and their Silver Bullets. And in the middle of all three, can you find - Anita!!! I liked the fact that Anita, refused to give up her friend - even if her boyfriend, was his Alpha. I liked the fact that Anita, shed a tear or two - even if her rival, was her Jealous. I liked the fact that Anita, stemmed the flow of blood - even if her colleague, was her Rag (aka joker). For it's Anita's Character, and her sense of self, that flows throughout this tale. For it's Anita's Enemies, and their stance of power, that stalks throughout this tale. For it's Anita's Weapons, and their sense of comfort, that beds throughout this tale. And in all of this? Is there Jean-Claude, who wants a date! Fairs Fair Anita, give me a chance to woo you - as you did to me :) Now, if there's one part that shocked me (the most) within this tale, then I would say - it's the hierarchy of the Werewolves. The tale here, gave me a sense, that they were all: out of control! Insane Pack Order, seemed to help with this ... There's two Master Werewolves, but neither has - over all control. One prefers Peace - the other: Head on a Block. One requests Anita - the other: Seeds of Lust. One's Richard. One's Marcus. One's Marcus. One's Richard. For it's Werewolf Central, that's Caged behind - Closed Doors, and Sound Proof Walls. Or is it? As in this tale, did I find that the Secrets of the Werewolves - flowed like a River :) And in that River, that goes by the name of Shape Shifter, did I find both Mythical Creatures, and their Fantasy/Lore ... For example: I've never heard of a Naga before, but here - is their an Immortal Being, with the Skin of a Snake. I've never heard of a Were-Swan before, but here - is their the lowest of the Shape Shifters, especially in Feathered White! And of the Werewolves themselves? I was most intrigued, because their Human Lives, seemed to be lived in the pursuit, of challenging their Human Shackles. There's two that I would say, challenged this more than others - and no, it's not the Alphas! The two Fantasy Characters that I'm thinking of (one Woman one Man), both made me laugh (especially the woman - over whose rules she follows!), and both surprised me (over just how low they could steep - in their pursuits of pleasure?). Fortunately, throughout all of this, did I find Anita's Character - to be a rock. Even if at times, it is only the cold hard steel, that she clamps down on - but where is her gun? Choices! Choices! As for the other Characters within this Fantasy tale, it's mostly Cops. I didn't like some of these, and neither does Anita. There's a whole part (near the beginning of the book), that just seems totally crazy - with certain Deputies, taking their orders, too literally ... It is also here that I feel, that the tale does a decent job, of portraying some of the lunacies, of interstate boundaries (between various police forces) - although as you will see, there's a twist here to! And as for Anita? It made me laugh, that she was concerned primarily, with an important question (or two): Can she date a Werewolf? Can she date a Monster? AKA: Is Richard really a Monster? And what of Jean-Claude? Choices! Choices! Fortunately for Anita, does she have a trusty friend to help her: a Penguin or two :) Overall: I enjoyed reading about the Werewolves within this tale, even if I feel, that some of their Urban Fantasy, shocked me a little (as it seemed a little Darker - than I've encountered before). I also found myself thinking, of the Wolf in Werewolf - more than the Man in Werewolf. Although the twist towards the end (involving a Witch and her Magic), brought new meaning to the term - Shape Shifter! For it's a Witch's Spell, that Anita Blake does cast. For it's an Animator's Gift, that Anita Blake, can look a Vampire in the Eye. For she's a Vampire Hunter, with a Werewolf called Richard, a Bounty Hunter called Death - and a Promise is a Promise! Deputy Numb Nuts :)
My third outing into the Fantasy Vampire Slaying Realms of Anita Blake, comes with both some draw-dropping moments, and some as-you-would-expect, white Roses from Jean-Claude:
One particular part of this Fantasy Tale, caused my draw to drop the most! It's pertaining to a particular question: how old can a Vampire be? Now, I must confess - I'd never really thought about this before ... And yet, Anita had me pondering this question (for quite some time). Whilst I won't name the Vampire here, I too, like Anita, was fooled by his Fairy Glamour! Another draw-dropping moment, was the realisation of just how - Rivers of Blood, Anita's Urban Fantasy Realm can be ... Part of this comes from the Circus of the Damned itself (a Fantasy Location) - where who can tell what's real, what's Dark Fantasy? Part of this comes from Anita's interactions, with the other Vampires within this Tale - which I feel, is mostly due, to the fact that Anita has more Master Vampires after her, than you can shake a stick at! Two of these (Master Vampires) want her Love (or maybe just her Body?). Two of these want her as a Human Servant (but she can only serve one Master). And Anita is, no one's Human Servant - as she carries more Knives, and Guns, plus Crosses, to drive that point home. I guess I was just struck (or is that staked?), by the brutality of some of the Vampires (within this tale) - which at the same time, also contrasts well, with the fact that at least one, likes to wear a Suit and Tie ... Mixed in with this, is the fact that Anita is still on retainer, to the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team (aka the Spook Squad) - which for me, takes more of a back seat, in the second half of this novel. Despite this, there was still one draw-dropping moment: when I was in awe of an Animalistic Vampire, that had managed to tear through a five feet thick silver door, that was also adorned with crosses - as it raised a question ... How could any human stand against such power? Well ... Anita's not entirely human herself any more, which is probably just-as-well, as a Lamia (a Mythical Creature that can turn from a human into a snake), has set her eyes on her! In any case, I found myself laughing, at the character of Anita's friend - Edward. In one chapter, Edward considers torturing Anita, to get the name of the Master of the City from her - whilst in another chapter, is Edward at her side again, helping to bandage a wound on her back (after a Master Vampire thought he owned her). I was especially pleased, with the amount of Lore (related to Mythical Creatures), that I found within this Tale ... The first of these, was concerned with Vampires. As through this Tale, did I learn more about what it is to be a Vampire's Creature: as a Vampire has an Animal that it can call. In the case of Jean-Claude, it's Wolves (including Werewolves). In the case of another Master Vampire (the Oldest I have heard of), it's Snakes (including Lamia). Where as in the case of Anita's first Tale (Guilty Pleasures), it was Rats (including Were-Rats). Then did I learn more about Werewolf Lore - for I learned that the older a Werewolf is, the more able it is, to pass for human (when in human form), and the more likely it is (especially in my opinion), to recover from injuries, that would kill a human. For someone like Anita (a Necromancer), I enjoyed the twist that she could not tell, that Richard (her date/lover) was a Werewolf, and that she could not tell, how old the Oldest Vampire (in this tale) was, other than from a conventional source (aka a study book!). Added to this, is the fact that Anita now has an Apprentice (whether she wants one or not), who she sets about (with some persuasion), to teach her Animator skills to (aka - the ability to raise Zombies from the Grave). This in-turn, plays right into the Powers of the Vampires, where her Apprentice, soon realises just how powerful, these Master Vampires can be! In Conclusion: This Dark Fantasy Vampire Slayer Tale, is packed full of plots, and sub-plots throughout the entire novel. There's so much going on, that the book could just-as-easily have been called, Anita's in Hot Demand :) It is somewhat contradictory then, that I feel that the end of this book, was somewhat rushed ... I would have enjoyed a longer Final Fight, even if the cause of Anita's quick victory, was due to the fact that she shared Jean-Claude's/Alejandro's Vampire Strength (on account of being his/their Human Servant). In any case, Anita has one rule she still won't break - she doesn't date Dead things! And as for those white Roses? Well ... She gave them away :) And as for Richard? Well ... A Werewolf may be a Monster, but a Werewolf is still, very much alive! And after all, Anita is, and always will be - a Necromancer :)
For twelve hundred years did Cleopatra's Spell last - a Spell to Lock her Egyptian City, within the Sands of the Mediterranean Sea. It was a Spell that Cleopatra cast - to Hide her Secrets, from the Scorpions, of these Ancient Lands. Yet upon the Temple of Amun - does Cleopatra still sit, Lost in her Memories, of what Once had been:
It was with an Ancient Enemy, that Cleopatra, sought to Fight. It was with the Goddess Wadjet, that the Pact had first been made - an Army of Lava Serpents, so that Cleopatra could Harvest, the Crystal-Gold (from the Depths of the Earth). Yet, Cleopatra could not have Foreseen, the price that she would pay, for Thonis-Heracleion's Streets of Gold: the Tide of the Hyksos - and of their Scorpion King. For countless years had Thonis-Heracleion served her well, as a Port, to unload Crystal-Gold, from the Lavas of Vesuvius, and of Thera. Yet, throughout those years, had Cleopatra, underestimated, the Cunning of the Scorpion. Countless Battles had proven them to be Formidable Warriors, with even their human-kin (the Hyksos) over-running several of her Temples! Yet, with her Wisdom, had she found a solution to the Threat of the Scorpion: by Killing Two Birds with One Stone - have her Lava Serpents erupt the Volcanoes, to free the Crystal-Gold, and bury the Scorpions in Ash! At last, could she concentrate on the building of Thonis-Heracleion ... Yet, in doing so, did she set-upon a Path, from which there was no return. For it was, as she strove for more Crystal-Gold, that her Lava Serpents dug deeper, within the Magma of the Earth, and Awoke that which would cause her Demise: a Scorpion God King - the like of which she had not seen before! It was upon the Island of Santorini, that he, first made himself known: in a Titanic Eruption, that destroyed the settlements of Thera - her precious Crystal-Gold (from there) was lost. Upon the Temple of Amun, had she stood, Energies Flowing from the Tips of her Fingers - even a Tsunami was no match for her, the Waters abated, from her Circle of Power. Then did she Grow Complacent - as she knew that she still had Vesuvius, and that her Egyptian Galleons, still ruled the Seas of the Mediterranean. For sometime still, did Thonis-Heracleion flourish ... The Crystal-Gold built her Temples strong. The Crystal-Gold built her Sarcophagus, to withstand the Sands of Time. The Crystal-Gold built her Statues, for others to marvel at, on the Streets of her City: an Egyptian Minx, an Egyptian Sphinx, an Egyptian Lion - an Egyptian Empire! Her Lava Serpents were winning - the Wars of the Sands: each Time the Scorpions advanced, did her Lava Serpents shift, the Sands undulating, in a Never Ending Earthquake, did the Scorpions Demise! She could Foresee it all - within her Pyramid of Conflict! Powerful indeed had Cleopatra become. Yet it was, from within the Earth, that her Demise would be ... Soon enough, did the Earth start to Tremble! First at Vesuvius: the Volcano began to Erupt - by itself ... It drew her Eyes, just for the Shortest of Time. Yet it was enough! As the Lava Serpents battled, to turn the Tide - Cleopatra found that Wadjet had gone quite ... Yet, upon her last meeting (with Wadjet), was it not Foretold that her Lava Serpents would be Triumphant! Second at Vesuvius: the Lava's continued to Flow. Her Lava Serpents continued to Battle. She stood upon the Temple of Amun, seeing her Galleons of War, she knew that she would be Victorious! Her Eyes fixed on the Mediterranean, the Waters calmed (at Once) - her Fleet sailed for Vesuvius. The Tide would be turned ... Third at Thonis-Heracleion: Did the Earth Start to Shake? Her Eyes in Surprise! What Magic was this? Thonis-Heracleion began to Sink! To Wadjet she called ... Yet, came an answer from the Deep: the Scorpion God King! What Treachery is this? The Cunning of a Scorpion! But it was too late ... A Plate of Earth had he Eaten through - as she Screamed: No, you will Not take My City! Energies Rushed Forth from the Tips of her Fingers ... Thonis-Heracleion locked in Time - Under the Sea, did Cleopatra, turn to Stone.
Warriors of the Sands, and Guardians of the Egyptians, Lava Serpents bring Vengeance to the Earth:
In the Foundries of Vesuvius, in the Bedrock of the Mountains - with the Persistence of the Endless, does a Lava Serpent sleep. In the Chambers of Thera, in the Magma of the Vents, with the Slumber of the Dormant, does a Lava Serpent lie. In the Enemies of Egypt, in the Pyramids of Conflict - with the Wisdoms of the Pharaoh, does a Lava Serpent wake. In the Eruptions of Primeval, in the Rush of the Lava - with the Movement of a Quake, does the Lava Serpent strike. In the Abyss of the Desolate, in the Carnage of the Crust - with the Aftermath of Onslaught, does a Lava Serpent revel. It's mission complete: a relic is born! I like the fact that this artwork captures the idea of a serpent that lives underground: as the serpent has been positioned between both Stalagmites and Stalactites - which in doing so, helps to suggest the presence of an Underground Cavern. The Cavern is not disjoint from the Lava Serpent (as you would expect), but has instead, been used to enhance the appeal of the serpent (through numerous artistic effects). First: the Stalagmites and Stalactites are used to pull you into the scene (by thought of their opposing directions - you tend to focus on the Lava Serpent). Second: the Stalagmites and Stalactites have been used as a way to add layering to the scene (as the Lava Serpent loops both under and over them - you tend to gain a perception of depth). Third: the rock ceiling/roof appears as though it's being held in place by the Golden Pillar (suggesting that the Cavern roof could collapse - as it is with the Wrath of the Earth). When these three effects/features are combined with the darker rock (towards the bottom-left of the artwork), I fall-under the impression that the Lava Serpent is sheltering (perhaps from the Storms of the Lava). I also approve of the use of colour within this artwork, especially the way in-which the Lava Serpents skin, appears to be connected with both the Element of Fire (the reds and yellows) and the Element of Earth (the greens). I also feel that the choice of colours was made (by the artist) to convey two further important concepts. First: there is the concept of size - as you realise that the Lava Serpents skin is repeated towards the top of the artwork (making me think of the existence of gigantic Lava Serpents). Second: there is the concept of belonging - as the Golden Pillar appears to be out of place (making me think of the Ancient Egyptians and their Engineering/Architecture Skills). I suspect that this artwork was painted in oils - as there's a fair amount of blending/transparency (on the Lava Serpents skin) and several raised/contrasting edges (especially around the black and red fans/frills). As such, it appears that the artist decided to break-up several uniform tones/areas, by employing the pointillism technique (in two places). The first: pointillism has been used on the darker rock (to suggest some-kind of underground algae). The second: pointillism has been used on the background (to suggest the concept of Inner Space - perhaps within the Centre of the Earth, where the Cavern is nothing but a Portal). Overall: I love the Conflict that occurs within this artwork. On the one side, there is the Elemental Powers of the Volcano (the reds of the serpent) together with the Savageness of the Earth (the Stalagmite and Stalactite teeth). Yet on the other side, there is the suggestion of such Powers being Tamed (by a Pillar of Egypt) and a connection with the Roots of the Trees (the greens of the serpent - and surrounding rock). I was also impressed by the variation of the pointillism technique, that's been used to paint/colour the Lava Serpents skin (as this is more akin to transparent dashes - as opposed to solid dots). Lava may be the primordial force of the Ancient Egyptians, yet when it comes to the control of their underground domains, Lava Serpents remain their weapon of choice!
A classic Theme Park ride that I remember viewing the City of Atlantis within, is Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (within the video, skip to six minutes fifteen seconds to see Atlantis):
This used to be my favourite Magic Kingdom ride - until it was closed/depreciated in (circa) 1994. I loved the fact that this ride combined five distinct fantasy themes. First: There was a fantasy submarine - the Nautilus (which you rode in). Second: There was the concept of living underwater - the harvesting of Kelp Beds and Sea Life (both for food). Third: There was a Ruined underwater City - the Lost City of Atlantis (which the Nautilus just-so-happens to discover). Four: There was a reminder of just how rough the Sea/Weather can be from the point-of-view of earlier Sea Explorers - the Graveyard of Lost Ships (the wooden hulls of Pirate Ships, Viking Longships, etc. located near/under the Polar Ice Cap). Five: My personal favourite - was the fact that this ride portrayed two of my favourite Mythical Creatures: Mermaids and Sea Serpents. As such, I approved of the idea of Mermaids having Sea Serpents as their pets - as is suggested within the ride (when the Sea Serpent is on leads). I also approved of the way that Mermaids were represented - with long flowing hair and their lower half modelled by a fishes tail, moving gently on the currents, but still being somewhat stationary (watching the Nautilus). I think that the Sea Serpent was suitably sized - as I got the impression that it could have sunk the Nautilus (if it wanted to), although, within this particular ride, it was the Giant Squid/Sea Monster that attempted this! As for the City of Atlantis - I enjoyed seeing the Classical Ruins appear from the dark: the white Stone Pillars, Temples and Statues being gradually revealed/highlighted in white/green, all intermixed/overgrown with Seaweed and Kelp. I also remember that the ride left you with a good impression/feeling of having (actually) been on a submarine! For the most part, this effect was achieved by the use of air bubbles - bubbling up along the side of the Nautilus, to suggest the fact that you were diving. The narrator also played into this belief - especially when he orders the Nautilus, to dive, as deep as possible! I also enjoyed the narration that's related to the Green Sea Turtles - especially the suggestion, that they are descendants of the Dinosaurs (living in the Modern Age). The Sea Bed itself? This created a good impression/illusion of realism - especially with the inclusion of Giant Clams and Lobsters/Crabs (both of which, were also, animated). The Nautilus herself? The two most striking parts about the Nautilus (that I remember) was: 1) The shear amount of rivets present upon her hull form. 2) The steep stairs when you entered/left the vessel. As for the rivets: I feel that these helped to capture the concept of an Earlier Time in Sea Exploration - as most (if not all) modern ships/submarines only make use of welding, when constructing their hull forms (as welding is much more watertight). Overall: this was a great water-themed ride, that I rode many times within Fantasyland (as a young Dragon!). It's a ride that left something of an impression on me - as I have hoarded a ninety-six litre freshwater aquarium, that just-so-happens to feature some Temples of Atlantis, a Viking Longship and a Nuclear Submarine model. Alas, as the Disney ride is now no more - I shall have to make do with watching my Mermaids swim between the Ruined City, that's found within my aquarium!
In the minds of Mortal Men, Atlantis emerges from the Deep, appearing as a Ruined City:
Yet to the minds of a Mermaid, Atlantis appears in all her Majesty: a Fortress City, built to guard against the Conquests of an Ancient Foe - Octopi. Throughout the Sands of Time, both the Mermaids, and the Octopus, have fought a Titanic Battle: for control of the Sea Bed and the Treasures of the Deep. With Hurricane and Sea Serpent does a Mermaid sink a ship. With Intelligence and Speed does Octopi claim the Wreck. With Trident and Tentacle does a Fearsome Battle ensue. With Mermaid and Victory goes the Treasures to Atlantis. With Octopus and Triumph stays the Treasures in the Wreck. Atlantis: her streets are paved with Gold. Atlantis: her temples rise in War. Atlantis: her walls deter all but the largest Octopi. Here in the Deep, do the largest Warriors dwell: Titanic Sea Serpents going head-to-head, against Monstrous Octopi. Undersea the Earthquakes shake - each blow trembling to the Earth. With arms of Four Pairs, does a Octopus wield its Suckers. With the Venom of Poseidon, does a Sea Serpent wield its Fangs. It is at the Gates of Atlantis that the Crusader Battles were fought. With Camouflage and Stealth did the Octopi lay in wait. With Excitement and Greed did the Gates of Atlantis open: the Promise of a Bounty, from a Pirate Ship! Three times have the Crusades been fought - three times have the Gates of Atlantis held. Three times has the Intelligence of the Octopi increased - three times has the Siren of Atlantis sung out: To the Gates! To the Gates! Did the Mermaids rush. With Sword and Trident did the Mermaids battle. Turned back were the Octopi, but just for a little while. With Countless Wrecks and Infinite Oceans, the armies of the Octopi: Scheme with Time. With the Fury of the Weather and the Wrath of the Gods, the armies of the Mermaids: Endure through Time. Yet within the Scrolls of Atlantis, it is written: should the Gates of Atlantis ever fall, that Poseidon himself shall return - to battle the Octopi, and defeat their Mighty Kraken. Few Mermaids indeed have heard of the Kraken - a Titanic Octopi, with the power to level Atlantis. As for those that do, it is believed that he/she dwells within the Deepest Oceans, or perhaps within the Deepest Abyss. Only time will tell, whether Mermaid or Octopus, sees the Fruits of their Bounty. Yet what's that? With a Breath of Compressed Air, from within a Submarine, came Mortal Man. Atlantis: her streets are paved with Seaweed. Atlantis: her temples fall to Ruin. Atlantis: her walls attract Sea Life.
Warriors of the Seas, and Guardians of the Mermaids, Sea Serpents bring Justice to the Deep:
In the Armouries of Atlantis, in the Vaults of the Reefs - with the Timeless of the Ancient, does a Sea Serpent sleep. In the Arsenals of Atlantis, in the Tides of the Seas - with the Patience of the Endless, does a Sea Serpent sleep. In the Foes of Atlantis, in the Temples of War - with the Councils of the Wise, does a Sea Serpent wake. In the Turbulence of the Oceans, in the Wrath of the Waves - with the Crush of a Hull, does the Sea Serpent strike. In the Depths of the Seas, in the Treasures of the Seabed - with the Pull of the Strong, does a Sea Serpent dive. It's mission complete: a shipwreck is born! I like the fact that this artwork captures the primary concept/idea of a serpent: the Sea Serpent has an S shape, which curls around and pulls you in (like a whirlpool). In doing so, it's easy to miss the fact that this is a baby Sea Serpent! Firstly, there is the fact that the Sea Serpent is on a similar scale/size to the shipwrecks anchors. Secondly, once you've pulled away from the whirlpool, you will notice that the Sea Serpents armour is repeated at the top of the artwork, and given the fact that this repeat is disjoint (from the baby Sea Serpent) - suggests just one thing: that there must be a bigger Sea Serpent above! I feel that the baby Sea Serpent is also sheltering - as he/she is nestled within a shipwreck: there's two anchors and the remnants of a coral covered hull against the side of a cliff (on the left-hand side), whereas the right-hand side (of the scene) appears to be much more open (to the sea). I also approve of the colour use within this artwork, particularity with the striking contrast between the bright fans/frills and the camouflaged Seaweed Armour. The yellow makes me think of Gold (and the Sun of Atlantis). The red and orange makes me think of Fire (and the Wrath of Atlantis). The blue hints at the coolness of the oceans and helps suggest the concept of layers. The blue also hints at an artwork that resembles a stained glass window (as the blue has not been used as a tint for the other colours). It appears that this artwork was painted in oils - as it seems that many of the surfaces are actually raised (especially the edges of the yellow, red and orange fans/frills). It also appears that the artist made use of a transparent medium (possibly Liquin) when painting the Seaweed Armour (as there's a fair amount of blending/variation at the edges of the brownish purple yellow). The use of a medium (such as Liquin) is also hinted at by the transparency/blending that's present on the seabed. The corals present on the remnants of the sunken hull, anchors and seabed (near to where the Seaweed sprouts) appear to be a variation of the oil painters pointillism technique - whereby the (relevant) background colour is allowed to show through (amongst the dots). Overall: I'm impressed with the variety of oil painting techniques that have been used to bring this Sea Serpent to life. This is especially true of the techniques used upon the seabed - whereby hard lines (in black) have been used to add both depth and clarity to the scene. There is also further variation, as the hard lines could have been added to the remnants of the sunken hull (e.g. to illustrate individual planks) - yet this has been avoided. Hurricanes may be the primeval force of the Mermaids, yet when it comes to the control of their undersea domains, Sea Serpents remain their weapon of choice!