By Susan M. Phillips Spiralthreads Books, UK 2003

Reviewed by Mario Guslandi

I had not realized that “Chalice” is a vampire's tale : what an unpleasant surprise for one who was feeling sick and tired of reading stories of the undead year after year... If I had known the truth, then, would I have missed the opportunity to get a copy of this booklet? Not at all, considering that the author is Susan M. Phillips, twice winner of the International Terrorscribe Award with her outstanding stories “The dark mirror” and “Images of angels”. And now that I've finished reading the ,alas, too short narration (only 39 pages) here I am longing for more!

“Chalice” is a gently dark tale about a female vampire, soon to be joined by a new undead, a young man who's been one of the victims of her hunger, turned into a vampire named Amice.

Soon the two “thirsties” have to feed and they find an easy and appetizing target in a couple of young lovers meeting in the dark...I won't spoil the pleasure of the potential readers by disclosing the rest of the story, which develops quite nicely, involving a doctor, a police inspector and his strange companion- a kind of benign familiar, very fond of worms.

The author proves once again to be a skilful writer, able to hold the reader's attention throughout the entire tale, and whose only fault is that her production in the field of dark fiction is too infrequent to satisfy her growing number of admirers.

Fortunately, I have been informed that the Chalice saga is not over: new chapters have already been written and, hopefully, many more will follow. I only wish we won't have to wait too long before they will be in print.

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