Reviews: myth and brutal reality in The Night Lies Bleeding

Published On February 26, 2018 | By Misti Cooper | Books, Reviews

The Night Lies Bleeding,

M.D. Lachlan,

Gollancz

“The Night Lies Bleeding” by M.D Lachlan is a Gaiman-esque blending of myth and brutal reality. Deeply poetic in its narrative, this novel grips you in its sharp jaws and takes hold, refusing to let go even after you have turned the final page.

I confess that from the cover and my speed reading of the blurb, I expected this book to be somewhat silly, and it’s strange to say that I was initially disappointed when it turned out to be serious and poignant and moving. Though I had picked it up in the hopes of having my spirits lifted, the sense of disappointment didn’t last longer than the first few pages as I was sucked into Lachlan’s compelling narrative.

On the surface, this novel is the story of an immortal being who yearns for a love he barely remembers and is fleeing from the murders of his past and those he knows will come in his future. Once you get into it, however, this novel is much deeper than that. It is about the loss of humanity, and the small steps that lead to a sprint downhill to ruination, and in many ways, whether someone’s humanity is taken from them or given up willingly is impossible to tell from the end result.

It was only after I finished that I found out this is the final volume in a series. While I was reading it, though, there were no missing pieces that made it feel that way. Certainly it feels final, in the way that Ragnarok is final, and in the way that it isn’t, and it had a deep sense of lives lived before and of a bigger picture of which this one story, despite all the horror and suffering it contained, was but a small part. However, with the protagonist’s own memories of his past lost or fragmented, for me as a reader unaware of his long history, I felt a connection to him in his searching that I might not have had if I was already in possession of those memories. Perhaps then I would have felt more of a connection with the omnipresent gods who sought to manipulate him. Would that have made this book a less harrowing read, I wonder?

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