Tara of the Twilight

Tara of the Twilight is a fantasy novel by American writer Lin Carter. It was first published in paperback by Zebra Books in October 1979.[1]

According to Carter's introductory note, Tara of the Twilight represents his attempt to combine the genre of sword and sorcery with pornographic fantasy. Based on the unresolved state of the plot, he evidently projected at least one sequel, and three Tara short stories ("For the Blood is the Life",[2] "The Love of the Sea"[3] and "Pale Shadow"[4]) were published in the mid-1980s that presumably would have formed the basis for such a volume. No collected edition of these was ever published.

Tara of the Twilight
Tara of the Twilight
Cover of the first edition.
AuthorLin Carter
CountryUnited States
PublisherZebra Books
Publication date
Media typePrint (Paperback)

Plot summary

Tara, a foundling, has been raised as the ward of Chanthu the sorcerer to be a War Maid, a member of an order of virgin swordswomen. At sixteen she is sent on a quest into the Twilight, a dim, dangerous and mysterious realm full of violence and magic, to discover the mystery of her origins. Her friend and protector Khaldur, a highly intelligent lion-like carnivore, accompanies her.

Unfortunately for Tara (the goddess of her order being quite strict on the virginity requirement), the Twilight proves to be a hotbed of decadence and perversion. Her quest devolves a series of captivities and escapes, in which she is in turn separated from and reunited with her feline guardian. She is successively enslaved by lecherous inhabitants of the city of Paltossa, the Northern Barbarians, the sorceresses of the Witch Wood, and the sorcerer Sarkon and his three Womanthing minions.

During the course of her adventures she picks up additional companions, including the bisexual girl Evalla, the Lion Warrior Thund, and the teenage boy Zorak, all of whom provide opportunities for sex play between adventures. Throughout all, she somehow manages to maintain a technical virginity, primarily because her various antagonists seem too depraved to consider ordinary intercourse, while her male companions are either too honorable, too inhibited, or too distracted by Evalla.

The novel ends with the quest unfinished and the mysteries of Tara's heritage and destiny unresolved, with the travelers flying onward to new adventures in their magical air-gondola.


  1. ^ Tara of the Twilight title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  2. ^ For the Blood is the Life title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  3. ^ The Love of the Sea title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  4. ^ Pale Shadow title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database


  • Robertson, Michelle. "Tara of the Twilight and Phallocentrism in Modern Fantasy." Article in Apostle of Letters: A Critical Evaluation of the Works of Lin Carter, edited by Stephen J. Servello. Wild Cat Books, 2006, pp. 123–139.

External links

Lin Carter

Linwood Vrooman Carter (June 9, 1930 – February 7, 1988) was an American author of science fiction and fantasy, as well as an editor, poet and critic. He usually wrote as Lin Carter; known pseudonyms include H. P. Lowcraft (for an H. P. Lovecraft parody) and Grail Undwin. He is best known for his work in the 1970s as editor of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, which introduced readers to many overlooked classics of the fantasy genre.

List of fantasy novels (S–Z)

This page lists notable fantasy novels (and novel series). The books appear in alphabetical order by title (beginning with S to Z) (ignoring "A", "An", and "The"); series are alphabetical by author-designated name or, if there is no such, some reasonable designation. Science-fiction novels and short-story collections are not included here.

The Quest of Kadji

The Quest of Kadji is a fantasy novel by American writer Lin Carter, the first book of the Chronicles of Kylix series. It was first published in paperback by Belmont Books in July 1971, and was reprinted in December 1972. The first edition in the United Kingdom was published by Five Star Books in 1973. Wildside Press issued a trade paperback edition in December 1999 and an ebook edition in August 2014. The novel has been translated into Dutch, Portuguese and French.

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