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Between Two Firesby Christopher Buehlman
Synopses & Reviews
His extraordinary debut, Those Across the River, was hailed as "genre-bending Southern horror" (California Literary Review), "graceful [and] horrific" (Patricia Briggs). Now Christopher Buehlman invites readers into an even darker age — one of temptation and corruption, of war in heaven, and of hell on earth....
And Lucifer said: "Let us rise against Him now in all our numbers, and pull the walls of heaven down...."
The year is 1348. Thomas, a disgraced knight, has found a young girl alone in a dead Norman village. An orphan of the Black Death, and an almost unnerving picture of innocence, she tells Thomas that plague is only part of a larger cataclysm — that the fallen angels under Lucifer are rising in a second war on heaven, and that the world of men has fallen behind the lines of conflict.
Is it delirium or is it faith? She believes she has seen the angels of God. She believes the righteous dead speak to her in dreams. And now she has convinced the faithless Thomas to shepherd her across a depraved landscape to Avignon. There, she tells Thomas, she will fulfill her mission: to confront the evil that has devastated the earth, and to restore to this betrayed, murderous knight the nobility and hope of salvation he long abandoned.
As hell unleashes its wrath, and as the true nature of the girl is revealed, Thomas will find himself on a macabre battleground of angels and demons, saints, and the risen dead, and in the midst of a desperate struggle for nothing less than the soul of man.
"Thomas was a knight in mid-14th-century France before war, betrayal, and the Black Plague reduces him to banditry. But his road to oblivion in a nearly dead world ends with meeting Delphine, a young girl speaking with the voice of what may be angels — she could be a saint, or a witch. Thomas can't ignore his compulsion to join her quest to go to Avignon, home of the pope, undertaken for reasons unknown even to her. But they and their companion PÃ‛Ã‚Â¨re Matthieu don't realize they're trapped in a cosmic battle between good and evil, God having withdrawn from the world and Lucifer bent on filling the vacuum. until nightmarish creatures rise up everywhere to stop Delphine. Buehlman's (Those Across the River) medieval world is detailed with both sweet-smelling air and the gory results of plague, brutal but where hard-won small victories may add up faster than vast defeats. Thomas is the perfect everyman whose virtuous and sinful sides war internally as much as his sword arm battles in the physical world; Delphine is equally well drawn, part prophet and part frightened child. Fans of historical fantasy and horror will find this epic darkly rewarding. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate — the Savoyard Plantation — and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.
It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of Savoyard still stand. Where a longstanding debt of blood has never been forgotten.
A debt that has been waiting patiently for Frank Nichols's homecoming....
and#147;Buehlmanand#133;slips effortlessly into a different kind of literary sensibility, one that doesnand#8217;t scrimp on earthy humor and lyrical writing in the face of unspeakable horrors.and#8221;*
The year is 1348. Thomas, a disgraced knight, has found an orphan of the Black Death in a Norman village. An almost unnerving picture of innocence, she tells Thomas that the plague is only part of a larger cataclysmand#151;that the fallen angels under Lucifer are rising in a second war on Heaven. But is it delirium or is it faith?
She believes she has seen the angels of God. She believes the dead speak to her in dreams. And now she has convinced the faithless Thomas to shepherd her across an apocalyptic landscape to Avignon. There, she tells Thomas, she will fulfill her mission. There her true nature will be revealed. And there Thomas will confront an evil wrestling for the throne of Heaven, and which has poisoned his own soul.
About the Author
Christopher Buehlman is the winner of the 2007 Bridport Award for Poetry and the author of several plays. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.
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