Synopses & Reviews
As the witch-pyres of the Spanish Inquisition blanket Renaissance Europe in a moral haze, a young African slave finds herself the unwilling apprentice of an ancient necromancer. Unfortunately, quitting his company proves even more hazardous than remaining his pupil when she is afflicted with a terrible curse. Yet salvation may lie in a mysterious tome her tutor has hidden somewhere on the war-torn continent.
She sets out on a seemingly impossible journey to find the book, never suspecting her fate is tied to three strangers: the artist Niklaus Manuel Deutsch, the alchemist Dr. Paracelsus, and a gun-slinging Dutch mercenary. As Manuel paints her macabre story on canvas, plank, and church wall, the young apprentice becomes increasingly aware that death might be the least of her concerns.
"A Moorish slave cast out of her Spanish home by war, Awa is captured by a necromancer who forces her to learn his skills. When she eventually flees, she discovers the necromancer placed a curse on her that will destroy her soul in 10 years' time unless she can find his book of secrets, which could be hidden anywhere in the world. During her quest, Awa befriends Manuel, a painter-turned-mercenary; Monique, a lesbian gunsmith-turned-madam; and others both dead and undead. Bullington (The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart) bounces almost giddily between gruesome and tongue-in-cheek, from more horrific aspects of raising the dead to the odd problems faced by a necromancer with a conscience. Spiritual terror, Awa's star-crossed loves, and Manuel's guilt over becoming a mercenary to pay for art supplies are all grist for a relentless dark humor blended with occasional tragedy. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
Jesse Bullington spent the bulk of his formative years in rural Pennsylvania, the Netherlands, and Tallahassee, Florida. He is a folklore and outdoor enthusiast who holds a bachelor's degree in History and English Literature from Florida State University. He currently resides in Colorado, and his blog, as well as fan art, news and exclusive content can be found at www.jessebullington.com.