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Heavenís Bones



Author: Samantha Henderson
Type: Novel
Format: 312 pages book
Release date: September 2008
Other notes:
- Formerly titled Clockwork Angels;
- While first announced to be part of the Ravenloft: Dominion series, this novel doesnít have the Ravenloft logo
Domain: Gothic Earth, Domains (Kartakass briefly mentioned, Riverbend (new))

Amazonís book description:

Love and death walk hand in hand...  

Dr. Sebastian Robarts is a man paralyzed by the fate of his adored wife, dead in childbirth, their only child with her. He searches for a way to build angels from women, a pastime known to Scotland Yard as murder. Robarts meets the Vistani seer named Trueblood, who becomes his assistant and leads him to the Antebellum-era domain of Riverbend, controlled by the sadistic Dr. Weldon, to create angels, unfettered by conventional morality, or even rules. When the murderer returns to earth, it is the task of a Vistani policeman and a woman with a strange connection to Robarts to stop him. If he can be stopped.

Heaven's Bones skillfully blends horror and steampunk and classic Victorian literary style into something exotic and fascinating.

WotCís book description:

Devotion given through murder is no less loving.

Dr. Sebastian Robarts' days are spent building angels out of the bodies of women, gifts to his wife and child that he couldn't save. But there is a man who sees his angels as weapons to storm heaven. Trueblood, a Vistani gifted with Cursing and a searcher for arcane knowledge, finds Dr. Robarts. He sees only a weak man whose labor can be used to end the curse that stole Trueblood's name and cast him out of his family. As he tries to bend Robarts to his own ends, other people find them and some try to stop them, and through it all, Dr. Robarts works.

After all, Dr Robarts loves his wife very much.

And you can read the first 8 pages, courtesy of WotC: 

http://ww2.wizards.com/Books/Downloads/products_ravenloft_219227400.zip

JoŽl of the Fraternity

This is a very good start for the renewal of the Ravenloft novels. But itís quite different from previous novels in that itís well written! Letís be frank, the previous set of novels (the ones from the 90ís) were not exactly great literature, but they were fun to read.

Heavenís Bones is well written (IMHO) and also fun to read. You have three stories intermingling eventually into one. A large part of it happens in Gothic Earth, and a large part in a new domain Iíd call Riverbend. A few rural scenes also occur in Kartakass.

Unconventional but fun! Good start for the new line. Recommended, 4 stars!

*** MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW ***

A few things are unconventional, like this tribe of vistani who didnít kill a male child born with the Sight (but will soon regret it, and change their mind for the futureÖ but itís too late for them Ö).

One piece of the story is set in Alabama, year 1832 and 1864. In there, we find Alistair Weldonís plantation burned to the ground by his slaves in a rebellion. It seems the good Dr Weldon conducted strange experiments with his slavesÖ and finds himself stranded in a pocket domain (called Riverbend) where his daughter is taunting him.

The major part of the story is set in London, around 1867, and later. Dr Robarts lost his beloved wife when she died giving birth to her stillborn son. There, Robarts lost his marbles and started making creepy insane experiments on women, ŗ la Jack the Ripper. A wink, some of the victims are also from Whitechapel, by the way.

And then in Ravenloft, where the Vadoma vistani tribe is shocked to find one of her son, Tribor, in a deadly ritual where he kills twelve horses, the tribeís most prized possession, and afterward kills his sister Jaelle. It seems Tribor was studying dark magical arts, and had to pass murder rituals to gain more powers. This last ritual enabled this Dukkar Ė and his sister Ė to pass through barriers between the words, and there you have one of the links between all three stories.

I did summarize the book a lot, as there are many more circumvolutions that are unexpected (IMHO) and fun.

The book is creepy, especially the angel constructs (half-constructs?) Ö The foggy atmospherics are fun, with lots of fog, mists, ethereal resonance readings, oubliettes and similar pocket of mists Ö

Nice 4 out of 5

 

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