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Tapestry of Dark Souls

Author: Elaine Bergstrom
Type: Novel
: 310 pages book
Release date: March 1993
Other notes:
Domain: Tepest, Markovia


Charles Phips

A novel following a young couple's encounter with a legendary dark artifact that results in the birth of a young man whom will free its evil entrapping contents on an unsuspecting world.

Tapestry of Souls is a work that's fairly infamous in Ravenloft literary circles because the work is well...awful. Part of the problem is the plot is so damn...Vile. I'm not a squeamish man and largely argue for more adult D&D products. Tapestry of Dark Souls has rape, torture, infanticide, forced marriage, religious justification for ignoring the screaming defilement of a woman not two feet away that no one helps from our "good guys" and more violently gratuitous death than any ten of the other books combined. I'm certainly comfortable with the subjects but the context in which lesbianism and promiscuity are mixed with the storyline (I'm twitchy whenever these are associated with horror, monsters, or anything 'evil') is something I'm not too happy with either. They are causally lumped with the villianesses and their activities seemed deliberately to add further shock to a book. The emotionlessness of sexuality in the book also seems to be something out of a bad French film.

But these touchy subject's handling in an abominable manner in what had then be a fairly family friendly series that at most eluded to Strahd's taking women by force (and even Azalin's taking of his unwilling wife was done in a subdued fashion) could have been fine if the rest of the writing had been quality. Instead, Tapestry of Dark Souls exists solely to shock people with the depravity of the individuals involved. The Monks of the Guardians never once warn innocent travelers of the Tapestry and leave an innocent woman to be violated, the young 'hero' lets his father carve a nightmarish swath across Tepest, and everyone else is selfish to the point of total inhumanity. Everything is gratuitous in this book and it's ironic that the Tapestry's creation in Tales of Ravenloft would be a thousand times more akin to the mood than this piece of drek is.

I can't honestly say that any of this book is useful to Ravenloft and would mark it as even more worthless than Death of a Darklord. No matter how out of character Harkon Lucas was, no matter how violent that was, no matter how freakish some of it was....it doesn't hold a candle to Tapestry of Dark Souls. The people in Death of a Darklord at least are HUMAN....the people in this book are repulsive. Also, and I never thought I'd say this, Ravenloft as described in this book has wayyyyy too many monsters. The volume content seems closer to Hell than the Land of Mists.

0 out of 5 drops.


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