A new dark historical fantasy from the “supremely gifted”* Cherie Priest, author of Mapelcroft and Boneshaker.
In the trenches of Europe during the Great War, Tomás Cordero operated a weapon more devastating than any gun: a flame projector that doused the enemy in liquid fire. Having left the battlefield a shattered man, he comes home to find yet more tragedy—for in his absence, his wife has died of the flu. Haunted by memories of the woman he loved and the atrocities he perpetrated, Tomás dreams of fire and finds himself setting match to flame when awake....
Alice Dartle is a talented clairvoyant living among others who share her gifts in the community of Cassadaga, Florida. She too dreams of fire, knowing her nightmares are connected to the shell-shocked war veteran and widower. And she believes she can bring peace to him and his wife’s spirit.
But the inferno that threatens to consume Tomás and Alice was set ablaze centuries ago by someone whose hatred transcended death itself....
*Christopher Golden, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
In this pitch-perfect penny dreadful, Priest (The Family Plot) evokes the strangeness and charm of early-19th-century Florida and the fortitude of two spectacular protagonists. Alice Dartle, making a daring bid for freedom from her family home in Norfolk, Va., dreams of a man surrounded by fire. She journeys to join a community of Spiritualists in Cassadaga, Fla. where she hopes to learn how to control her natural psychic abilities. Tom s Cordero is a war veteran who's just returned home to Ybor City, Fla., where he's plagued by uncanny fires that seem determined to destroy all he loves. The two are brought together by powers beyond their understanding, which they must face armed only with universal love and compassion. Priest wields a brilliant command of the delightful and the frightening in this enchanting tale. Though spooky and dangerous events abound, each less logical than the last, she holds tightly to the theme that these events are rooted in human will. The detailed extrapolation of Spiritualist beliefs into reality makes the story even more terrifying than if it had a supernatural villain driving the chaos. The conclusion is both uplifting and satisfying, a fitting reward for the protagonists, who have each sought only to give help and love to those in need.