S. E. Porter, critically-acclaimed YA author of Vassa in the Night, bursts onto the adult fantasy scene with her adult novel that is sure to appeal to fans of Jeff VanderMeer and China Mieville.
Love may last a lifetime, but in this dark historical fantasy, the bitterness of rejection endures for centuries.
As a young woman seeks vengeance on the obsessed sorcerer who murdered her because he could not have her, her murderer sends projections of himself out into the world to seek out and seduce women who will return the love she denied—or suffer mortal consequence. A lush, gothic journey across worlds full of strange characters and even stranger magic.
Sarah Porter’s adult debut explores misogyny and the soul-corrupting power of unrequited love through an enchanted lens of violence and revenge.
Also by Sarah Porter:
Vassa in the Night
When I Cast Your Shadow
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Porter puts a unique spin on the vengeful ghost trope in her ambitious adult fantasy debut (after the YA novel Vassa in the Night). In 1850s New York City, 19-year-old Catherine Bildstein is murdered by her childhood friend-turned-sorcerer Angus "Gus" Farrow after she rejects his romantic advances. Rather than crossing over, Catherine's shrieking ghost (her voice is caught in the scream of the moment before her death) attaches itself to Gus, who takes her to the supernatural world of Nautilus and uses her to fuel his power. As twisted revenge for his unrequited love, Gus utilizes his otherworldly magic to create projections of himself, which are sent to the human world to seduce young women who remind him of Catherine. Those who do not reciprocate his love are murdered. Meanwhile, Catherine learns to control her new ghostly abilities and, with the help of allies she makes in Nautilus, devises a plan to destroy Gus and his projections once and for all. The plot is fascinating and Porter's exploration of Gus's misogyny is incisive, but the story, which takes place over the course of a century, is occasionally bogged down by dense prose and confounding time jumps. Still, readers will cheer for Catherine to exact her revenge and reclaim her agency in the afterlife. This darkly magical historical should win Porter some new fans.