"Historical details and supernatural monsters abound, but it is the odd couple of Wilde and Stoker, with their diametrically opposed personalities and interesting quirks, that drives this story. Pass this volume on to readers who are hungry for more historical stories with a supernatural frame." - Booklist
Longlisted for The Guardian's Not the Booker Prize 2019.
Years before either becomes a literary legend, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde must overcome their disdain for one another to battle the Black Bishop, a mysterious madman wielding supernatural forces to bend the British Empire to his will. With the help of a European vampire expert, a spirited actress and an American businessman, our heroes fight werewolves, vampires and the chains of Victorian morality. The fight will take them through dark forests in Ireland, the upper-class London theater world and Stonehenge, where Bram and Oscar must stop a vampire cult from opening the gates of Hell.
FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
"Morbid and fascinating" is how a character aptly sums up the events of this entertaining supernatural mash-up. Employing the entwined lives of Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker as a springboard, Hopstaken and Prusi weave their weird tale from imagined occult experiences that might have influenced the 19th-century authors to write, respectively, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Dracula. This includes their efforts to thwart a decadent splinter sect of the Order of the Golden Dawn, obsessed with achieving immortality, that has been transformed into a horde of vampires infiltrating London under the guidance of the nefarious Black Bishop. The novel is briskly paced, owing in part to its fast-cutting epistolary format, and the authors enliven the plot by introducing characters who clearly anticipate those who will appear in Stoker and Wilde's tales, as well as real-life celebrities including Ellen Terry, Lillie Langtry, and Sir Richard Burton. Hopstaken and Prusi have done their homework and produced a pleasing period penny dreadful.