Hannibal meets Mistborn in Marina Lostetter’s THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT, the dark and stunning first novel in a new trilogy that combines the intricate worldbuilding and rigorous magic system of the best of epic fantasy with a dark and chilling thriller.
In a daring and deadly heist, thieves have made away with an artifact of terrible power—the death mask of Louis Charbon. Made by a master craftsman, it is imbued with the spirit of a monster from history, a serial murderer who terrorized the city.
Now Charbon is loose once more, killing from beyond the grave. But these murders are different from before, not simply random but the work of a deliberate mind probing for answers to a sinister question.
It is up to Krona Hirvath and her fellow Regulators to enter the mind of madness to stop this insatiable killer while facing the terrible truths left in his wake.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
The first in a new trilogy for Lostetter (Neumenon) uneasily blends fantasy with quasi-procedural detective work. Krona, a young Regulator, is assigned to guard a collection of enchanted artifacts on display at a celebration for the chief magistrate of Lutador. But when a monstrous varg attacks the event, the assault draws Krona's attention long enough for two especially dangerous items to be stolen from the exhibit: a regulated despairstone brooch and executed serial killer Louis Charbon's death mask. Determined to prove herself to her sister and superior, De-Lia, Krona resolves to catch the thieves and retrieve the items. But soon corpses begin to pile up throughout the city-state, suggesting that she's got a Louis Charbon copycat killer on her hands. Lostetter intersperses Krona's hunt for the killer with backstories involving Melanie Depont, a woman searching for a cure for her dying mother, and Louis Charbon himself, who was a legitimate surgeon before getting caught up in a sinister religious plot. The worldbuilding is impressive but overextended, with Lostetter's highly detailed scene setting and frequent digressions into Lutador's creation myths making for a cumbersome narrative. It's an uneven opening, but there's plenty of potential for series installments to come.