Wiltshire, during the dying days of Oliver Cromwell's Republic. Robert Vaughan is the son of a Parliamentarian officer who is investigating a series of grisly murders which suggest a link with Satanic rituals at Stonehenge. The return of a notoriously wicked Cavalier, signalling the impending royalist restoration, leads to a terrible tragedy for the Vaughans. Robert's flight from his violent, terrifying past leads him to Restoration London, where he works as scribe for Milton, and where he survives the Plague and the Great Fire.
But Robert is led along a dark path, to vampirism and beyond, as he devotes himself to gaining the powers that will enable him to fight an evil killer of seemingly satanic powers. He will travel the globe, from the ancient ghetto of Prague to the virgin forest of the New World, as he aims to gain revenge on those who betrayed him.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 592 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 06/11/2008
- Category: Horror & ghost stories
- ISBN: 9780349121673
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Review by adpaton
Oh dear, its a case of the lights are on but there's no-one at home. The premise of this book is excellent - vampires, the undead, demons and so forth, the court of Charles the Second, and European mysticism - but the execution is dire. Robert Foxe is a Puritan, only son of a strict but honourable Puritan sheriff: when things start going awry in the village of Woodton, his dad consults John Aubrey [of Aubrey's Brief Lives fame] and leads a posse to the abandoned manor house where bad things are rumoured to happen. But the Commonwealth is on its last legs, the King is returning and Robert Foxe's family is butchered by the townsfolk.He survives a satanic attack, is fostered by a couple of vampires, works for the blind poet Milton, eventually bcomes a member of the Royal Court and befriends the dissolute poet the earl of Rochester, before travelling around Europe in search of a magic book stolen from the Chief Rabbi of Lubek [the one who created the golem] by the Elizabethan necromancer John Dee. It's all a bit much, disjointed and chaotic, and I battled to finish the wretched thing. Supping with Panthers suffered from the same failure to come anywhere near fulfilling its promise although, as here, the initial plot seemed excellent. I'm afraid I just don't like Tom Holland's writing.