Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Enterprise of Death-Jesse Bullington

The Enterprise of Death
Jesse Bullington
Orbit, Mar 24 2011, $14.99
ISBN 9780316087346

Awa the Moorish slave is tossed out of her home in Grenada. A necromancer captures her and orders her to learn his skills though she prefers not to but she has no choice. Finally Awa escapes only to find out the mage knew she would flee and cursed her.

Awa has a decade to find the necromancer’s tome or lose her soul. The arcane book can be anywhere. Not one to give up, Awa begins her quest. As time keeps on ticking into an apparent soulless future, her search looks futile. Still, Awa makes friends and allies to include painter Niklaus Manuel Deutsch who pays for his supplies by hiring out as a morbid mercenary and Monique the lesbian gunsmith madam as well as Dr. Paracelsus the alchemist, some paranormal essences (at least that is what assumed by Awa the cursed Moor) and a few normal beings.

Not for those with weak stomachs, The Enterprise of Death is an amusing vividly gruesome lampooning of the horror fantasy combine. Awa is terrific as she holds the grisly story line focused while she learns life’s lesson that quitting is more difficult than continuing. Manuel feels remorse as to how he funds his morbid art while Awa’s plight has made her his muse. The rest of the key players enhance Awa’s desperation. Readers who enjoy a dark jocular historical horror fantasy will want to join Awa on her odyssey to keep her soul.

Harriet Klausner

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