Monday, March 30, 2015

"Throne of Darkness"

Douglas Nicholas is an award-winning poet, whose work has appeared in numerous poetry journals, and the author of several books, including the novel Something Red and Iron Rose, a collection of poems inspired by New York City.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new dark fantasy novel, Throne of Darkness, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Throne of Darkness is a quiet scene amid a great deal of action, but it illustrates what Booklist said about ToD in its review: “The homogenous Northern European–style settings of fantasy tales can quickly become a bore for avid readers, which is why Nicholas is happily among the authors who draw from the medieval Western world as a whole. His new novel brings together a metropolitan collaboration of fascinating historical fantasy.”

In this scene we find seated around a table in an inn: Molly and her granddaughter Nemain, both queens in their own right back in Ireland—although the title is more akin to “clan chieftain” than to a Queen Victoria–type monarch—as well as Jack Brown, Molly’s lover and Hob, Nemain’s husband. These latter two are Englishmen. With them are Father Ugwistan, a Berber priest who is happy to point out that his name is the original form of Augustine, and that the saint was also Berber. Father Ugwistan is the assistant to Monsignor Bonacorso da Panzano, an Italian who is a clandestine papal operative, and Sinibaldo, another Italian, the monsignor’s bodyguard and a sometime assassin. They are discussing ways to thwart King John’s plot to destroy the rebellious northern barons at Runnymede, when they gather to sign Magna Carta; the plot involves a Moroccan sorcerer and his eerie tribe of blacksmiths, who have the ability to change into hyenas.
Visit Douglas Nicholas's website.

--Marshal Zeringue