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It is 1788 and King George III has succumbed to a deepening bout of madness. Doctor Francis Willis has been summoned from his asylum in Lincolnshire to treat the King only to find that it is no medical malady that tortures His Majesty, but rather twisted mythological Celtic magic. He leads the effort to lift the curse on the King and restore the realm to sane governance before the King is forever lost to madness and the realm descends into chaos.
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This story is rooted in history, taking place during King George's very real madness. The supernatural elements are grounded, and I really love where this story is going. The characters are well developed, and some scenes are downright horrifying.
Well worth your time to take a look if you like horror stories.
This is a very good story, but I don't know if its for everyone. (By way of a caveat I have read a complete rough draft and love the story as a whole).
If you're deciding to read this story, be aware that it is a bit slow to get up to speed and the writing style is intentionally stuffy and ponderous. That is intentional and an interesting part of the narrative voice. If that's a dealbreaker you should probably just ignore this story and move on.
The rest of the story is an interesting tale of a Doctor/Priest and his sons/assistants trying to protect the King from the influence of vengeful Welsh spirits, leaning heavily on local mythology/folklore.
The book is slow and overwrought but it is intentional and adds to the ambiance. It serves as a good contrast for the supernatural elements to help build the accumulating sense of dread that the author is going for.
The grammar/spelling is very good.
The story is well researched and interesting, hinting at a larger world of malevolent mythology and folklore that the Anglican Church has protected the British Isles from. The story balances exposition with action fairly well and does a good job of building suspense before throwing the characters into situations where they are usually outclassed by some sort of supernatural beast.
The characters, some historical some not, are well fleshed out. Each of them has their own distinct voice and feel.
Excellent story, excellently written, and a joy to read. In a certain sense of the word 'joy'. The style is very appropriate for the period, and handles the horror very satisfactorily. The characters are particularly well visualised, and very clearly differentiated. A very few anachronisms, and a little twinge of fridge logic about how easy it was for the events to come about as they did and for certain of the protagonists to achieve such results were the only - and very minor - flaws in the whole narrative. I look forward to the author's new books!
There are no words to describe how good this story is. Personally, I am into psychological and horror genres and this story fills the quota. It is a bit slow in the beginning, but it never gets boring.
I find two literary epochs very marked in the story. The first one is the air to the eighteenth century. The use of the language and descriptions is committed to recreate the historical momment. This means that the author took the trouble to recover a classic way to make his work contemporary. A historical novel is not only based on the facts that it involves fictionalizing but also on the narrative treatment. It is difficult to see the past with the eyes of the present and bring it.
As a second observation, the terror of the twentieth century is recovered here, inspired perhaps by Lovecraft and Poe. Writers who approached terror from psychology. The characters used here may well work in the city of Arkam of Lovecraft or the Baltimore of Poe.
Perhaps the most effective criticism I could comment on is the slowness of the facts. Certainly the reading is dense and complex. This may be complicated for the reader of our time, accustomed to speed and easily digestible products (short novels, series of 13 chapters, etc.) It would not be a bad idea for the author to think about the kind of reader he wants for his story.