Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Cornerstone - by Anne C. Petty - Banshees, witches and ancient curses

5 of  5 Stars     Review Copy

Anne C Petty is a Tolkien scholar and specialist in Mythology and Finnish folkore.  In The Cornerstone, her first novel with JournalStone, she has masterfully blended elements of Christopher Marlowe, John Dee, The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, and Irish prehistory of the Boyne Valley tomb monuments into a beautifully compelling story.

It all starts in the 16th Century when Doctor John Dee -- mathematician, alchemist, Hermetic magician, herbalist, and adviser to Queen Elizabeth, in partnership with Monsieur C, engage Radha O Braonain, a sorceress of great depth and cunning.  With her help, the two men believe they can capture a banshee and create a magickal object to keep death at bay.

Soon the action moves to present day Atlanta, Georgia and the aging Janus Theatre, home to the Mummer's Theatrical Company, currently in rehearsal for The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, written by Christopher Marlowe.

Petty deftly weaves the action between past and present where we get to know the members of the cast and crew.  From here, I'd rather not say more, as much of the fun of this tale is in the discovery of it's secrets, hinted at or unveiled as the story progresses.

In the end, I loved how all of the major plot points came together, giving the reader a complete story, told well, with characters I came to to love or despise.  And despite the subject matter, I completely believed these events may have occurred, as written.  There is that ring of truth to the tale.

Once again, the folks at JournalStone have delivered the complete package.  A very readable story from Anne C. Petty and kudos to Vincent Chong for his artwork on the cover of The Cornerstone.

I highly recommend this one.  Even if you're not a horror fan, you may find The Cornerstone, to be something you'll enjoy on a cold Winter's night or a Summer's eve, if you're in Australia.

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