In this scintillating follow-up to the acclaimed volume The Lay of Old Hex (2017), Adam Bolivar demonstrates why he is one of the most accomplished and readable weird poets of our time. As a balladeer Bolivar has no peer among his contemporaries, and his many eloquent poems about the enigmatic Jack-musician, lover, and warrior against supernatural enemies-evoke the centuries-long tradition of balladry extending back to the Middle Ages.
These ballads comprise miniature tales of terror, as Jack ventures into haunted house, battles against legions of demonic cats, and matches wits with seductive sorceresses. In the long poem Hellbound Jack, the "Scarlet Balladress" spins her own tale about Jack
A distinctive subset of works in this volume is a series of short plays that Bolivar himself has frequently presented, in public and private, with marionettes of his own design. Here we find such baleful characters as the Devil, Betty Crow ("a formless apparition"), and other sinister figures.
Adam Bolivar draws upon the ancient heritage of balladry but revitalizes it in his own distinctive fashion, endowing it with renewed vitality by infusing it with his own dark vision of a world where terrors lurk unseen around every corner.