YA horror novelist Cain (Soul Cutter) steps right up to the center ring in this captivating shocker of children disappearing after the circus comes to town. While touring present-day Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania, Rurik, the lightning-scarred security chief and former strongman of the Zorka Cyrka circus, investigates the disappearances and mediates conflict when the insular Skomori folk hold a wedding at the circus. One of the brides, Sylvie, plagued by misfortune (including an arranged marriage to a man whose abusive and philandering ways are condoned by Skomori culture) and forbidden to use her skills as a bloodwalker (one who prepares corpses for burial), uncovers the remains of a child in a circus trailer and becomes a target for the killer. Using their unusual talents, first separately and then together, Sylvie and Rurik uncover the circus’s horrifying secret and put to rest the curse that haunts both their peoples. Cain immerses the reader in the working life of a struggling circus and in the daily chores of a fascinating, albeit fictional, Slavic folkway. A series of rising threats overextends the climax, but the likability of the protagonists is enough to keep readers going. (Oct.)
Zorka Circus's big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, children vanish.
Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the performers, but they close ranks-they've always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. He must find the culprit before anyone else disappears and his home is destroyed by the murders.
Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravedigging ghouls. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan's strict code, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.
When more bodies turn up, the killer's trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues-even if they lead to something unimaginable...
"...captivating shocker... Cain immerses the reader in the working life of a struggling circus and in the daily chores of a fascinating, albeit fictional, Slavic folkway."
- Publishers Weekly
"Cain's frightening tale about family relationships, whether by blood or by bond, with its multidimensional characters, eerie European setting, and an unpredictable plot, is bound to chill paranormal and horror readers alike." - Library Journal
The Zorka Circus delights spectators young and old, but when it moves on, the big tent is not the only thing that vanishes; children also disappear. Circus security chief Rurik believes the key to the missing children is with the performers, but they close ranks against the lightning-scarred strongman. Joining the troupe is a new act, the Skomori clan of bloodwalkers, despised as evil gravediggers. However, a wedding is to be performed by the famous bloodwalker Zora, wife of the Zorka Circus leader. But before bride Sylvie can marry, she discovers the mutilated body of a child. Alerting others will flout her clan's code of silence and make her an outcast, yet as more corpses turn up, Rurik and Sylvie find their paths again colliding, and they will discover that the killer is far more horrible than they ever imagined. VERDICT Cain's (Soul Cutter) frightening tale about family relationships, whether by blood or by bond, with its multidimensional characters, eerie European setting, and an unpredictable plot, is bound to chill paranormal and horror readers alike. —KC
|Publisher:||Dancing Lemur Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)|