Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight - GRE­GORY A. LOWE

Alex Beecroft, Rip­tide Pub­lish­ing, Soft­cover $16.99 (232pp), 978-1-62649-555-5

is an en­thralling mys­tery and would be en­joyed by any­one who prefers a dark nar­ra­tive with mo­ments of hu­mor.

Sons of Devils, by Alex Beecroft, is a mys­tery with gothic, su­per­nat­u­ral el­e­ments and a charm­ing ensem­ble of char­ac­ters. The nar­ra­tive ques­tions what is go­ing on in the land of Wallchia and what shad­owy forces are truly pulling the strings.

The story fol­lows three per­spec­tives, but cen­tral to the story is Frank, an ex­ile from Eng­land struck with am­ne­sia. Awak­en­ing in Wal­lachia, his fate be­comes en­twined with Radu Vacarescu, the re­gion’s ruler and name­sake of a fam­ily shrouded in mys­tery. Frank also meets Mirela, a Roma woman meant to be sacri­ficed to a ghastly en­tity that stalks the coun­try­side. Else­where in the world, Zayd, who comes from a holy lin­eage, is sum­moned by the sul­tan for a mag­i­cal un­der­tak­ing.

One of the strengths of the novel is its pro­tag­o­nist, Frank. He has never ex­pe­ri­enced much hard­ship or re­sis­tance and as a re­sult is very in­de­ci­sive. How­ever, when thrust out on his own, Frank must learn to sur­vive in an un­for­giv­ing world. As the story pro­gresses, Frank ma­tures grad­u­ally, learn­ing that the demons of the past will not al­ways en­cum­ber the fu­ture.

One in­ter­est­ing plot de­vice is the way Frank’s am­ne­sia is used to de­velop his char­ac­ter. Memories start to re­turn, and he ex­pe­ri­ences flash­backs to Eng­land and the cir­cum­stances of his ex­ile. The book, de­spite its somber overtones and in­tense sto­ry­line, still con­tains a lot of hu­mor. When re­fer­ring to the liveli­hood of their slaves, one of the Vacarescu adds, “They eat hedge­hogs cooked in clay, and berries, and they don’t have to worry about any­thing. We take care of all the dif­fi­cult things, so they can dance and sing all day long.” This as­ser­tion is in con­trast to the squalor they are sub­jected to. Mo­ments like these break up the se­ri­ous na­ture of the story line.

Sons of Devils is an en­thralling mys­tery and would be en­joyed by any­one who en­joys a dark nar­ra­tive with mo­ments of hu­mor.

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