Anne Rice returns to the mesmerizing storytelling that has captivated readers for more than three decades in a tale of unceasing suspense set in time past—a metaphysical thriller about angels and assassins.
The novel opens in the present. At its center: Toby O’Dare—a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again. A soulless soul, a dead man walking, he lives under a series of aliases—just now: Lucky the Fox—and takes his orders from “The Right Man.”
Into O’Dare’s nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions comes a mysterious stranger, a seraph, who offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. O’Dare, who long ago dreamt of being a priest but instead came to embody danger and violence, seizes his chance. Now he is carried back through the ages to thirteenth-century England, to dark realms where accusations of ritual murder have been made against Jews, where children suddenly die or disappear . . . In this primitive setting, O’Dare begins his perilous quest for salvation, a journey of danger and flight, loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and love.
From the Hardcover edition.
Anne Rice combines the gothic imagery and suspenseful exhilaration of her earlier vampire novels with the Christian idolatry which has defined her more recent work in this tale of a modern-day assassin who travels back in time on a mission to save his soul from eternal damnation. As a boy, the protagonist Toby O'Dare dreamed of entering the priesthood, but he abandoned his faith when everything he loved was taken from him. While his work as a hired assassin forces him to ignore the most sacred of God's commandments, he is constantly compelled to pray, as he tortures himself in a cycle of violence and remorse. His salvation appears in the form of Malchiah, an angel who offers Toby a final opportunity at redemption, if he accepts a treacherous mission which will take him to 13th century England, where he must save a Jewish couple from the murderous wrath of an angry mob of anti-Semites. When he accepts the charge and enters "angel time," Toby feels his soul begin to stir again, but if he hopes to fully rekindle his religious spirit, he must somehow convince the assailants that their own vengeful faith is misdirected. Rice plans this to be the beginning of a new series, which promises to combine intense action with profound revelations on the nature of faith.
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- August 9, 2011
- August 9, 2011
- Anne Rice