"entertaining yet strange historical horror novel"
In France, six year old Herculine watches her mother die a
horrible weird death leaving the child to fend for
herself. Herculine arrives at the "stone", the holy house
at C--- where the nuns take her in as the only scholarship
student praying she one day will see God like they do.
Years later, unable to resist, Herculine commits sins that
require severe punishment as fears of evil and witchcraft
are whispered among the residents of C----.
While being incarcerated, four demons visit Herculine. The
demon priest Father Louis, the damned Madeleine, the
demonic Asmodei, and the evil witch Sebastiana come to open
her mind to the full realm of pleasure. Herculine escapes
with her rescuers to set on a quest to learn why she is the
chosen. Her mission is filled with erotic dark magic and
death as a revolution fueled by otherworldly madness leads
to mass insanity and murder.
Though well written in a weird meandering way filled with
surprising shockers, BOOK OF SHADOWS is not for everyone as
the story line contains graphic scenes of cruelty, abuse,
and terror. The story line takes the traditional elements
of a gothic novel (innocent vulnerable female, dark
menacing males and a remote foreboding abode), but turns
them upside down with a spin away from the genre due to the
self-discovery of the dark side by the heroine. Herculine,
who narrates the tale, keeps the center from imploding into
a sea of uncontrollable weirdness so that the audience has
an entertaining yet strange historical horror novel.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted December 2, 2002
Alone among the young girls taught by nuns at a convent
school in nineteenth-century France, orphaned Herculine has
neither wealth nor social connections. When she's accused of
being a witch, the shy student is locked up with no hope of
escape ... until her rescue by a real witch, the beautiful,
mysterious Sebastiana. Swept away to the witch's manor,
Herculine will enter a fantastic, erotic world to discover
her true nature -- and her destiny -- in this breathtaking,
darkly sensual first novel.