Downton Abbey meets Mordor in this darkly funny gamebook for adults, in which YOU play the butler to the Dark Lord, and your choices change the story. Looking after your master Malacandros is never easy. Like any good Dark Lord, he will just as soon fireball you to death as look at you - but this week things are particularly hectic. The Stygias ceremony is about to occur for the first time in a hundred years, the castle is bustling with treacherous nobility and unwelcome relatives, there's a feast of live balfrog tadpoles to organise, and let's not forget the sinister plot to murder your master that's taking shape behind closed doors. With multiple pathways through the story depending on the choices you make, 9 different endings to discover, and plenty of ways to meet an untimely demise, you're going to have your work cut out for you ensuring that everything runs smoothly. Will you sleep with the virgin sacrifice before the ceremony? Will you sample too much in the wine cellar? Will you be able to teach the castle harpies the merits of personal hygiene? Most importantly, will dinner be served on time? Butler to the Dark Lord is written by Australian comedian and fantasy author Sam Bowring, whose other books include The Broken Well trilogy ('the stuff of fantasy writer's fantasies' - AurealisXpress) and the Strange Threads duology ('utterly mesmerising - Courier Mail).
In the second novel set in the “darkly fascinating world” (SF Site) of Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy, ambitions unfurl as the realm’s dreams of a liberator have finally been made flesh... The Blood have waited centuries for the coming of Witch, the living embodiment of magic. But Jaenelle, the young girl singled out by prophecy, is haunted by the cruel battles fought over her—for not all the Blood await her as their Savior. Some dismiss her as a myth. Some refuse to believe. And still others look forward to using her, making her a pawn to their shadowy devices. Only time and the devotion of her loyal guardians have healed Jaenelle’s physical wounds. But her mind is fragile, barely able to protect her from the horrifying memories of her childhood. Nothing, however, can deflect her from her destiny—and the day of reckoning looms near. When her memories return. When her magic matures. When she is forced to accept her fate. On that day, the dark Realms will know what it means to be ruled by Witch.
A richly romantic and enthralling novel of beauty, passion and scandalous secrets from Maire Claremont, the acclaimed author of The Dark Lady and Lady In Red. Perfect for fans of Sherry Thomas, Johanna Lindsey and Lisa Kleypas. Lady Margaret Cassidy left a life of nobility behind in Ireland, forsaking her grieving homeland to aid war-ravaged men in England. Still, she never expected a cruel turn of fate to lock her into an unwanted betrothal with one of her English patients - much less one as broken and dangerous as Viscount Powers. Wrecked by his tragic past, Powers' opiate-addled sanity hangs precariously in the balance, leaving him poised to destroy anyone who dares to utter the names of the wife and child he still so deeply mourns. So when he is forced to marry Margaret in exchange for freedom, he is shocked by the desire to earn her trust, her body, and - most alarming of all - her heart... For more deliciously dark Victorian romance, try all the titles in the Mad Passions series: The Dark Lady, Lady In Red, A Lady Undone and The Dark Affair, and check out Maire's alter-ego Eva Devon for sexy and laugh-out-loud funny Regencies.
Pamela Horn uses first-hand accounts and reminiscences, as well as official records and newspaper reports, to extract the truth about the lives and status of men and women in domestic service from 1900 to 1939.
From the acclaimed cultural historian Philip F. Gura comes Truth's Ragged Edge, a comprehensive and original history of the American novel's first century. Grounded in Gura's extensive consideration of the diverse range of important early novels, not just those that remain widely read today, this book recovers many long-neglected but influential writers—such as the escaped slave Harriet Jacobs, the free black Philadelphian Frank J. Webb, and the irrepressible John Neal—to paint a complete and authoritative portrait of the era. Gura also gives us the key to understanding what sets the early novel apart, arguing that it is distinguished by its roots in "the fundamental religiosity of American life." Our nation's pioneering novelists, it turns out, wrote less in the service of art than of morality. This history begins with a series of firsts: the very first American novel, William Hill Brown's The Power of Sympathy, published in 1789; the first bestsellers, Susanna Rowson's Charlotte Temple and Hannah Webster Foster's The Coquette, novels that were, like Brown's, cautionary tales of seduction and betrayal; and the first native genre, religious tracts, which were parables intended to instruct the Christian reader. Gura shows that the novel did not leave behind its proselytizing purpose, even as it evolved. We see Catharine Maria Sedgwick in the 1820s conceiving of A New-England Tale as a critique of Puritanism's harsh strictures, as well as novelists pushing secular causes: George Lippard's The Quaker City, from 1844, was a dark warning about growing social inequality. In the next decade certain writers—Hawthorne and Melville most famously—began to depict interiority and doubt, and in doing so nurtured a broader cultural shift, from social concern to individualism, from faith in a distant god to faith in the self. Rich in subplots and detail, Gura's narrative includes enlightening discussions of the technologies that modernized publishing and allowed for the printing of novels on a mass scale, and of the lively cultural journals and literary salons of early nineteenth-century New York and Boston. A book for the reader of history no less than the reader of fiction, Truth's Ragged Edge—the title drawn from a phrase in Melville, about the ambiguity of truth—is an indispensable guide to the fascinating, unexpected origins of the American novel.
The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor… Lady Margaret Cassidy left a life of nobility behind in Ireland, forsaking her grieving homeland to aid war-ravaged men in England. Still, she never expected a cruel turn of fate to lock her into an unwanted betrothal with one of her English patients—much less one as broken and dangerous as Viscount Powers. Wrecked by his tragic past, Powers’ opiate-addled sanity hangs precariously in the balance, leaving him poised to destroy anyone who dares to utter the names of the wife and child he still so deeply mourns. So when he is forced to marry Margaret in exchange for freedom, he is shocked by the desire to earn her trust, her body, and—most alarming of all—her heart…