After a restless night, Ethan receives a note from his friend, Trevor Pell, minister at King’s Chapel. Upon his arrival at the church and surprised to find a group of other men also in attendance, Ethan learns that several graves of the recently-deceased have been desecrated, their heads and right hands being removed. Upon examining the grisly evidence, Ethan also discovers a mark made in the skin on the chest of each of the victims, and one other less-evident but disturbing characteristic, adding a personal note to the shocking acts. Despite knowing his reputation as a conjurer, the elders of the church ask Ethan to help them find the responsible party, and he agrees, even refusing to accept payment.
Unfortunately, the disturbing revelations do not end there, as Ethan discovers that ghosts seem to be popping up in homes all over Boston. Combined with the difficulties Ethan and his conjurer acquaintances have doing spells, he realizes that something very wrong has taken hold in the city.
Once again, Jackson serves up a marvelous blend of tactile history and shadowy magic, placing the reader on the front lines witnessing the tale unfold. The historical accuracy and flavor underpins the fantasy elements, making it seem as though the magic created and used by Ethan and his cohorts could, in fact, be real. The relationships develop and grow in this outing, earning the author extra points in one particular instance which shall not get spoiled here. A few secondary characters get a bit more page-time, which serves to widen Ethan’s support system and add depth to the story. The narrative flows smoothly, the suspense never flagging all the way to the very satisfying end.
As much as this reviewer has enjoyed the previous two books in the series, the author hits it out of the park with the brilliant A Plunder of Souls, for both its premise and its execution. This terrific series should appeal to readers of urban fantasy, traditional fantasy, and those historical fiction fans who do not mind a bit of the speculative thrown in. Waiting another year for book four will be much too long.
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (July 8, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765338181
- ISBN-13: 978-0765338181