This volume is not strictly a sequel to _The Warhound and the World's Pain_, since it takes place 150 years later. The hero is not Ulrich von Bek but his descendent, Manfred. The world, and the von Beks, have changed much in this interval- or have they? Instead of holy war tearing Europe apart, it is now the Terror and the spirit of Regicide that threatens to destroy it. Indeed, Manfred von Bek is a man of this new world. He has rejected Magic and the Mysteries (though he was once initiated into the Illuminati.) His Gods are now Revolution, The Rights of Man, and Science. Or rather they were, until his dreams of an enlightened utopia died in the blood filled gutters of revolutionary Paris. Now, he is now simply a wandering cynic out to secure his own fortune by any means necessary.
At least he was all this before a chance encounter with the Dutchess of Crete. This fascinating creature becomes an obsession with him. Indeed, he begins to doubt his own sanity in his relentless search for her. While he, himself, represents democracy, reason, and cynicism, the elusive countess is the symbol of royalty, magic, and idealism. Indeed she seems to be the mirror of everything he is not, or has renounced. It is almost like this mysterious, androgenous creature is his own female soul- his anima....
In his heated pursuit across Europe, the Ritter von Bek finds himself drawn to Mirenberg, which is paradoxically both the most magical and the most enlightened city in all of Europe. It is also the meeting place for the greatest gathering of alchemists that the world has ever seen. It is here that von Bek tries to cool his obsession for the countess, while filling his own pockets. It almost works, until one night he is abducted and taken to the catacombs deep beneath the city. It is here that he learns that the old tales concerning the Grail, and the Devil, are not foolishness after all. Moreover, he is about to find that the doors to the Mittlemarch are once again open to one of his ancient blood....
- Publisher: Ace Books (1 November 1987)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441106293
- ISBN-13: 978-0441106295
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 635 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item