THE MARK OF SHADOW GROVE by Ross Smeltzer @RossTellsTales @FantasyWorksPub

The Mark of the Shadow GroveThe Mark of the Shadow Grove by Ross Smeltzer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Mark Of The Shadow is a fantasy/horror set over a 100 year time period on the East coast of America. The book is split into three short stories all interlinked with women of the Schermerhorn family.

The first story is The Witch of Kinderhook. 1821 New York state, Ebenezer Carver and his assistant, Tom, come in search of a Witch, a women of power who knows the secrets to resurrect life. Carver seeks the ultimate height of immortality and believes this women holds the key.

The second story is The Lord of All High and Hidden Places. 1884 Massachusetts. Alice Schermerhorn meets Professor Hildersham at a lecture about ancient Gods. Alice becomes his research assistant in his pursuit of The Horned God. He believes this God will give his wife the fertility he desperately seeks so he may have a family.

The third book is The Rule Of Old Blood. 1923 New York. James Scordato is a reporter, he is following up the disappearance of a book collector and prominent businessman. James is also haunted by recurring dreams and seeks out a psychoanalyst, who may help him decipher their meaning. His investigative inquires lead him to the intriguing Virginia Schiaparelli, an artist with a dramatic painting of Gaia.

There is a link between these tales, one of madness and gruesome deaths connected with women from the Schermerhorn line. The author writes these tales with long flowing descriptive clever prose and uses a technique where the narrators of each piece speak to the reader on occasions acknowledging the reader and inviting them into the story. The short stories highlight the author’s ability to draw a scene with his distinct descriptive prose, as a longer piece I erred towards reader fatigue, needing a break in the flowery narrative, perhaps with different writing styles to match the different characters?

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

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