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July 19 , 2008

Elisha Barber

(Book One of the Dark Apostle)


England in the fourteenth century: a land of poverty and opulence, prayer and plague…witchcraft and necromancy.
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Far From Botany Bay

At age 21, Mary Broom was sentenced to hang for the crime of stealing a cloak. When her sentence was commuted to transportation “upon the sea, beyond the seas,” she was sent to Australia. One of the first European women to set foot on the continent, she landed in what was to become a prison colony popularly known as “Botany Bay.” Mary endured two…

As a child, Elisha witnessed the burning of a witch outside of London, and saw her transformed into an angel at the moment of her death, though all around him denied this vision. He swore that the next time he might have the chance to bind an angel’s wounds, he would be ready. And so he became a barber surgeon, at the lowest ranks of the medical profession, following the only healer’s path available to a peasant’s son.

Elisha Barber is good at his work, but skill alone cannot protect him. In a single catastrophic day, Elisha’s attempt to deliver his brother’s child leaves his family ruined, and Elisha himself accused of murder. Then a haughty physician offers him a way out: come serve as a battle surgeon in an unjust war.

Between tending to the wounded soldiers and protecting them from the physicians’ experiments, Elisha works night and day. Even so, he soon discovers that he has an affinity for magic, drawn into the world of sorcery by Brigit, a beautiful young witch…who reminds him uncannily of the angel he saw burn.

In the crucible of combat, utterly at the mercy of his capricious superiors, Elisha must attempt to unravel conspiracies both magical and mundane, as well as come to terms with his own disturbing new abilities. But the only things more dangerous than the questions he’s asking are the answers he may reveal.

E. C. Ambrose writes with a razor’s ruthless precision, and draws new blood from the medieval world you thought you knew.
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