As the witch-pyres of the Spanish Inquisition blanket Renaissance Europe in a moral haze, a young African slave finds herself the unwilling apprentice of an ancient necromancer. Unfortunately, quitting his company proves even more hazardous than remaining his pupil when she is afflicted with a terrible curse.
Yet salvation may lie in a mysterious tome her tutor has hidden somewhere on the war-torn continent. She sets out on a seemingly impossible journey to find the book, never suspecting her fate is tied to three strangers: the artist Niklaus Manuel Deutsch, the alchemist Dr. Paracelsus, and a gun-slinging Dutch mercenary. As Manuel paints her macabre story on canvas, plank, and church wall, the apprentice becomes increasingly aware of the great dangers that surround her. She realises she must revisit the fell necromancy of her childhood—or death will be the least of her concerns.
“This is a rollicking story full of martial adventure, historical colour, and legions of the undead. Jesse Bullington strikes the perfect balance between breathtaking action, the heartbreak of Awa's relationships, the oddness of witchcraft, and a fair helping of soul-searching on the part of some of the characters. The result is sometimes as gory as a triple-tiered eyeball cake at a zombie wedding, but it's always thoroughly entertaining.” —Warpcore SF
Praise for Jesse Bullington’s The Enterprise of Death:
“Bullington’s writing drew me in and had me to the last page… “Dark, gritty and likely to put you off your lunch. A pleasure to read.” —Bookonaut
“So good but just so mind-blowing at the same time … a story that the reader will love … a masterful building of characters and a whole host of the weird and wonderful … I loved this book and when you add to it that this is only the authors second title it’s probably going to surprise a few readers that he’s not been around for years. Definitely an author to watch.” —Falacata Times
“The Enterprise of Death ends with a four-page bibliography of the author's research, but you don't need to know all this to admire the result. It's macabre, gruesome, foul-mouthed and much more complex than the usual vampire-and-zombie routine. The book is also a great counter to any notion that it's easy to tell the difference between scientific fact and occult fantasy.” —The Wall Street Journal
“ … (an) outrageously entertaining and impressively original second novel, an exuberant mashup of horror, epic fantasy, and alternate history … on the strength of this remarkable novel and its equally distinctive predecessor, The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart, Bullington must be counted as one of the most original and exciting new talents to appear in years.” —Realms of Fantasy
“Jesse Bullington's rollicking second novel, The Enterprise of Death, mines the territory of historical fantasy, and the result is highly impressive. Breathtakingly grand in scope and achingly nuanced in detail …” —Strange Horizons
Length: 464 pp
World rights, Orbit
French rights, Bibliotheque Interdite
For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.
Photocredit: Molly Tanzer
Jesse Bullington was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania. He received his Magna Cum Laude Bachelor degree in both History and English Literature from Florida State University.
Jesse Bullington’s website can be found at jessebullington.com.