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Finalist, Lambda Literary Award 2009 (LGBT Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror)
For hundreds of years, men have sought their hidden futures in the legendary images of the tarot—but what secrets of the past are harbored by the priestess, the magician, the hanged man…and the fool? The author of the explosive The Patron Saint of Plagues returns with a richly textured mystical mystery exploring the dark heart of one of our oldest traditions.
Years ago, fallen scholar Jeremiah Rosemont left the bitter rivalries of academia behind and now lives a simple nomadic existence in South America, far from the arguments that once defined his life. But he can’t outrun his past…or the dangerous truth that lurks beneath his abandoned studies. Following an enigmatic summons to Rome, Rosemont finds himself at the center of a mystery that dates back to the fall of Troy, the pursuit of a mystical treasure many are willing to sacrifice fortunes and lives for: the earliest known tarot deck.
As Rosemont delves deeper and deeper into the tarot’s unsettling secret origins, his own fate is inexorably intertwined with that of the Boy King, a homeless man with an unspeakable gift…and a mysterious past of his own. For these two men—and the demons, dupes, and power seekers drawn to them—the cards will reveal everything, even the shattering, unseen truths of human life itself.…
"Brilliantly drawn characters draw you into this magical mystery tour-de-force, and take you on a magic carpet ride into the strange and wondrous cult of the Tarot. Barth Anderson's grasp of the darkness and light of human nature will astound and astonish."—Ann Benson, author of The Plague Tales
“Compelling… a fevered dream universe.”—Publishers Weekly