Carnival of Fear: Ravenloft

J. Robert King, Author TSR $4.95 (332p) ISBN 978-1-56076-628-5
King ( Heart of Midnight ) offers a simple but effective message about the evils of scapegoating in his fantasy-horror tale of a centuries-old grand carnival in l'Morai. Although citizens of l'Morai relish the spectacle provided by the Puppetmaster who runs the show, they despise his ``freaks,'' such as Marie the blind juggler, Hermos the man-giant and Morcastle the magician. The apparent murder of a carnival dwarf is pronounced an accidental death by a gendarme. Shortly thereafter, performing Siamese twins disappear. Marie, Hermos and Morcastle investigate; they locate the twins' graves but are caught outside the carnival--a capital offense for freaks. Based on their evidence, Dominick, the local butcher, is charged with the murders, but locals are determined ``to protect citizens first and freaks second.'' As the hearing progresses, Marie, Hermos and Morcastle begin to suspect that they are wrong about Dominick and that the real killer, who is more devious than they realized, is still on the loose. King's careful progress from a basic murder to a much larger mystery, which ultimately encompasses the entire carnival, gives the book the momentum needed to keep the pages turning. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/28/1993
Release date: 07/01/1993
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