cover image The Enterprise of Death

The Enterprise of Death

Jesse Bullington, Orbit, $14.99 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-0-316-08734-6

A Moorish slave cast out of her Spanish home by war, Awa is captured by a necromancer who forces her to learn his skills. When she eventually flees, she discovers the necromancer placed a curse on her that will destroy her soul in 10 years' time—unless she can find his book of secrets, which could be hidden anywhere in the world. During her quest, Awa befriends Manuel, a painter-turned-mercenary; Monique, a lesbian gunsmith-turned-madam; and others both dead and undead. Bullington (The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart) bounces almost giddily between gruesome and tongue-in-cheek, from more horrific aspects of raising the dead to the odd problems faced by a necromancer with a conscience. Spiritual terror, Awa's star-crossed loves, and Manuel's guilt over becoming a mercenary to pay for art supplies are all grist for a relentless dark humor blended with occasional tragedy. (Apr.)