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The age of the Crusades is at an end. While a great army of Islam sweeps across the so-called Holy Lands for a final reckoning at the city of Acre, another more profound, secret battle is being fought between humans, gods and spirits. They marshal their legions to help or hinder, according to their own motives, masters and enemies. As storm-clouds gather, across the worlds all eyes turn towards the players in this dark and occult conflict:
The rag-tag brotherhood of damaged men: a disgraced Templar knight, a haunted saracen, a mad hermit and a Jewish mystic.
The sorcerer-knights known as Volkhy and their regent the Black Pope.
The witch-queen Elath Arba who dwells upon Mount Hermon.
The solitary creature interred in the Judean desert who, after aeons of silence, begins to stir.
The sword of many names: the Grey Fire, Valluttaia, Mgepogog, the Blade of the Abyss, Klinok Vampira, Anapea Deoresa. Shalat, the Umbral Glaive.
All will come together for a terrible reckoning but, at the very end of things, only one of them will fully understand the extent of the powers at work, and the nature of his true master.
Shalat is the unholy offspring of Mörk Borg, Knightfall, Tales from a Thousand and One Nights, and the Ars Goetia. A pitch-black epic medieval occult fantasy; a genre-defying descent into blood, war and magick.
Shalat is extraordinarily well-written and plotted; a compulsively readable page-turner. Primarily a work of fiction – an entertainment – it yet contains many layers. The novel weaves a new mythos, drawing on traditions of Kabbalah and Islamic occultism, Goetia, Luciferianism and Dark Gnosticism. Full of scholarship and visionary insights, it is also an initiatory journey. For those who wish to seek a deeper meaning to the narrative, each of the 78 chapters is assigned a corresponding tarot card.
Shalat deals with themes of mastery and servitude; personal sacrifice; the desire for freedom and control through power; the generational legacy of pacts; the gnostic impulse; the web of fate; the tides of creation and destruction, and the exchange of influences between the worlds.
An incomparable mix of highbrow and lowbrow, sacred and profane, esoteric and exoteric, Shalat is epic blackened medieval occult fiction at its very best.