Two men with a bond forged by magic and destroyed by violence must build a new alliance to stop a Holy Crusade waged on a lie.
When Trinidad was twelve, his Wiccan parents blew themselves up in an ecoterr attack that killed several Christians. Orphaned and disillusioned, he fled his home—and his best friend Castile—to soldier for the powerful Christian church inside the walled city of Boulder, Colorado. Fostered by a loving priest and trained by a godless warrior, Trinidad learned the brutal art of balancing faith and war. He is the perfect archwarden, disciplined and devout. But when his Bishop turns up with a silver scar she claims is proof of angelic orders to crusade, Trinidad alone knows her story is a lie. The silver is from a mystical, ancient graveyard called the Barren—a place of healing reached only by Wiccan magic, a place that could turn Christianity on its head. Accusing her outright is treason and gaining proof means committing heresy, both of which is a death sentence for an archwarden. Instead, torn between the lure of powerful magic, his love for Castile, and his vows to defend the Church, Trinidad secretly conspires with a violent tribe of ancestor-worshipers and a Wiccan coven to stop the crusade. But as everyone he trusts is mired in betrayal and bent on vengeance, he soon realizes no amount of righteousness can stop the slaughter of thousands.
Praise for The Silver Scar
Paul Weimer for Skiffy and Fanty
The Silver Scar distills what is good and excellent about Dornbusch’s writing into a single volume, filling the reader with a vision of a post-apocalyptic world, and a strong central character for the reader to identify with and follow as he is put through the wringer, trying to do right and trying to do right by those he cares about. I think it’s the best novel she has written yet, and I look forward to where her imagination takes her next.
Dornbusch (the Seven Eyes series) packs a series’ worth of fanaticism and revenge into this intense novel set in a neo-medieval, postapocalyptic Colorado. Resource scarcity has plunged the 22nd century into religious tribalism. Young Trinidad survived his Wiccan parents’ suicide bombing and has grown into an honor-bound Christian archwarden in the adequately stable Boulder Parish. Zealous Bishop Marius arrives with a silver scar she claims an angel gave her, but Trinidad knows the scar came from a graveyard with powerful healing abilities that only he and his childhood friend Castile can reach through Wiccan dream magic. Castile, now an ecoterrorist, bribes the ancestor-worshipping, bellicose Indigos to kidnap Trinidad, assuming he has been helping the bishop. The reunited duo gingerly regain their youthful trust and dodge slavers to return and confront the bishop, but Trinidad’s refusal to openly oppose the church puts Castile in peril. As Wiccans, Indigos, and Christians marshal troops, Trinidad makes one desperate final attempt to forestall war. The confounding number of double agents among the secondary characters mars Dornbusch’s otherwise careful laying-out of the crowded political situation. A serious approach to faith and genuine grappling over personal history and responsibility add significant depth to the brisk action of this spellbinding saga. (Oct.)