The Book of Shadows

The Book of Shadows Herculine is only six years old when she watches her mother die horribly and inexplicably A child alone in the nineteenth century French countryside she makes her way to the secluded convent where s

  • Title: The Book of Shadows
  • Author: James Reese
  • ISBN: 9780061031847
  • Page: 259
  • Format: Paperback
  • Herculine is only six years old when she watches her mother die horribly and inexplicably A child alone in the nineteenth century French countryside, she makes her way to the secluded convent, where she is taken in as a foundling orphan and raised by nuns who teach the children of the privileged to fear a wrathful God But shy, unworldly Herculine is not like the others iHerculine is only six years old when she watches her mother die horribly and inexplicably A child alone in the nineteenth century French countryside, she makes her way to the secluded convent, where she is taken in as a foundling orphan and raised by nuns who teach the children of the privileged to fear a wrathful God But shy, unworldly Herculine is not like the others in this cold, forebidding place And when she is led down a dark path by a rebellious fellow student, she soon finds herself convicted of crimes unimaginable.But death at the hands of the ignorant and falsely pious is not to be Herculine s lot Held captive in the convent library, she is visited by four unexpected saviors with timeless needs of their own the incubus priest Father Louis the tragic, damned beauty Madeleine the demonic Asmodei and Sebastiana d Azur, a witch By dawn, Herculine is free yet forever changed as she follows her liberators into a world of sensuous pleasures and great mysteries both wondrous and strange.Secreted away in Sebastiana s once grand manor high above the Breton sands, Herculine sets out to find out why she has been chosen and for what purpose Her quest ripe with erotic discovery, dark magic, heresy, and blood propels her headlong through the perils of the age, across borders between the living and the dead, and back through a time when hysteria and madness reigned, when noble heads were impaled and paraded through the streets of Paris For only when her mysterious mission is completed and the terrible, otherworldly roots of a gruesome Revolution are finally revealed can she understand who and what she truly is Until then, she must simply trustd learn.

    • Best Read [James Reese] ↠ The Book of Shadows || [Classics Book] PDF ✓
      259 James Reese
    • thumbnail Title: Best Read [James Reese] ↠ The Book of Shadows || [Classics Book] PDF ✓
      Posted by:James Reese
      Published :2019-06-15T04:43:44+00:00

    About “James Reese

    • James Reese

      James Reese was born on eastern Long Island He attended the University of Notre Dame and the State University of NY at Stony Brook, where he received an MA in Theatre As an undergraduate, he had a play staged off Broadway at the Actors Repertory Theatre While living in New York, New Orleans and Key West, Reese held various jobs in the non profit sector, working on behalf of the arts and the environment He has also lived and traveled extensively in France Presently, James Reese splits his time between Paris and Tampa, Florida, and is working on novels Additionally, he has just published a Shakespeare themed app called Shakespeare300 offering concise 300 word intros and synopses, as well as infographics, of all Shakespeare s plays More info can be found at shakespeare300

    900 thoughts on “The Book of Shadows

    • Please note: I read and reviewed this book in June 2011 from a copy I purchased for myself. I'm just adding some formatting.My response to negative reviews: I'd like to address the various negative reviews I've seen; many people have complained about the eroticism of this book. While there are indeed some sensual scenes, they are much milder than in many books I have read. I think the main problem that people have is with the bisexual aspect of it. If that will bother you, then this is obviously [...]


    • i try not to hate on too many books. i mean, if i'm going to devote a huge chunk of my time and brain to a book, i always try to find something worthwhile in it. but i hated this book. i tried so, so long to hold onto my fleeting hope that there was something worthwhile in its pages. i told my self (in vain) that it was at the least technically well-written.but lordy, lordy, how BORING it is. a nearly-500 page book made up of 20% story and 80% minutiae. ugh. for the life of it, this book couldn' [...]


    • The preface to this book should have read, "No homo." This book was meticulously researched and for that reason it got an extra star. Most of the time you find someone writing a historical novel set in the 1800s and they somehow know about things like chromosomes and the law of thermodynamics. I will name no names, you know who you are. My main complaints with the book were:A) Sex. Boring perverted sex that served no purpose. If there is a person out there who was getting hot and bothered by the [...]


    • You know those trainwreck movies that are bad, but so amusingly bad, you stick with them until the end? This book is like that - in terrible want of an editor, both for redundant and contradictory content and for length (nearly 500 pages) - it's just awful and yet I couldn't walk away. Some points won for an interesting revisioning of Paris before, during, and after the Revolution. Some points docked for overly gruesome accounts of witch trials, tortures, burnings, and beheadings. I'm surprising [...]


    • Wait, there's a sequel to this? gtfo.You know what's really sad? When you pick up a book, and it starts amazingly, and you're sucked in right away because the story is fascinating, and the writing is so lush - a little bit wordy, maybe, but still very pretty. And you're all gleeful that you've found a five-star book, after you've put off reading it for so long because it's 70,000 pages long with the world's tiniest font. When there's ALL THAT, and then you end up giving it TWO STARS.Ugh.The star [...]


    • Like Rice's Interview with the Vampire, this is sensual and sexual and interweaves a subject of the horror genre--in this case witches--with well-crafted historical fiction. Set in the France of around 1830, this is mostly the first person narrative of Herculine--the very name was a hint of her nature given the famous French hermaphrodite Herculine Barbin. She is a man, a woman--and a witch. I found this novel a page turner--the details are lush and vivid without being flowery or overdone, makin [...]


    • I respect anyone that works hard. And I have no doubt that good Mr. Reese worked very, very hard on this novel. However, he worked too hard. There is quite a difference in prose that is lush and opens up to the reader as if he or she comes through a thicket to find an verdant magical glade and the sort that becomes obsessed with itself and stumbles haphazardly over its own love of the thesaurus. James Reese lapses into the later of these two quite often. His love of eloquent language is admirabl [...]


    • It was well written yet sloppy. Boring yet fascinating. And at the end, bad despite having a few good parts. Calling Herculine's convent C___ was a bad choice he repeated often. On one page alone, he referred to the convent by C____ 3 times, when an adj or verb would have worked better. He does with other places and names but not all. It was just so awful the writing choices made here. I kept looking for intention and failing, I have no idea why he made these choices. I honestly can't remember t [...]


    • Finally finished this one! I can sum this book up in three words bore, snore, chore.The first hundred pages or so were pretty good but then it just derailed itself, turned into a travelogue, and droned on and on and on about not much of anything for hundreds and hundreds of pages.My advice is to read through the other reviews before diving into this book, it seems that most readers have not enjoyed this book anymore than I did.


    • This book… this book!!! Oh my goodness, what a train wreck this book was. I wanted to like it, I really did, but it was SUCH a pain to read. I literally had to force myself every single time. It wasn’t a bad book, mind you. The writing is very beautiful. Which makes it all the more sad because it was so very dreadfully long to read. You see, reading this book was akin to getting a history lesson shoved down your throat. Yes, dear mister author, we realize that you did a lot of research on th [...]


    • Mixed feeling about this one it had potential to be several good things. In the end, however, I feel that it pretty much missed the mark on all of them.In the "positive" column: Blasphemy! Witches! A priest-incubus! A bloody revenant! A hermaphrodite schoolgirl!In the "negative" column a slow-as-molasses plot that suffers from ADHD, and an inexplicable middle-of-the-road approach to the outrageous subject material.OK, our protagonist is intersex - but this is no "Middlesex." This is not a litera [...]


    • OMG Run away from this book. It is crap. CRAP! Half a star only because the first 100 pages are entertaining. This story could have been told in less than 300 pages. Almost all of narrative was useless and unnecessary. Hell making the lead character a hermaphrodite was completely unnecessary. Why? Maybe I will come back and add/delete stars. For now I am finding this comically bad. First person narrative is difficult to pull off (I assume this as I am not a writer). It must be even more difficul [...]


    • Well, I got through it. I finished it and sent it back to the library, where it can stay. I didn't like this book. I wanted to. I wanted to for the historical value, the cool witchcraftery, the gothic EVERYTHING. But I didn't. It got too weird, too graphic, too erotic, too bizarre, and it lost me.


    • Enjoyable, but not wholly satisfying. Left too many unanswered questions and plot holes that needed to be flushed out more. And the ending? Hello TitanicNO. I know this is supposed to be fantastical, but come onlet's add a little reality, huh?


    • It's an incredible story, the entire trilogy. This first instalment may be lengthy but it lays the foundation for what is a really lush, enthralling, and very meta narrative. There are very few Epics of consistent narrative out there that are as original as this. Every little bit of detail was careful not to be overlooked as they were brought together, woven into every chapter. Care was taken to ensure every sentence emulated what the author had designed and was not open to interpretation. It's [...]


    • The Book of ShadowsJames ReeseHarper Collins Publishers Inc.harpercollinsPB 468ISBN #0-06-621015-1Hard Cover Review by Christina FrancineHow many people were brutally murdered during the Great European Witch Hunt? The numbers are as varied as the opinions and rumors. One theory is from witch hunting propaganda based upon theories from systematic studies from witch trials and speculation. It claims over 50,000 executions. Of that roughly ¾ were women. The other study is based on actual court rec [...]


    • A mixed bunch this book. First of all; I have just read a lot of reviews tha say there was too much sex. On the contrary I think there wasn't actually that much at all. I have certainly read books with a lot more and with more detail. I love the historical aspect and look for books, a good deal of the time that satisfy that need! This book was recomended by one of my favourite authors; Diana Gabaldon so I couldn't wait to try it, and yes there were those parts that were well rooted in historical [...]


    • Pretentious rot-gut. A convent named C-----. WHY WON'T HE TELL US THE NAME OF THE DAMNED CONVENT?? And all those DESCRIPTONS.I have had this book with me for years and I pick it every once in a while, aiming to patiently read every word and finally finish the book. I usually spend a few hours, mutter some choicelet's call them course-words at the author and his publishers and fling the piece oflet's call it sheets far away from me.My latest attempt was yesterday. I got cross eyed when the little [...]


    • Quite an amazing read. The first section is quite engaging in it's descriptions. It manages to be quite in depth, without being bewildering. I did have trouble with some of the scenes described in the flashbacks. I'm not a great fan of grizzly torture, but in this case of course it's quite relevant. The book is the first book I've read about witchcraft, which does not take a defined political stance on religion, apart of course from more naive fairy tale styled books. There are members of a numb [...]


    • This book was laborious to get through. The premise sounded interesting to me; historical fiction with a supernatural twist. Too bad all of the characters were flat and boring! The plot was incredibly slow moving and very muddled. The novel begins with a young French girl in a school run by nuns. She was orphaned at a young age. From there it gets crazy. Is she really a he? Nope, a hermaphrodite. She winds up outcasted by the other students and is forced to try to flee for her life. She is “re [...]


    • The premise of the book seemed very promising and interesting; set in historical France it centers around Herculine at a convent. We get hints of how Herculine is "different" from the other girls, but nothing concrete until midway-ish through the book.Truthfully I could not finish this book as I found the writing a little too awkward (perhaps suitable for the narrative, first-person style, but suffocating) and too flowery. While there are erotic scenes in the book - I admit to flipping through - [...]


    • I liked this book just enough to grab the second one in the series. That being saidFor most of the book, I found myself thinking what the hell? At several points I was asked what I was reading. I have to tell you, I lied. Its an ok read, but youd be pretty embarrassed if someone said, "You know that book you were reading? I got it and oh my goodness, what were you thinking reading that?!" There was a lot of sex in this book. A lot. Not the normal kind either; The kind that makes you feel dirty j [...]


    • Too much description! This is the first thought as I read this book. I love the storyline and the originality put into Herculine but really? Half this book was pages upon pages of useless description. I could not keep a clear image in my mind of what was going on because of the wordiness.The back stories of each character were interesting, I especially liked the succubus and incubus' stories. Sabine's was rather dull and uneventful though it did provide a good baseline for how witches act/are or [...]


    • I really, really enjoyed this book. It was well researched, the language was poetic, and the characters were complex. The only thing that prevented me from giving it five stars was Reese's endless digressions that would just drone on for pages at a time.


    • I feel in love with these two books and Herculine. Reading it you are vaulted into this world of Herculine. From school, Sebastianas home, to hearing the bells on the ships in the harbor. I’ve reread these books over and over. I’ve read many books that can take a reader into their world but this one actually broke my heart that would never meet these characters. Since the day I started it I would tell any other readers to please read it. James attention to detail and dept descriptions are so [...]



    • Wonderful, lush book. Rich in detail and hard to put down. This book is dark and can get disturbing, but I loved it!


    • Ugh.This book had some interesting moments, the start, the tale of Madeleine was interesting even though it disrupted the narrative and the magic had potential but it never really felt like it came together.I skipped over the last 140 pages because I grew so bored of the travelogue and the characters talking over each other and being so introspective all the time. Too much description and not enough plot.


    • James Reese, The Book of Shadows (Morrow, 2002)James Reese's debut novel gives us nineteenth-century France's dark side in a grisly, but often interesting, way. Herculine sees the unexpected, ugly death of her mother just before she's consigned to a convent. There, being studious, she becomes the mother superior's pet. When the mother superior's rather diabolic niece comes to stay, she is put into Herculine's care and tutelage. The girl ends up getting them both into a world of trouble, the end [...]


    • An excellent plot and a very interesting idea, but it kinda leaves you hanging. The characters and the mystery of this book were some of the best that I have encountered. However, throughout the book, a lot of time was spent on describing events of the past and experiences of others, while leaving the main character doing exciting things such as reading other books, ect. While the book was very enjoyable, and I would even recommend it to my friends, I really wanted something more from it. Some g [...]


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *