Scholar of Decay
Author: Tanya Huff
A novel following a Borcan nobleman and secret mage trying to find a curse for his petrified wife's curse. His dandy brother follows him. Both become quickly caught up in the wererat's intrigue.
Scholar of Decay is probably my favorite Ravenloft book even if I recognize that I, Strahd, King of the Dead, and Lord of the Necropolis are better and more relevant (Dance of the Dead is my second favorite).
Richemulot's detail here is good because it basically becomes a sort of twisted Venice instead of a generically abandoned city. The intrigues and flavors here are well handled with the flavor of the domain being that it's an endless party so long as you don't tick off the nobility of wererats or end up crossing the many weirdos who can get you killed and then dumped into the canals.
Scholar of Decay treats magic as a matter of scholars as well with the feeling of wizardry being traditional D&D but somehow more Hermetic in feel and thus being more appropriate for the Land of Mists. The insanity of the protagonistís quest and his heroism unrewarded for it is all very well done.
Finally, weirdly enough, the book also succeeds in making the wererats sexy. Their role as information brokers is well played in the context but the best part is well...the Core can always use some more fine honeys as Darklords.
5 out of 5 blood drops
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