iUniverse, 2003, 14.95, 207 pp.
In a cave, two men find the remnants of a long dead civilization that left behind three “holy” books. One of them interpreted the message as God sent his son to save the human race. The other person insisted that the Words meant that the second coming of the Son needed saviors to sacrifice to atone for sins. Several millenniums after their hallowed excavation, mankind has evolved into two predominant cultures, of which both share in common beliefs in the Words of God stated in the book of testaments. While the Mone share the sacred words amongst all members of their society, the Kathe insist only priests are capable of understanding the Words.
The Kathe seek those born with the white-mark so that the males can be converted into Piaculums and the females sacrificed during “The Week of Blood” as a means to ascend to heaven. The Kathe abduct Mone farmer Cearl because he has the white-mark. He offers little resistance hoping to keep his son protected from the grotesque alteration.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner
Set in the distant future, the story takes place on a desert landscape where a group of Christians called the Mone and a blood worshiping cult known as the Kathe are ensnared in religious tension. The Kathe believe that salvation can only be achieved by drinking blood from men born with a rare skin condition known as the white-mark. The novel follows the life of Cearl, a man with the white-mark born to a group of poor Mone farmers. Cearl has a good life with a wife and two children he deeply loves, but he finds himself consumed by memories of being tortured by the Kathe as a child, as well as an overwhelming feeling that his god wants something from him. When a group of Kathe come to Cearl's village looking for human sacrifices, Cearl comes face to face with his childhood memories and makes choices that could destroy his life.
This report prepared by Richard Gray