The new Royal Occultist novel, The Infernal Express, has been out for about two weeks now, and I thought I’d say a bit more about it, in case anyone reading this is on the fence about picking up a copy.
I’ve written about the idea behind the book already. I’ve also written about why I think Dracula is such an enduring villain. But I haven’t written much about the story itself, and the characters involved.
As to the latter, there’s the Royal Occultist, obviously. Charles St. Cyprian and his assistant, Ebe Gallowglass, have had numerous adventures over the years, and encountered more than one literary figure, including Sherlock Holmes, Randolph Carter and a bevy of famous (or infamous) occult detectives. In The Infernal Express, they encounter Dracula and his servants, the Order of the Dragon, but also a number of other literary vampires, including Lord Ruthven and the diabolical Mrs. Amworth.
They also encounter the mysterious Miss Harker, a pale young woman of sinister parentage. Harker is a holdover from an earlier version of the story and acts as a bridge between that novel and The Infernal Express. Harker, and her allies in the Westenra Fund, also provide both books with their respective (and requisite) links to Bram Stoker’s original novel. Too, I wanted to play with the concept of the dhampir, as well as create a character who had a personal stake in keeping Dracula dead and buried. Harker fit the bill on both counts.
Besides Harker, the book also introduces gentleman necromancer and automobile enthusiast, Andre du Nord. I’ve been wanting to develop the world of the Royal Occultist a bit more, and since we’ve seen who the Americans turn to for occult problems, I figured it was time to introduce St. Cyprian’s French counterpart. I’m hoping that I can bring both du Nord and Harker back at some point, or even write a proper spin-off adventure or two for one or both of them…but more on that later, I think.
The Infernal Express is now available in electronic format. A print edition will be out in the next few days, if you prefer your books to take up space on something other than a hard drive. Reviews are always welcome, and if you’re interested in keeping up-to-date on the world of the Royal Occultist please be sure to ‘Like’ the Facebook page and set your bookmarks for http://royaloccultist.wordpress.com/.