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These Kind of Knaves

If there’s one thing Henry Báthory wants, it’s to be extraordinary. And when he acquires a book on magic, summoning a demon to give him magical powers seems to be the best way to leave behind a legacy.

All he has to do is complete one task.

Books with skull; photo by Michelle ElmerAny means necessary.

I’ve promised my mother I’d finish over one book because a lot of my ideas end up on the scrap heap or converge into other, shinier ideas. Well, here’s another one for you to boast about.

Main Theme Song: Reincarnate by Motionless In White

Closing Credits: Broken Crown by Mumford & Sons

I began this story with Henry, years ago and under a different name. I knew who he was and what he wanted. I asked myself, How far would Henry go to get power? I was always rather partial to the descent of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader, I saw Revenge of the Sith in the cinema with my father when I was a kid and The evolution of Anakin’s Fall to the Dark Side fascinated me because I see life as a balance, there must always be something for the heroes to battle, the light always casts a shadow. The mirror always shows you a reflection. I enjoy these films, but I find these stories to be cliché now. There’s something about watching the darker sides of human nature which is disturbingly bewitching just as much as we enjoy seeing the brave and handsome hero clad in white defeating the twisted and ugly villain dressed in black to win himself a bride and her land he’s just freed.

These kind of knaves I know, which in this plainness

Harbour more craft and more corrupter ends

Than twenty silly-ducking observants

That stretch their duties nicely.

I’ve seen horror films like Ouija and Winchester and Crimson Peak, which deal with vengeful ghosts and well-meaning humans, but I believe humans are the real monsters in this world. Humans create the situation and blame the occult for the results, maybe they even become the occult. Considering the philosophical notion that we won’t know what’s on the other side of the veil until we die, we won’t know if the occult actually exists until such a time we can verify its existence with something more substantial than human testimony after near-death experiences. I hope I brought that to life in this book, I aim at creating fantasy and horror stories which are as close to reality as I can.

There’s not a lot else to say beyond the title of the book is taken from William Shakespeare’s play King Lear. The Duke of Cornwall (a rather mean bastard and son-in-law to King Lear) says that men like the Earl of Kent (an outspoken nobleman loyal to King Lear) are often praised for their blunt honesty, they twist the truth to tell you what you want to hear.