Baron Frankenstein fashioned just one creature from the remnants of the dead,
but the Governments who have hijacked his discoveries see the advantage of
resurrection on an industrial scale. What better way to fight their
never-ending wars than with armies of obedient undead soldiers, recycled from
earlier battles? And how better to silence their own citizens who protest at
ceaseless conflict and plundered graveyards?
Set in the 1830s,
Frankenstein’s Legions details an alternative history in which Frankensteinian
science is a reality, revived after patchy prohibition by a second and even
more fanatical French Revolution. The republican regime, inspired by zeal and
desperation, has swept over Europe, employing inexhaustible swarms of
zombie-like (or Lazaroid) troops. The remaining independent nations, including
England, are obliged to shed their scruples and likewise raise Lazaroid
Across this crazed and Gothic history stride Julius Frankenstein,
soldier nephew of the notorious scientist; Charles Babbage inventor of the
proto-computer Difference Engine; and the Honourable Augusta Ada, Countess of
Lovelace, genius daughter of Lord Byron. Pulling their strings – they believe
– are the puppetmasters Talleyrand, French statesman par excellence and now a
renegade in English employ; and Sir Percy Blakeney, sometime Scarlet Pimpernel
and current head of the British Secret Service.
Meanwhile, the French
have been unwise enough to revive their recently deceased Emperor. The
intention was simply to pick the brain of history’s foremost military mind.
However, the risen Emperor Napoleon is developing fresh ambitions of his own…
Admiral Slovo was a man of his time, but of more than one dimension..In his
sixteenth century, a pirate might be followed by the corpse of his victim,
walking across the ocean, until putrescence claimed it. Or an interview with
the Pope might be mirrored, exactly, by one with the Devil. Reality shifts
could cause a King to see his capital city shimmer into another Realm
Through such scenes of macabre hallucination, mayhem and murder, Slovo is a
man alone, set apart by his stoic beliefs from the rigours of human fears and
passions. As such, he was a valuable find for the Vehme, a clandestine,
subversive society that ensnared its members from an early age, securing
loyalties by the expedient methods of blackmail, bribery and barbarism.
But Slovo is more than a Vehmist puppet, and whether as a brigand on the high
seas, or emissary to the Borgias, or as the Pope’s Machiavellian Mr Fix-it, he
plots a course that suits his own ends as much as those of his paymasters. He
knows that, in the words of his mentor Marcus Aurelius, "in a brief while you
will be ashes of bare bones; a name, or perhaps not even a name". And there
are few things that cannot be solved by a stiletto in the eye.