Jesse Bullington's The Enterprise of Death was published in March 2011.
Click here to visit Jesse Bullington's official website.
Here's a description of The Enterprise of Death:
As the witch-pyres of the Spanish Inquisition blanket Renaissance Europe in a moral haze, a young African slave finds herself the unwilling apprentice of an ancient necromancer. Unfortunately, quitting his company proves even more hazardous than remaining his pupil when she is afflicted with a terrible curse. Yet salvation may lie in a mysterious tome her tutor has hidden somewhere on the war-torn continent.
She sets out on a seemingly impossible journey to find the book, never suspecting her fate is tied to three strangers: the artist Niklaus Manuel Deutsch, the alchemist Dr. Paracelsus, and a gun-slinging Dutch mercenary. As Manuel paints her macabre story on canvas, plank, and church wall, the apprentice becomes increasingly aware of the great dangers that surround her. She realises she must revisit the fell necromancy of her childhood – or death will be the least of her concerns.
And here's a short review of this book:
A SHORT REVIEW OF JESSE BULLINGTON'S THE ENTERPRISE OF DEATH
Jesse Bullington's The Enterprise of Death is a wickedly disturbing and utterly compelling fantasy book. It isn't a book for everybody, but it's a dream come true for fans of dark and disturbing fantasy books. It's possible that average fantasy readers will be quite shocked by the contents of this book, because there are probably several readers who aren't used to this kind of adult fantasy.
The Enterprise of Death is a gruesome and macabre story of a Moorish woman, Awa. She becomes an unwilling apprentice to an evil and sadistic necromancer, who tortures and teaches her in several different ways. It's also a story about a man called Manuel (Niklaus Manuel Deutsch), who's an artist and a mercenary. He accepts a mission to take a witch to the Inquisition. Awa and Manuel are interesting main characters and the author spends enough time to develop them (the character development was good).
This book is definitely not for those faint of heart or easily shocked. It contains graphic sex, cannibalism, necromancy, pitch black humour and colourful dialog. The sex scenes may be too graphic and bold for several readers, because they feature lesbian sex and even necrophilia.
In my opinion the narrative of this book alternates fluently between past and present events. It was interesting how the story began to unfold and I found out what happened to Awa and other characters.
One of the best things about this book is that it's a standalone book, so there won't be any sequels. I have nothing against long fantasy series, because I love them, but every once in a while it's nice to read this kind of standalone books.
You'll either love The Enterprise of Death or you'll hate it. If you like disturbing books, you'll probably love this book very much, because Jesse Bullington combines history, dark fantasy and horror in an imaginative way. If you don't like this kind of fantasy and prefer to read mainstream fantasy, you'd better read something else, because you're not ready to read this book yet.
Highly recommended to fans of dark and disturbing fantasy books!