Format Hardcover
Publication Date 11/16/15
ISBN 9781605989013
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.5 in / 400

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Bohemian Gospel

A Novel

Dana Chamblee Carpenter

Set against the historical reign of the Golden and Iron King, Bohemian Gospel is the remarkable tale of a bold and unusual girl on a quest to uncover her past and define her destiny.

Thirteenth-century Bohemia is a dangerous place for a girl, especially one as odd as Mouse, born with unnatural senses and an uncanny intellect. Some call her a witch. Others call her an angel. Even Mouse doesn’t know who—or what—she is. But she means to find out. When young King Ottakar shows up at the Abbey wounded by a traitor's arrow, Mouse breaks church law to save him and then agrees to accompany him back to Prague as his personal healer. Caught in the undertow of court politics at the castle, Ottakar and Mouse find themselves drawn to each other as they work to uncover the threat against him and to unravel the mystery of her past. But when Mouse's unusual gifts give rise to a violence and strength that surprise everyone—especially herself—she is forced to ask herself: Will she be prepared for the future that awaits her? A heart-thumping, highly original tale in the vein of Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, Bohemian Gospel heralds the arrival of a fresh new voice for historical fiction.

Dana Chamblee Carpenter is the award-winning author of short fiction that has appeared in The Arkansas Review, Jersey Devil Press, and Maypop. Her debut novel, Bohemian Gospel, won Killer Nashville’s 2014 Claymore Award.  She teaches creative writing and American Literature at a private university in Nashville, TN, where she lives with her husband and two children.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“A deliciously creepy debut. Carpenter’s vivid imagination creates a well-rounded, sympathetic heroine and an intricate world full of terrifying details. The volatility of the evil forces threatening Mouse’s world makes for an unpredictable journey.” Publishers Weekly
“Part history, part horror, part love story, part Christian mythology. Fresh and surprising. There will be some comparisons to Kostova's The Historian, and like that novel, this one does a good job of interweaving history with mythology and the supernatural, offering a new take on somewhat familiar themes. Brings the Dark Ages to strange and bewitching life.” Kirkus Reviews
“Carpenter expertly combines elements of gothic fantasy with historical details of 13th-century Bohemia. The combination creates an atmosphere of mysticism and tension. With a strong and nuanced central character and a rich sense of mystery, Bohemian Gospel is breathtaking.” Shelf Awareness (starred review)
“A grand, thought-provoking adventure in sorrow, joy and magic. One of the most intriguing novels you'll read this year. An unforgettable debut with an enchanting, compelling lead.” J. T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of What Lies Behind
“Like a rushing river, Bohemian Gospel flows bright, dappled with a patina of legend, and has a current that runs deep and wonderfully dark. The reader will be swept along in this bold debut.” Mark Richard, author of The Ice at the Bottom of the World
“The most badass heroine I’ve encountered in a long time. One part historical thriller, one part adventure fantasy, and all parts girl power.” Nina Sankovitch, author of 'Tolstoy and the Purple Chair'
“Carpenter deftly plays with readers’ expectations throughout the novel. The book’s opening gives every indication that this will be a Cinderella story: the tale of a young, handsome king who rescues a nameless orphan and who is in turn rescued by her. But in Bohemian Gospel, this scenario is only the beginning of a long, complicated relationship. Carpenter’s debut runs readers through the gamut of emotions, hoping against hope for a happy ending in a time and place where endings tend to be anything but happy.” Chapter 16
“In those parts of the tale in which Mouse must counter threats, the novel is a compulsive read, full of historical and supernatural (yet historically-founded) detail.” Historical Novel Society
“The strength of Carpenter’s promising debut is its unusual Central European medieval setting and protagonist. Those who enjoy historical fiction with a paranormal twist such as Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian may find this book of interest.” Library Journal
Bohemian Gospel is a fast-moving, seductive read. A fascinating mix of dark fantasy and rich historical detail, swirling around Mouse, a fiercely independent, brave young woman who struggles with a gift that is both a blessing and a curse.” Linda Lafferty, author of The Bloodletter’s Daughter
Bohemian Gospel isn't afraid to leave readers with unanswered questions, though, in the best possible way. Hot dang, that is how you write a freaking epilogue. I refuse to disclose any spoilers, but trust me—you won't see the ending coming. I can only sit tight and wait for a sequel.” Ellen Findley Odyssey
“One of the best novels I've read in years. Wonderful writing, great characters, a fantastic story—everything a reader of historical fiction could want.” Philip Freeman, author of Saint Brigid's Bones
“A thoroughly enjoyable read — gripping and exciting with a wonderful and intriguing central character in the enigmatic Mouse and a sting-in-the-tail ending that is a genuine surprise. We will be hearing much more from Dana Chamblee Carpenter in the future.” Diana Bretherick, author of City of Devils
“This entrancing and suspenseful story pulls you in as if you were reading a Grimm's fairy tale but with a strong, complex yet vulnerable woman at its core. A page-turner of eerie shivers and supernatural questions.” Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown
“A riveting, spell-binding tale that brings 13th century Europe vividly to life.” S.D. Sykes, author of Plague Land