Praise for The Vessel of Ra
“I can’t wait for more about the Klaereon family. Schaff-Stump’s wonderful characters have high adventure in atmospheric settings with a twisty plot. If this book were a drink, it would be the best kind of hot chocolate. However, be wary of the whipped cream on top, as there is a chance it might contain a hint of arsenic. The dose would never be lethal, merely addictive.–Caroline Stevermer, author of The Enchanted Chocolate Pot and A College of Magics
“There’s a lot going on in this book. Secrets and betrayals and love and death and more betrayals and several very power-hungry characters willing to do whatever it takes to increase their magic. There’s also courage and decency and hope. Every character comes with their own background and conflicts and stories. It makes for a very good and complex story.”–Jim C. Hines, author of The Goblin Series, The Princess Series, The Libriomancer Series, and Terminal Alliance.
“All of the characters absolutely shine and are unique. Schaff-Stump does an excellent job.”–Terri LeBlanc, Second Run Reviews
“‘The Vessel of Ra'” by Catherine Schaff-Stump is a fresh, complex and incredibly nuanced novel of magic and history. The sub-genre of fantastic historical fiction is relatively new to contemporary readers. I suspect the author will make a name for herself as one of the pioneers of the form.–Chris Bauer
“In some ways the darkness and magic in The Vessel of Ra reminded me of early Gothic novels, with demons and devils that were truly terrifying.”–Pat Esden, author of The Dark Heart Series
While traveling in Venice in 1837, Lucy Klaereon, in order to save her family’s honor and her immortal soul, decides to commit suicide by drowning herself in the Grand Canal. Unfortunately for Lucy, she is rescued. Her rescuers believe they can separate her from the demon Ra, whom she is destined to fight because of an ancient family pact.
What Lucy does not know is that her rescuers have their own agenda. Paolo Borgia, head of a deposed magical family, wants to use Ra for his own purposes. Lucy is given an alternative, to separate herself from her demon and family, which she gladly welcomes. When she finds out the truth about Ra, Lucy’s purpose changes from not only freedom, but to righting an ancient wrong.
Octavia, Lucy’s older sister, is in pursuit. She has been trained since birth to kill Lucy when Lucy loses her battle with Ra.. At the ritual to free Ra, the two sisters clash with surprising results. Octavia is possessed by Ra and Lucy is determined to free her sister and keep Ra from reshaping the world in his image.
There is one small problem. Lucy has been murdered. However, she’s not about to let a small detail like that keep her from correcting her mistakes. Lucy will save Octavia, even if it kills her again.
The Vessel of Ra
SFN Podcast EpiXode 2.20: Character Archetypes: The Young Innocent Idealist
Review by Terri LeBlanc
Goodreads (So many links from this page. Thanks to all the early reviewers!)
Stories for Nerds
My Favorite Bit at Mary Robinette Kowal’s Website
Eating Authors with Catherine Schaff-Stump
Recent Reads: Dawson, Chu,and Schaff-Stump
O’Russell Reads the first scene of The Vessel of Ra