Jacqueline is a young Creole slave in antebellum New Orleans. An unusual stranger who has haunted her dreams since childhood comes to stay as a guest in her master’s house. Soon after his arrival, members of the household die mysteriously, and Jacqueline is suspected of murder. Despite her fear of the stranger, Jacqueline befriends him and he helps her escape. While running from the slave catchers, they meet conjurers, a loup-garou, and a traveling circus of supernatural freaks. She relies on ancestral magic to guide her and finds strength to conquer her fears on her journey.
First off, this book is a wonderful display of Lane's skills. Set in antebellum New Orleans, Lane spins a horrific dark fantasy about a young slave named Jacqueline. Born into slavery Jacqueline has to deal with the terrible daily struggles of being owned which were some of the more horrifying parts of this story. Lane did a wonderful job bringing that section of history alive by painting wondrous imagery on the page and backing it all up with well-crafted dialogue.
It's also obvious that Lane did her homework on Vodun and it was fun to explore that kind of magic and belief in this story. I am familiar just enough with the subject that it was a very fun read. Her love of the horror genre shines in this novel, and you can tell that she poured that love onto the page.
My only gripe is that there was so much going on this book could have been twice as long. There were so many fantastical characters that I wanted to spend more time with them. I could have read an entire book about Jacqueline's time with the circus freaks and Old Nick. However, Lane left things open for a sequel, so hopefully, we get to revisit some of the characters and places she teased within this novel.
If you like horror, do yourself a favor and check this book out.