The Book of Darkness is a medieval thriller for young teens set in and around Salzburg.
Fourteen-year-old Quirin serves Master Lukas, a printer. Not yet properly apprenticed, he has to perform the dangerous, dirty work of crawling around inside the press, carrying out repairs.
Master Lukas is summoned to an abbey several days’ journey away, to produce copies of some valuable books. Quirin accompanies him, and shortly after their arrival Master Lukas entrusts him with a small, locked chest. In a panic, he instructs him to take the chest to the Bishop of Salzburg.
Quirin flees with the chest and subsequently witnesses Lukas being pursued. Brandishing a book, Lukas jumps into the river and drowns. As he shelters nearby, Quirin re-encounters Anna, a fourteen-yearold who works at the abbey. She tells Quirin the rumours about the book of darkness, the dark counterpart to the book of life, in which the devil writes the names of those who belong to him.
They decide to flee over the mountains to Salzburg, but in order to get the book to the Bishop they must flee packs of dogs, avoid the plague, and escape capture; making friends – and enemies – along the way …
All recommendations from Autumn 2014