Come Hell Or High Water
Part 3: Deluge
Author: Stephen Morris
“Part 3: Deluge” is the third book in the paranormal trilogy “Come Hell Or High Water”, by Stephen Morris. In Part 1: Well Spring, we met Magdalena, a secretary at Charles University in Prague. Through a strange set of circumstances she ends up helping Fen’ka, a wise woman who was lynched by a mob for witchcraft in 1356. With her dying breath Fen’ka cursed the city and its people. In searching for help for Fen’ka, Magdalena brings two very dangerous people to Prague: Elizabeth, a beautiful Irish mythologist who is in actuality the Dearg-due (an Irish vampire figure that does not have to play by the same rules as the vampires that we all know and love!), and George. a New York based Jesuit priest who is also head of a coven. What Magdalena does not realize is that George and Elizabeth are set on destroying the city of Prague!
In “Part 2: Rising” the focus changes to Magdalena’s friend Victoria, and the alliance she forms with several of the visiting professors at the conference on “Evil and Human Wickedness” that Magdalena’s boss is hosting. Together they go head to head against Magdalena, George, and Elizabeth to locate the four magical tools that are protecting Prague – Chalice, Sword, Staff, and Pentacle.
In “Part 3: Deluge”, the very existence of Prague is threatened by a flood that will wash away the Charles Bridge and its magical protection of the city. (Remember, Fen’ka’s curse was on the city and all of its people.) George and Magdalena rush to carry out the curse by weakening the bridge with the flood, which will allow them to enlist the help of the devil Svetovit to destroy the city.
The book begins with the story of Nadezda, in the winter of 1356-1357. Her husband, a baker, was in the square when Fen’ka was burned, as was her brother, who ran home with a burning branch from the fire, throwing it into the family fireplace. Nadezda is forced to go into the Jewish section of town to consult with an elderly rabbi, after she faces the shadow of Lilith, who is trying to steal her baby. She confronts Lilith to discover the secret of the witch’s curse, only to find that it lies very close to home!
I love the way that the chapters alternate between past and present, weaving the web that all of the story’s characters are caught up in. Everything that happens in this story is for a reason – the present becomes the past – a past that lays the foundation for a new present, and a new future. There is excellent use made of mythology, of the environment and history of the city of Prague itself, and of the elements that make up the esoteric world. All of this unfolds through the lives of the characters in the story.
Being a Tarot reader myself, and a student of esoteric magic, I was riveted at the use both factions (George and Magdalena, and Victoria and her professors) made of the Tarot itself, of the qualities of the four elements (Fire, Water, Air, and Earth), and of simple things like salt and herbs. Morris shows a thorough understanding of religion, myth, and basic human nature, bringing everything together in a final showdown between George, Magdalena (who is beginning to realize that she has been duped), the devil Svetovit, Victoria, and the professors.
This is quite a compelling series – one that you want to read again and again!
© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction in any venue prohibited without the written permission of the author.