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Since its initial strike in 1347, plague, called “The Death” by those who rightly fear it, has been continuously decimating populations across the known world. By 1401, the Venetian fleet has lost so many men to the disease’s swift and brutal fatality that the doge has resorted to recruiting foreigners to take up the republic’s oars.
Enter Michael, a sixteen-year-old boy from a small fishing village on the Isle of Rhodes. Seeking adventure and escape from a dreary existence, Michael dreams of a larger life, perhaps even a heroic one. Little does he suspect that, within the idyllic myth of Venice the republic perpetuates and he is eager to embrace, a concerted, systematic attack on innocence as gruesome as “The Death” itself will quickly obliterate his juvenile misconceptions and initiate him into a grown-up world where his physical strength, his religious faith, and his very identity are challenged. Learning how to navigate both the seas his galley travels as well as the circuitous social machinations of Venice that mirror the city’s intricate canal system, Michael comes of age.
What does his growth cost him? Where do his decisions lead? Can conscience trump cowardice? What, in the end, defines a man?
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An Angel of Mercy stalks the city and he’s coming for Abby Bannister…
Abby Bannister, the CEO and founder Gimps Serving Gimps, is being interviewed for a spot on the local news. A major gimp herself, she is a champion for the rights and independence of all people faced with physical, mental and emotional challenges. Once aired, the interview draws the attention of three people. The first is her best friend, a gay gimp looking for love in all the wrong places. The second is Abby’s long-lost cousin, Fey. Homeless, she has an ax to grind and sees Abby as the perfect grindstone. The third is a self-declared angel of mercy who believes Abby is in need of his special services. As Abby whizzes around Tucson, Arizona in her supped-up electric wheelchair, she is oblivious to the grave danger she is in.
“Jandrey’s depiction of society’s marginalized continues to be sympathetic and informed. Her prose is increasingly nuanced. This reader, for one, would welcome more Abby & Co.” — Christine Wald-Hopkins, AZ Daily Star