Title: Rebirth (The Eternal Dungeon Volume One)
Author Name & Publisher: Dusk Peterson (Love in Dark Settings Press)
Publication Date: February 22, 2016
“‘This prisoner deserves special treatment.’ The hooded man looked over at the young man again.”
Elsdon Taylor, a prisoner accused of committing a terrible murder. Layle Smith, a torturer with a terrible past. Their meeting in the Eternal Dungeon appears certain to bring out the worst in both men.
Yet neither man is quite what he appears. As the prisoner and his torturer begin to be drawn toward each other, the ripple effects of their meeting will have a powerful impact on other inhabitants of the Eternal Dungeon: Layle’s faithful guard, struggling to contain his doubts. A younger guard determined to take any shortcuts necessary to ensure that his life follows the path he has already chosen. An old love from Layle’s past, still sorrowing. And most of all, a prisoner who has not yet arrived at the Eternal Dungeon, but whose fate will depend on how Layle handles Elsdon Taylor . . . and on how Elsdon handles Layle Smith.
A winner of the 2011 Rainbow Awards (within the “The Eternal Dungeon” omnibus), this tale of love and adventure can be read on its own or as the first volume in The Eternal Dungeon, a speculative fiction series set in a nineteenth-century prison where the psychologists wield whips.
The Eternal Dungeon series is part of Turn-of-the-Century Toughs, a cycle of alternate history series (Waterman, Life Prison, Commando, Michael’s House, The Eternal Dungeon, and Dark Light) about adults and youths on the margins of society, and the people who love them. Set in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the novels and stories take place in an alternative version of America that was settled by inhabitants of the Old World in ancient times. As a result, the New World retains certain classical and medieval customs.
“Do you have any questions?” the Seeker asked. “About the routine of the dungeon? The times you will be fed? The questions you will be asked? The instruments of torture I use?”
The faintness went beyond Elsdon’s voice this time and entered his body. He could feel the sweat upon his skin; he wondered whether he had turned white. He blurted out, “What if I’m innocent?”
The Seeker’s gaze did not waver. “If you are innocent, then I trust that our time together will be short. I would far rather find a prisoner innocent than guilty; too many prisoners are sent to us, and the quicker that we can release them from here, the better. If your release is to the lighted world rather than to the executioner, it is likely to come more quickly. But we are commissioned by the Queen to ascertain the truth of accusations of death-sentence crimes, and we are committed to fulfill that commission. Please don’t waste my time with false pleas of innocence, Mr. Taylor. It will only make our time together more difficult.”
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