Fear and his Servant

Fear and His Servant
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Fear and His Servant

Mirjana Novaković

(Translated by Terence McEneny)

Winner of the Isidora Sekulić Award.

Shortlisted for Serbia’s NIN literary prize

 

In the years since Count Otto van Hausberg last visited the Belgrade, the place seems to have changed, and not for the better. Fog and mist have settled around the city walls, and everywhere there is talk of murder, rebellion, and death. Serbia in the 18th century is a battleground of empires, with the Ottomans on one side and the Hapsburgs on the other. In the besieged capital city, safe for now behind the fortress walls, Princess Maria Augusta waits for love to save her troubled soul.

But who is this strange, charismatic count and can we trust the story he is telling us? While some call him the devil himself, he appears to have all the fears and pettiness of an ordinary man. In this daring and original novel, Novaković invites her readers to join the hunt for the un-dead, travelling through history, myth and literature, into the dark corners of a land that has given every human language its most infamous word: Vampire.

This book is published in cooperation with Peter Owen, as part of the World Series.


'Novaković spins an exquisite novel webbed in truth and lies; a joyful puzzle for the reader. Fear and His Servant brilliantly plays with the idea of what makes who we are, how much what we choose to reveal about ourselves really speaks the truth. Not even the Devil himself, it seems, is free of self-doubt.'

A. M. Bakalar, Bookanista


'Throughout Fear and His Servant the question of truth and identity are continually raised. Hausberg is the very definition of an unreliable narrator, demanding and expecting reliability and seriousness from those around him while consistently feeding the reader a series of half-truths, exaggerations, sleight-of-hand stories and, most often, qualifications that seem to shed greater light on a previous topic, while simultaneously clouding others.'

Damian Kelleher, The Quarterly Conversation