This omnibus was really a tour de force, but one that was worthy to be taken. With almost 1000 pages, it’s actually 4 books in one, and even 1, at almost 250 pages each, is for any “modern” standard (of fast reading) a long book.
The three books are Rebirth, Transformation, Balance and Guard. They are all set in the Eternal Dungeon, a modern (modern for the time) type of prison where people are questioned before being sentenced to death. From the setting, and the purpose, and the time, an alternative Victorian reality, you would expect for the Eternal Dungeon to be a place where people enter but you know they will exit only as a dead body. But that is not the case, or at least not for all the prisoners: the first High Seeker was also a man able to see behind the appearances, and most than one time he helped those men who entered the Eternal Dungeon without really having committed the crime they were framed for.
Again that was unexpected, at least for me; I was all for reading a story of pseudo BDSM, where an authoritative officer was having his way with a poor young prisoner; true, I was expecting for the prisoner to fall in love for his captor, Stendhal syndrome and all, but that was not the plot. The High Seeker is more like an illuminate man, with particular tastes, but for sure better than any man those same prisoners can find outside.
On the contrary of the previous book, the Historical Notes were shorter but that doesn’t mean the historical accuracy was not good, again in a “fantasy” point of view; the setting is a mix of Victorian society with a medieval flavour, something like, outside the prison there is a Victorian city (London style) and inside the prison instead they are living in an eternal night, and the feeling was that of a medieval dungeon. Ab absurdo, there is more hope inside the dungeon, with his continuous night, then outside, in a city that seems unforgiving and with a hood of shadow. Actually nor inside or outside the dungeon there is natural light, but in the case of the Eternal Dungeon, it seems that the light comes from the hope they are giving to carefully chosen men.
Amazon Kindle: The Eternal Dungeon Omnibus 2010
Publisher: Love in Dark Settings Press (October 18, 2010)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott