The Devil’s Pawn (Faustus #2) by Oliver Pötzsch , Lisa Reinhardt (Translator)

To be published 13 April 2021

‘You are in demand, Johann Georg Faustus, and these are tumultuous times.’

Rome, 1518.  Tumultuous times: peasants are rebelling while the church becomes ever greedier and more corrupt.  Meet Johann Faust: a renowned magician, astrologer, and chiromancer.  He is travelling through Germany with his loyal companion Karl and Greta, the orphaned juggler.  But Pope Leo X wants Faust’s services.  He sees alchemy as the best way to replenish the papacy’s drained coffers.  But Faust has a deal with the devil, and the devil wants something else…

‘You can’t defeat the devil, but you can offer him a bargain.’

Faust is struck by a mysterious illness and perhaps his new friend Leonardo da Vinci can help.  It is not only his own fate that Faust holds in his hands.

‘Only he who challenges his enemy can emerge victorious.’

Oliver Pötzsch has done it again.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the books I have read in the Hangman’s Daughter series and while I have yet to read Faustus #1 (‘The Master’s Apprentice’), I now have a copy.

 Can Faust outrun the devil?  Will Pope Leo X get his just deserts?  Does Leonardo da Vinci have the answers Faust is seeking?

This is an enthralling story, fast-paced, full of action and more than a few twists.  And what does it tell us about human nature?  Highly recommended.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and AmazonCrossing for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. 

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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