Bohemian Gospel by Dana Chamblee Carpenter

Posted on January 7, 2016 by Regina | 1 Comment

Bohemian Gospel by Dana Chamblee CarpenterBohemian Gospel by Dana Chamblee Carpenter
Published by Pegasus on November 15, 2015
Pages: 400
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Set against the historical reign of the Golden and Iron King, Bohemian Gospel is the remarkable tale of a bold and unusual girl on a quest to uncover her past and define her destiny.

Thirteenth-century Bohemia is a dangerous place for a girl, especially one as odd as Mouse, born with unnatural senses and an uncanny intellect. Some call her a witch. Others call her an angel. Even Mouse doesn' t know who—or what—she is. But she means to find out.

When young King Ottakar shows up at the Abbey wounded by a traitor's arrow, Mouse breaks church law to save him and then agrees to accompany him back to Prague as his personal healer. Caught in the undertow of court politics at the castle, Ottakar and Mouse find themselves drawn to each other as they work to uncover the threat against him and to unravel the mystery of her past. But when Mouse's unusual gifts give rise to a violence and strength that surprise everyone—especially herself—she is forced to ask herself: Will she be prepared for the future that awaits her?


“A fast-moving, seductive read. A fascinating mix of dark fantasy and rich historical detail.”  Author of The Bloodletter’s Daughter

Like any good book, Bohemian Gospel is a book for all seasons. However, I suggest you hurry and go buy a copy to read now, during the Winter months, so you can cuddle up under a fuzzy blanket by a toasty fire. This book will make you crave that kind of setting. The author’s writing is like the warm glow cast by candle flames despite the story giving me bone-deep chills on more than one occasion.

Bohemian Gospel is the kind of book that will beckon you out of bed in the wee hours of the morning with anticipation. Kind of like Christmas morning when you were a kid. It’s a rich story set in a time period that was unfamiliar to me (13th Century Prague/Bohemia), with a main character that was perplexing and bewitching. There’s an intriguing and devilishly good question about the MC, called Mouse, that propels the story forward at a seductive pace. Mouse is a character that ends up surpassing the implications of her moniker and becomes a lioness in the face of fate. To put it succinctly , this book cast a spell over me.

Although under 400 pages, there is an epic feel to the story as the reader witnesses decades of Mouse’s life unfold in both joy and torment. There were elements of Bohemian Gospel that reminded me of the His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers (HUGE compliment).

King Ottakar II in the Battle of Marchfeld 1278.
King Ottakar II in the Battle of Marchfeld 1278.

The secondary characters in Mouse’s story peaked my imagination and curiosity as thoroughly as Mouse did. The romance between Mouse and King Ottakar is predictable, but told in an enthralling and poignant way that had me on the edge of my seat.

There were moments in this novel that were pure, terrifying darkness. Those moments completely satisfied my need to be creeped out by a book. Sounds strange, I know, but the eerie and diabolical current to the story was so unique and transfixing. Read the following two pages for a really creepy excerpt:

Bohemian Gospel SS 2

There was just something beyond magical about this tale that had the capacity to both break and mend my heart in a single beat.

Wonderfully textured with elements of magic, mysticism, paganism, and fantasy, the author’s beautiful writing brought these elements together with lyrical perfection.

I could not describe this story better than the cover quote that boasts Bohemian Gospel as “A grand, thought-provoking adventure in sorrow, joy, and magic. One of the most intriguing novels you’ll read this year.”

Bohemian Gospel was one of my favorite things of 2015 and I am thrilled to share Mouse’s story with you by offering the following GIVEAWAY courtesy of PEGASUS BOOKS. Enter below for a chance to win this lovely novel. (Sorry, International friends. Giveaway is for US ONLY.)

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And just for fun:

I enjoyed reading Bohemian Gospel to Patricia Petibon’s Poulenc album. Although the music is from a completely different historical time period (20th Century), Poulenc’s daring sacred works in this compilation resonated well with Mouse’s tale for me.

Just a warning- THIS scary child-thing might visit you in your dreams after reading Bohemian Gospel:

Scary Doll Child

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One response to “Bohemian Gospel by Dana Chamblee Carpenter

  1. First of all, that creepy kid picture is suuuper creepy.

    To answer your question, my first instinct is to say no. Die for love? Yes. Do crazy things for love? Absolutely.
    Maybe I’ve read The Monkey’s Paw too many times or something, or I’ve watched too many episodes of Supernatural. But I think selling my soul for love? I mean, I’d sell my soul to protect someone I love, but I don’t think I’m selfish enough to sell my soul for a lifetime of love.

    I’m probably overthinking this. 😀

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