1865. As Abraham Lincoln lies in state in New York, on his way to his final resting place in Illinois, the widow of a famous abolitionist has a chance encounter with the poet Walt Whitman, who has an astonishing tale to tell…
So begins Darker Angels, a saga of voodoo, zombies, and the Civil War. In this novel, which will take you from the college rooms of the young Lord Byron to the slave auctions of Haiti, from revival meetings to dark rituals of resurrection, from the battlegrounds of Virginia to the leopard societies of West Africa, Somtow weaves a richly layered tapestry of the dark heart of history.
At the center of the tale is Old Joseph, the one-eyed voodoo priest who dares to raise the dead from the battlefields of the Civil War. Into his circle of power, over the course of eighty tumultuous years, comes an unforgettable cast of characters: Jimmy Lee, the young soldier turned minister of dark gods; Paula Grainger, the widow who has not yet learned to live; Griffin Bledsoe, the uneasy slaver; Phoebe, the leopard woman; Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, Marie Laveau, and even the martyred president of the United States—any one of whom may be the next to join the living dead.