The Curse of the Zwilling
by Don Sakers
Patapsco Univerity -
it's Hogwarts meets Buffy
Patapsco University: a small, cozy liberal arts college like
so many others -- except for the Department of Comparative Religion,
where age-old spells are taught and magic is practiced.
When a favorite teacher is found dead under mysterious circimstances,
grad student David Galvin finds that something evil has arrived
at Patapsco. A malevolent force that is after the powerful magic
tomes and artifacts stored there. Something that will stop at
nothing to feed its own growing power.
And now David, along with four novice undergraduates, must
face the ancient, malignant terror known as the Zwilling. He
and his untrained, untested students are all that can keep the
world from falling under The Curse of the Zwilling.
Library Journal says:
A murder at Patapsco University in Maryland sparks an investigation
into the school's controversial Department of Comparative Religion
-- otherwise known as the Department of Magic -- by graduate
student David Galvin and a group of undergraduates. As Galvin
probes deeper into the secret tomes held by the department, he
uncovers a horrifying power seeking to gain control of the world.
The author of Dance for the Ivory Madonna and The Leaves
of October has written an intelligent tale of modern horror
and ancient magic. For most horror collections.
In The Curse of the Zwilling , a group of university
students take on a great evil that seeks to control the world.
Don Sakers sets the novel geographically in this world, with
a few additions. The story is mostly told through the eyes of
the students and pulls from a few different branches of folklore
The students are all in the Department of Comparative Religion
at Patapsco University. The department is unique in that it teaches
students magic and spells. The extensive collection of arcane
tomes and artifacts is part of what draws the Zwilling there.
The students draw from the spells they already know, other spells
that are in the tomes and the wisdom of their professors as they
combat the Zwilling, which is prepared to attack them however
it needs to, and it does so both directly and indirectly using
its considerable powers to wreck havoc in their lives.
David Galvin, a graduate student who ends up leading the group,
takes some interesting steps to help protect his charges. You
are shown the stress of leadership. The fears and doubts of the
other students (Mark Evans, Cathy Vovcenko, Linda Falk and Bob
Toland) are also shown throughout. The changes in the group dynamic
are also interesting to watch. Their diverse interests when it
comes to the occult are shown and they are, for the most part,
comfortable using their strengths. A couple of the students step
into roles that will last them a lifetime.
The five students are the heart of the novel and it is as
much about them as it is about their battle with the Zwilling.
The Curse of the Zwilling is more modern fantasy than
thriller, but either way it remains interesting from start to
written by Paul de Bruijn
published 10 April 2004