A tale of an ancient evil that was once vanquished, but is on the verge of revival alongside one of the most ancient of tales: rescuing an endangered loved one. Rachel Deering explores the costs and hardships one will face in the name of love. Is it good?

Anathema Vol. 1: The Evil That Men Do takes you on a dangerous journey fraught with fantastical creatures and people afraid of those that are different from them. The story follows Mercy Barlowe as she sets out on a treacherous path to save her lover Sarah’s soul from the clutches of evil and details the sacrifices she makes in order to redeem Sarah.

Rachel Deering begins Anathema with a deeply compelling and emotional hook. Sarah has been captured by her father and is condemned to burn at the stake for the abomination of lying with another woman, but a worse fate than burning befalls Sarah. Her soul is captured by wicked ravens who aim to resurrect an ancient evil very much like Dracula. It is a very straight-forward premise. However, within a few short pages, you are inextricably tied to Mercy’s fury, guilt, and torment as she manifests her emotions into physical form. With the drop of a potion, she transforms herself into a werewolf and begins her quest to rescue Sarah’s soul.

Deering touches on a number of themes, but doesn’t fully explore them, leaving them in the back of your mind to contemplate. She looks at the meaning of good and evil, the power of fear, the definition of solitude, and the depths one will go to for redemption.

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