For hundreds of years, men have sought their hidden futures in the legendary images of the tarot--but what secrets of the past are harbored by the priestess, the magician, the hanged man...and the fool? The author of the explosive The Patron Saint of Plagues returns with a richly textured mystical mystery exploring the dark heart of one of our oldest traditions. Years ago, fallen scholar Jeremiah Rosemont left the bitter rivalries of academia behind and now lives a simple nomadic existence in South America, far from the arguments that once defined his life. But he can't outrun his past...or the dangerous truth that lurks beneath his abandoned studies. Following an enigmatic summons to Rome, Rosemont finds himself at the center of a mystery that dates back to the fall of Troy, the pursuit of a mystical treasure many are willing to sacrifice fortunes and lives for: the earliest known tarot deck.
As Rosemont delves deeper and deeper into the tarot's unsettling secret origins, his own fate is inexorably intertwined with that of the Boy King, a homeless man with an unspeakable gift...and a mysterious past of his own. For these two men--and the demons, dupes, and power seekers drawn to them--the cards will reveal everything, even the shattering, unseen truths of human life itself....
Barth Anderson lives in Minnesota with his wife and children. He has written short fiction in numerous publications and anthologies, and six of his stories have received honorable mentions in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. He was the winner of the Spectrum Award for best short fiction in 2004. The Magician and the Fool is his second novel.