The Drawing of the Dark

The Drawing of the Dark

"The Drawing of the Dark" is a historical fantasy novel by Tim Powers published in 1979 by Del Rey Books.

infobox Book |
name = The Drawing of the Dark
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = Cover of the Del Rey Books 1999 edition (paperback)
author = Tim Powers
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series =
genre = fantasy / historical fantasy
publisher = Del Rey Books / Grafton (publisher)
release_date = 1979
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Paperback)
pages = 336 pp
isbn = ISBN 0-345-430816
preceded_by =
followed_by =

Plot summary

The year is 1529, and Brian Duffy, a world-weary Irish mercenary soldier is hired in Venice by the mysterious Aurelius Aurelianus to go to Vienna and work as a bouncer at the Zimmerman Inn, former monastery and current brewery of the famous Herzwesten beer.

Meanwhile, the Ottoman Turkish army under Sultan Suleiman I has achieved its most advanced position yet in their march into Europe, and is poised to capture Vienna. With the Turkish army travels Ibrahim, a magician who intends to use horrific spells as part of the siege.

Duffy spent some time in Vienna years ago, and as he returns, he is haunted by memories of past events, and now he also finds himself having visions of mythical creatures and being ambushed by shadowy people and demonic monsters.

Upon arriving in Vienna, Duffy meets Epiphany, a former girlfriend from his previous time in Vienna, and her father, Gustav Vogel, who is working on a painting he calls "The Death of St. Michael the Archangel". It seems the painting is never quite complete, and the elder Vogel is continuously adding additional detail to the work, causing it to gradually become more and more obscure.

Then Duffy finds himself not only drafted into the city's defensive army, but also led by Aurelianus down mystical paths from the surprisingly old Herzwesten brewery to even more ancient caves beneath the city, in search of defenses against the approaching army and clues to Duffy's very nature.

As it turns out, Aurelianus knows more about Duffy and his past than Duffy himself knows, and his real purpose in hiring him is to protect the hidden Fisher King, secret spiritual leader of the western world, and to defend him and the West against the Turkish advance in the siege of Vienna. And the real reason that it's critical that Vienna not be captured by the Turks is because it's the site of the Herzwesten brewery. The Herzwesten light and bock beers are famous throughout Europe, but the dark beer, produced only around Easter of each year, has supernatural properties and must not be allowed to fall into enemy hands.

Meanwhile, others are drawn to Vienna in anticipation of significant events. The so-called "dark birds", magically sensitive individuals from far flung corners of the world, arrive in the city hoping for a sip of the Herzwesten dark, and a small group of middle-aged Vikings have improbably sailed their ship up the Danube River to Vienna, having sensed the possibility that the prophesied final battle of Ragnarok will take place here.

Major Characters

*Brian Duffy - An aging Irish mercenary soldier.
*Aurelius Aurelianus - A mysterious old monk, defender of the Fisher King and owner of the Zimmerman Inn.
*Epiphany Vogel - A woman Duffy knew well the last time he lived in Vienna. Currently working as a waitress in the Zimmerman Inn. Daughter of Gustav Vogel.
*Gustav Vogel - An elderly painter, father of Epiphany Vogel, who has a magical sensitivity and recognizes that there is something special about Brian Duffy.
*Bluto - A hunchbacked Swiss soldier of fortune also participating in the defense of Vienna.
*Lothario Mothertongue - An obnoxious but magically sensitive man who claims to be the reincarnation of King Arthur.
*Ibrahim - Magical leader of the Ottoman Turks.
*Fisher King - The secret king of the west, whose health is tied to that of the land and must be protected or else the western world will suffer.

External links

*The extremely detailed page about [ The Drawing of the Dark at The Works of Tim Powers]

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