By the Nails of the Warpriest by Nik Korpon


By the Nails of the Warpriest by Nik KorponIf I thought God actually existed, I would call him out as the coward he is and spit in his face. – The Thief

In a world with no apparent future, The Thief lives in and off the past. Once one of the leaders of The People in their rebellion against The Party, The Thief now wanders the ruins of The City looking for those from whom he can steal memories.

In a place where children play amongst rubble and an entire generation has no understanding of the way things used to be before The Struggle, memories are a commodity more valuable than diamonds or gold, heroin or cocaine ever were.

The Thief knows this better than most, as he not only survives by stealing memories and selling them, but by reliving his own precious memories of life before the war; before his wife and young son were killed in one of the riots that sparked the beginning of the end.

And then one evening while on a job everything he thought he knew to be true is turned upside down when one of the memories he collects not only includes his wife, but appears to show that she and his son weren’t killed in the riots. Now The Thief must confront his boss and former comrade from The Struggle, the man who told him his family was killed… the man The Thief now suspects not only knows more than he’s saying about the disappearance of The Thief’s family, but who may actually have had something to do with it.

Nik Korpon’s By the Nails of the Warpriest is a post-apocalyptic dystopian gut punch of a novella. That the main character is never actually named adds to the sense of unease and disorientation that permeates The City, yet at the same time the things that drive The Thief are as solid and familiar as it gets: love and hate, guilt and hope. Korpon’s writing skillfully paints the picture of a man and a world both broken by events of the past, and Korpon invites the reader to follow The Thief on a haunting journey through the memories of men who betrayed him as The Thief tries to nurse the ember of hope he’s rescued from the rubble of the past into a flame which will guide him into a better future.

As fulfilling as any full-length novel, By the Nails of the Warpriest is a thought-provoking read whose powerful themes and atmospheric setting will linger long after you’ve finished.

By the Nails of the Warpriest is available from OW Press.

Nik Korpon is the author of Stay God, By the Nails of the Warpriest, and Old Ghosts. His stories have bloodied the pages and screens of Crime Factory, Shotgun Honey, 3:AM, Out of the Gutter, Black Heart, Speedloader, and Warmed & Bound amongst others. He is an editor for Rotten Leaves and Dirty Noir magazines, as well as the co-host of Last Sunday, Last Rites, a monthly reading series. He lives in Baltimore. To learn more about Nik, visit his website.
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  • sabrina ogden

    March 16, 2012 - 12:23 pm

    Wow… guess I know what I’ll be reading over the weekend. This sounds pretty amazing. Great review, Elizabeth!

    • Elizabeth A. White

      March 16, 2012 - 6:14 pm

      I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but I got a whole hell of a lot more than whatever it was that’s for sure. Definitely a “Didn’t see that coming!” kind of read in its powerfulness. Enjoy!

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