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In Song of Carcosa we once again join Countess Alessandra Zorzi and her protégé Pepper as they travel the world recovering dangerous occult items. This time they are in Venice, Zorzi’s hometown. But there’s precious little time for sightseeing or reminiscing. Pepper is slipping further and further down a supernatural rabbit hole that she might not be able to climb out of, and Alessandra is determined to save her. Meanwhile, Venice itself is sliding into madness.

Can the Countess save both her friend and her city? Or will she lose both to the siren call of Carcosa? Find out in the newest Arkham Horror novel from Josh Reynolds’ Song of Carcosa.

[Note: While I am reviewing this novel independently and honestly, it should be noted that it has been provided to me by Aconyte for the purpose of this review. Warning: My review of Song of Carcosa contains some spoilers!]

Song of Carcosa: A global Arkham Horror

We first meet the Countess Alessandra Zorzi and Pepper in The Wrath of N’Kai (also by Josh Reynolds). They saved Arkham from an ancient horror and the Countess realized that the occult nonsense she’d been stealing and trading for years was actually real. Shocked by this revelation, she turns over a new leaf, dedicating her illicit skills to retrieving those dangerous items from the very people she’d procured them for and giving them over to people who can protect the world from their horror.

Zorzi also takes Pepper, a brave but rash young cabbie she befriended in Arkham, under her wing. Promising to teach her to be a thief, the two set off to Europe. The next time we run into these two, they’re trying to retrieve some rather dangerous supernatural artifacts from an old friend of Alessandra’s. During that adventure, Pepper comes across an arcane symbol that affects her rather strongly. Ever since then, she’s had nightmares that are pulling her deeper and deeper into the mysterious world of Carcosa.

The curse of the Yellow King

There is a play that is said to be cursed. It is about the Yellow King and the city of Carcosa. Everyone who sees it goes mad by the second act, or so the legend says. Yet, Alessandra’s friend Jan Znamenski has decided to adapt the play once again. Of course, he isn’t doing it out of purely artistic desires, he knows exactly what he’s doing and who he’s invoking. Or at least he thinks he does. But the thing about the eldritch gods is that they play by their own rules, and humans rarely understand the whole game. Znamenski thinks he’s unleashing paradise on Earth, but just whose paradise will it be?

Song of Carcosa by Josh Reynolds Arkham Horror Aconyte Books

When Zorzi arrives in Venice looking for help for Pepper, she also wants to steal an item from Znamenski. But it’s not the play he’s poisoning Venice with. Once she discovers what he’s up to, she realizes she must stop him. Especially since Pepper seems to be sliding further into the world of Carcosa every day. To save her friend, Alessandra must save the world, is she strong enough to defeat the Yellow King?

Another round from Josh Reynolds with our favorite thief Alessandra

I love Alessandra. She is glamorous, witty, smart, brave, and bold, everything a great leading lady needs. And Reynolds always does an outstanding job bringing her to life. Pepper is another great character and the two work together really well. Pepper helps to bring out the human, caring side of Alessandra that she often buries. The really fun part about Alessandra and Pepper’s adventures is that they’ve moved on from Arkham. I love the Arkham Horror series, but let’s be honest, only so many eldritch gods can compete for the same piece of land. 

Besides, the Countess’ elegance and skills would be wasted in such a small town, everyone would know to lock up their valuables when she comes around. By taking her out of the small town and putting her on a world stage, she’s able to use her skills and interact with more arcane beings in more amazing settings. Her stories keep the spirit of the Arkham Horrors series and maintain ties to Arkham through the Silver Twilight Lodge and Miskatonic University, but they bring more to the table than Arkham alone can offer. Giving Pepper and the Countess the world is a very smart call on Reynolds’ part, and I hope the two continue traveling the world in future adventures!

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before we dream of future adventures, be sure to check out Song of Carcosa, available now Aconyte. Anyone who’s liked the Arkham Horror series is going to enjoy it. If you’re new to the series and like horror, mysteries, action, or heist stories, pick up Song of Carcosa.

I would recommend if you haven’t read Zorzi’s other adventures that you at least read Wrath of N’Kai and Shadows of Pnath (my reviews of those are linked below) so you’ll be caught up on Alessandra and Pepper’s adventures. It’s not strictly necessary to enjoy Josh Reynolds’ latest offering, but it will make Song of Carcosa that much better. I promise, It’s worth it. Have a reading marathon!

Rating: 9/10

Song of Carcosa by Josh Reynolds is now available in stores. Have you read any Arkham Horror novels yet? Do you plan to read this one? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord.

Book Review: Shadows of Pnath: An Arkham Horror Novel by Josh Reynolds

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Book Review: Wrath of N’Kai: An Arkham Horror Novel by Josh Reynolds

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Luna Gauthier

I've always been a bookworm and fantasy is my favortie genre. I never imagined (okay, I imagined but I didn't think) that I could get those books sent to me for just my opinion. Now I am a very happy bookworm! @Lunagauthier19 on Twitter

Luna Gauthier has 211 posts and counting. See all posts by Luna Gauthier