Review: Konig’s Fire

Sascha Konig is a brilliant chemist, a Nazi, and a good man. That, at least, is what he tells himself. He is, after all, an educated, literate man, an artist, a man of faith. That he must sometimes obey unspeakable orders does not change that.

Ah, but, It is times such as these that we see inside a man by what he obeys or does not obey. That is but one of the lessons Konig must grapple with inside the Nachthaus, a notorious Nazi death and torture camp inside an old forest mine in Romania, where Sascha is brought to make the victim-devouring furnace burn hotter.

It does not take Konig long to learn that—Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin—the Nachthaus has been weighed and found wanting by some power greater than them all. The forest itself has launched a bloodthirsty siege against the gates of the mine, sending preternatural creatures in ferocious attack night after night. Messages—and people—come in, but cannot go out. The madman who runs the death camp is determined to prove himself victor over all, no matter what it should cost.

And Konig is himself haunted by the startling blue eyes of a Gypsy girl whose death he caused.

He was only following orders. But It is times such as these that we see inside a man by what he obeys or does not obey.

In the dark night of Nazi cruelty and nature’s fury, Sascha Konig must look inside of himself to discover the truth about his life, his world, and the path he must take. The Nachthaus puts most men to sleep, dulling them to the horrors of their lives, but for those who are awake, there are many messages.

Most of all: Deus et natua non faciunt frusta. Ex malo bonum: God and nature do not work together in vain. Out of evil, good.

Marc Schooley’s second novel with Marcher Lord Press, Konig’s Fire has much in common with its protagonist: it is intelligent, literate, and willing to examine the reality of human sin with open eyes. It’s highly imaginative—weird is an appropriate adjective—so don’t come looking for realistic historical fiction; this isn’t it. And be warned that this is a dark story, with elements verging on horror. Torture, monsters, and madmen all play into the plot. (And if you have a real problem with cockroaches, don’t read it.) But in all of that, it’s a story full of wisdom, one which not only exposes the darkness, but shows the way out. Ex malo bonum, after all.

If Konig’s Fire is a horror story, it is one with its gaze fixed on the truest horror of our existence: the reality of our own sin. But in that horror, the light of God unmistakably shines.







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