The Last Seal
Back in the 12th century, Cornelius Silver, a member of the secret group Praesidium, used his mysterious sorcery to save London from certain doom by banishing the evil creature Dantalion into the Abyss. In 1666, his adolescent ancestor Ben Silver unwittingly stumbles into a new plot, hatched by power-hungry Cavalier Artemas, to resurrect Dantalion and his avatars, starting the Great Fire as a means to release them from their prison. Orphan Ben is joined on his quest to save London by a diverse group of three strangers, who soon have to rely upon each other to survive. The story really comes to life as they try to prevent Artemas and his crew from gaining power whilst dodging the ever-encroaching fire, and the scenes that unfold are full of vivid depictions that draw the reader into a world full of 17th-century London’s sights, smells, and fears.
The current jacket design, while well produced, lets down an otherwise good story—it suggests the book will be a straightforward historical description of the Fire of London, told from a safe distance, when in fact the reader is plunged into soot and smoke of the fire, dodging villains and avatars alongside new-found friends. I saw the 2010 hardback version on Amazon, and thought it was much more eye-catching and relevant to the story. In addition, a couple of internal typographical and design elements would benefit from some slight adjustment to more closely match mainstream published books, but this doesn’t detract from the story. The Last Seal is a brilliantly engaging story based around an ancient battle between good and evil, but spiced up with enough sorcery, fire, and demonic creatures to keep the reader guessing till the end.