A collection of 10 highly illustrated short horror stories surrounding the cast of a haunted circus. Each story is uniquely told ranging from grim poetry, to macabre fairy tales, to first person narrative and accompanied by highly detailed and beautifully rendered illustrations.
Roll up, roll up and enter the wonderfully dark world of Cirque Du Mort, the macabre brain child of Anastasia Catris!
There is nothing I don’t love about this collection of short stories. Cirque du Mort is a wonderful mix of Victorian gothic, ghost stories and murder mystery, all wrapped up with stunning illustrations that rival the colour pallet of any Baz Luhrmann film. Think Moulin Rouge meets Penny Dreadful (in the form of which this is laid out) with a dash of The Woman in Black. The entire volume is written and wonderfully illustrated by Catris and each short story tells a different tale about how each act has come to be at the Circus of Death, which is itself haunted. Each character has a story to share with you, be it about life and love, the absurd or the gruesome and you’ll be lured into each one from the very first sentence.
There are 10 stories all together, each with their own quirks and quandaries, and ultimately telling you about how they came to be at the circus, or how indeed they met their grisly ends. Each story is told from a different angle and in varying prose, which I found to be a nice touch as it really added to the feel of each story being a completely separate entity whilst still making up the whole. They range from folklore in nature to poetry to gothic fairy tales to macabre cautionary tales. There is a story here for everyone and a character for each person to fall in love with.
Cirque du Mort a fully realised and very established world in which each character has their own back story and being completely developed so that they leap straight off the page at you. It was so engrossing from the off that I was fully immersed from beginning to end. As soon as I’d finished, I went back and re-read it again to make sure that I hadn’t missed anything the first time. To give you an idea of the kind of excitement this brought to me, I liken it to the first time I ever picked up a Lovecraft story. Instantly hooked and eager to re-read as soon as I’d finished, Perhaps you could call it a reluctance to exit the make-believe world that Cirque plays out across each page. Or is it really make-believe…
With lavish illustrations done in rich colours to counterbalance the dark tales within, Cirque du Mort is a stunning collection of short stories to delight and haunt everyone, whether you revel in macabre ghost stories or not.
Title: Cirque Du Mort – Vol.1