of the Black Rose is the second Ravenloft novel and mainly serves the function
of transporting the most interesting character from the Dragonlance novels,
Lord Soth, from Krynn to the Demiplane of Dread. In this, it is a bit of a fish
out of water story and you could probably hold it up as the kind of cross-selling
that would eventually doom TSR. Thankfully, it is also, essentially, a what-if
novel pitting Darth Vader against Dracula. If that prospect doesn’t excite you,
I suspect you are dead inside.
the function of Knight of the Black Rose was to transport Lord Soth from Krynn
to Ravenloft, Spectre of the Black Rose was written to remove him from the
Demiplane of Dread. It is a labyrinthine novel of plots, with a dizzying number
of characters, including a truly bizarre serial killer called the Bloody
Cobbler (worst name or best name?).
plot focuses on an attempted coup against Soth. The narrative seems disjointed
from chapter to chapter, thanks to the myriad of character perspectives, but
gradually, all is revealed to the reader in a strikingly multifaceted way.
don’t want to get too far into the weeds of critical theory but Spectre of the
Black Rose seems to me to be a literary application of the notion of the grand
narrative as described by the French post-modernist philosopher Jean-Francois
Lyotard. A grand, or meta, narrative is a story about a story, that is, a large
event told through many smaller stories and perspectives in an attempt to
portray that event in totality. Lyotard was speaking in a socio-political
context, using the notion of the grand narrative as a critique of Marxism and
its habit of using its tenants to explain every facet of history, but his
definition can easily apply to perspective-shifting stories like Rashomon, or
Spectre of the Black Rose.
not bringing this up to debate critical theory, but rather to illustrate the
intricate construction of Lowder’s work. You can totally read it as just
another licensed fantasy novel, if you want! But there’s a lot of other stuff
going on in there if you want to dig for it.
Derrick Rose took a stand wearing a “I Can’t Breathe” shirt in honor of Eric Garner on Saturday night, and now other NBA stars have followed suit. However despite the uniform violation, the NBA has decided not to fine players for their political message. In regards to the issue, commissioner Adam Silver stated “I respect Derrick Rose and all of our players for voicing their personal views on important issues but my preference would be for players to abide by our on-court attire rules.”