Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry


Blood & Ivory Cover
Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry by P.C. Hodgell

"Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry" is far more than just a reprint. The Meisha Merlin edition includes not only the four original stories, but three new ones featuring Jame written specifically for this collection; and an original Sherlock Holmes tale, thrown in just for fun. Pat also wrote brand new introductions for each story, to let the reader get a fuller picture of Jame's life.

"Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry" appeared in both hard cover and trade paperback.

ISBN: 1-892065-73-8 Trade Edition

ISBN: 1-892065-72.X Hardcover

Published 27th August 2002

The stories in included in Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry are:

  • "Hearts of Woven Shadow"
  • "Lost Knots"
  • "Frayed Lives"
  • "Child of Darkness"
  • "A Matter of Honor"
  • "Bones"
  • "Stranger Blood"
  • "A Ballad of the White Plague"

The short stories are:

Hearts of Woven Shadow looks at the past of Ganth Greylord, his father's madness and his relationship with Rawneth of the Randir

Lost Knots is an unfinished cloth letter, found in the quarters of the Knorth Matriarch Kinzi Keen-Eyed on the night the Shadow Assassins massacred the Knorth ladies.

Frayed Lives tells of the childhood of Jame and Torisen and her expulsion into the Haunted Lands.

Child of Darkness, which is set on another world in another time and is probably not in Official Continuity, first appeared in Berkeley Showcase Number II (1980). This was P.C. Hodgell's first complete story, and is much darker in tone than the others.

A Matter of Honor is the (slightly different) original version of the Chapter 9 of God Stalk originally published in "Clarion Science Fiction" 1977.

Bones, which is set during Jame's apprenticeship to Penari, which originally appeared in Elsewhere Volume 3, (1984). This solves the mystery of what happened to the architect who built Penari's Maze. This story is closest in tone to the full-length stories.

Stranger Blood, which occurs after the events in DotM and SM, and which originally appeared in "Imaginary Lands", (1984 ed. by Robin McKinley). It is set well after the other stories, after Jame had achieved some sort of place among the Kencyr but was written before the character of Jame was fully formed.

A Ballad of the White Plague, is a non-Kencyr story first published in the anthology "The Confidential Casebook of Sherlock Holmes" by Martin Kaye (Ed.)
  -  [hardcover 1998 ISBN 0-312-1807-13; trade paperback 1999 ISBN 0-312-20638-0]
  -  ["A Ballad of the White Plague" was also published as a chapbook from Hypatia - copies have been seen although it was never mentioned on the Hypatia web-site.]

"A Ballad of the White Plague" is a "haunted" house story in which Sherlock Holmes gets to meet some of his relatives and encounters a horror which will scar him emotionally for the rest of his life.
Without giving too much away the "White Plague" refers to tuberculosis, the great killer of that age, and the ballad in question is the chilling folk song "the Mistletoe Bough". Holmes' father has a debt to pay from his past and he takes the surprisingly mature 8 year old Sherlock along to try to soften the creditor's heart. What follows in the old house is Grand Guignol, with a genuinely chilling ending. PC's writing feels closer to nineteenth century writing than many of the other tales in the anthology, and avoids the pitfalls encountered by some of the other writers [who, for example, put 'whiskey' when it should be 'whisky']. While it can't be Conan Doyle it's still a good story. [cf also the news archive.]

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Last Updated 25th April 2007