Love, the Opium of the Masses
Yanko Tsvetkov redefines humorous fantasy with Codex Hyperboreanus, the latest installment in the Lilac Fever book series
Codex Hyperboreanus is available on:
“Speak before I change my mind and throw you to the lions!”
A tyrannical queen rules the island of Severia with an iron fist, while her loyal vizierienne is determined to persuade her that in the art of government and politics, it is better to be loved than feared.
The steaks are high. Those who challenge the views of the trigger-happy monarch often perish in terrifying circumstances. Some fall down the stairs of the palace. Others die strangled by their own intestines. The most daring offenders are publicly beheaded by the queen’s trusted headswoman, Esther. She is a talented executioner whose fame spreads as far as the kingdom of Cynocephalia, inhabited by dog-headed people. Its ruler, King Anubis II, is an obsessive-compulsive bureaucrat who follows the letter of the law with religious vigor.
Only reckless explorers and hopeless criminals dare to sail in the stormy waters of the Arctic Ocean that surround the Far North, where there is nothing but nothingness. The lucky among them die from hypothermia, while the rest are maimed and eaten by polar unicorns—sea monsters with insatiable appetite for human flesh. Farther away, unbeknown to the rest of the world, lie the scattered islands of the Cycloptic archipelago, where the mighty Hyperborean Empire rises and falls in splendid isolation.
“Love, my dear, is the opium of the masses, and once people get high on it, they will trample you like wild horses.”
The story collection spans a myriad of genres and was inspired by classical fairy tales and modern pop culture. The nested story structure of the One Thousand and One Nights coexists with brief cutaways and diary entries. Philosophical musings about politics blend with romantic eroticism. The narrative expands on the previous book from the Lilac Fever series, Sex, Drugs and Tales of Wonder. The accompanying illustrations are once again drawn by Tsvetkov’s creative alter ago, Alphadesigner.
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