The Black Crusade

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Author: Richard Harland
Barcode/ISBN13: 9780975214305
ISBN: 0975214306
Imprint/Brand: Chimaera
Release Date: Oct 2004
Format: B Paperback
Series: Morbing Vile prequel
Number of Pages: 217
Price $AUD: $19.95
Categories: Horror
Australian Author

Tells of a vile and evil artist regenerating his essence throughout human history. The book presents a manuscript of a Hungarian bank clerk who falls in love or lust with Volusia, aka The Australian Songbird, and follows her across Europe with a band of fundamental Darwinists.

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Review by Garry Dalrymple:

‘The Black Crusade’ by Richard Harland is an example of ‘Speculative Fiction’ and small press publication at its very best. Written as a prequel to the cult classic ‘The Vicar of Morbing Vyle’ it purports to be a memoir of a reluctant follower of the ‘The Black Crusade’, a Gothic satirical quest across Eastern Europe. It reads a lot easier than Morbing Vile, as the Crusade is a lot more relaxed style of story telling.
In the hands of a bog standard fantasy writer, the story of the Black Crusade could probably be dragged out into a trilogy. Stylistically, Richard Harland’s book is very much an enthusiastic and exuberant treatment that is (as a prequel to Morbing Vile) sufficiently confident to be free to play with its subject material and its narrative format in a manner that is both fun and horrifying. It leaves no trope unturned. It is a book of Pratchet level ingenuity and moments of Milliganesque observation and pythonesque humour (almost as funny as Chuck McKenzie) and it deserves re-printing and a wider audience.
This book is one of the few I have read recently that left me thinking about the world left behind at the turn of the final page. I was left thinking, how did the Black Crusaders get together? Exactly what had the Marquis of Morbon Villica been getting up to before his execution? I think there are sufficient unanswered questions to suggest that still more prequels should follow.