Black Roses is written by The Gentleman Anachronism. It is set in an analogue of modern Earth, or rather, a parallel world existing alongside an analogue of modern Earth, and concerns the efforts of the Halt Duke, Mephistophilis, to regain his rightful place as Lord of Hell from his insane and sadistic cousin, the Lady Lucifer. Or, to be more correct, the efforts both of him and his somewhat ragged band of men (and women), all of whom live in what seems to be a base set up in an abandoned (and haunted) Victorian asylum. The world in which this is set is an odd one, in that it has the power to pull people from other worlds to it. This is why several rather familiar faces (from Saranados) make a reappearance in this book, although time does seem to have altered them a little...
Provides Examples Of:
- Cat Girl: Cat Boy Felix. His father was a tomcat...
- Combat Medic: Malben's a damn good sniper, and handy with a scalpel too.
- Dissonant Laughter: Sabbat bloody loves fighting, and tends to break into laughter when the battle's going his way.
- From the Mouths of Babes: Pelita's vocabulary is a little rougher than the average five-year-old's. And she also knows far more about autopsies, surgery and the best ways to kill people than she really should.
- Hallucinations: Sabbat hallucinates that Archer is with him when he's locked up in the asylum. Malben convinces himself he's hallucinating when he sees Pelita. It turns out it's her ghost.
- Harmful to Minors: Pelita's parents try to shield her from the worst of the war, but she sees far more than she should do.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Malben, after being seriously wounded, asks Kay to inject him with the poison he keeps for mercy kills
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder:
- Malben is rather fond of this phrase. "I'm a doctor, not a stepladder."
- Kay says: "I'm a bouncer, not a surgeon."
- Last-Name Basis: Malben insists on calling everyone except his own family by their surnames.
- Libation for the Dead: The survivors at the end of Black Roses pour out whiskey (and gin) for their fallen comrades.
- Madness Mantra: "Ain't crazy. Insane, yes. Crazy, no." - Sabbat, while incarcerated in the asylum in the late 1800s. Reappears a few times when he relapses.
- Psycho for Hire: Sabbat's only working for the Duke because it means he gets carte blanche to murder, maim and mutilate.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Duke's army aren't too happy to be working with one another at first.
- The Fair Folk: Implied. Felix is half-Fae, and has problems sometimes with little things like 'empathy' and 'responsibility'.