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The Vessel of Ra

(The Klaereon Scroll #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  25 reviews
While traveling in Venice in 1837, Lucy Klaereon, in order to save her family’s honor and her immortal soul, decides to commit suicide by drowning herself in the Grand Canal. Unfortunately for Lucy, she is rescued. Her rescuers believe they can separate her from the demon Ra, whom she is destined to fight because of an ancient family pact.

What Lucy does not know is that h
Kindle Edition
Published March 19th 2019
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4.15  · 
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 ·  33 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucy and Octavia are born into the Klaereon family. For centuries their family has been bound to a contract to fight demons imprisoned in the abyss by King Solomon. At birth, a demon attaches to each child born to the family, acting as a familiar or companion until the child's 16th birthday. On that day, a battle ensues. If the Binder wins the battle, the demon is returned to the abyss to be summoned only for magic or, if evil, the demon can be banished. But if the Binder loses the battle, the d ...more
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, magic
The book description peaked my interest. I love magic and I love historical novels. The book had plenty of magic, but not much on the 19th century aspect. While the setting was in the mid 1800s, this wasn't blatantly obvious throughout the book. That wasn't a deal breaker for me, though, so I happily continued to read. I enjoyed the book, and it definitely kept me engaged. I loved the mixing of religions. Christianity and Egyptian mythology. The end was a little "eh" for me, but I think others w ...more
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was an interesting book with a good blend of historical and fantasy elements. I liked the setting in Venice and also the inclusion of the last remnants of the Borgia family as magicians. The blending of Egyptian gods with Christian mythology and demons was also somewhat of a new take on blending mythologies. Lucy was really great as well, and I don't think I've ever actually read a book like this where the m
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the sweeping magic of this book that manages to tie together mythology, demonology, and history into a fascinating whole.
Pat Esden
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Vessel of Ra hook me right from the first page. The story starts in 19th century Venice where sixteen-year-old Lucy is facing a problem of literally mythic proportions. I’m not going to say a lot about the plot or world building because I don’t want to spoil the novel. But it was a wonderful, twisty blend of multiple cultures and mythologies—with magic and world building galore.

The story takes the characters to a variety of locations. All the settings came to life for me. At the same time,
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I was enjoying the beginning of this book overall. The premise is certainly original and interesting. The writing is good and did not feel amateur-ish or anything of the sort.

However, about 40% of the way through, I started to feel a bit confused. The magic system and the different elements of the mythology and the different mythological creatures... it all started to jumble around in my brain and I kind of lost the connection I initially felt to the characters and story.

By the time the ritual
Terri M.
I’ll admit it’s a bit nerve-wracking as a book blogger to be approached by an author you know personally to read their book especially when you consider that author a friend. But when learned that Catherine Schaff-Stump’s newest novel, The Vessel of Ra, involved historical fiction, Egyptian mythology and magic, I knew I had to take the chance and give the book a shot.

The Vessel of Ra is a solid read. Every minute of the story is packed with action, mystery and layers of secrets. Lucy and Octavia
Chris Bauer
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Vessel of Ra" by Catherine Schaff-Stump is a fresh, complex and incredibly nuanced novel of magic and history.

The sub-genre of fantastic historical fiction is relatively new to contemporary readers. I suspect the author will make a name for herself as one of the pioneers of the form. The closest analogy I can think of for the overall "feel" of this novel is Mary Robinette Kowal's "Shades of Milk and Honey" novel.

"Vessel of Ra" features several unique elements which drew me into the work qu
Tea With Rose's Tomes
The Vessel of Ra by Catherine Schaff-Stump
Book One of The Klaereon Scroll #1
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: September 12, 2017 
 Rating: 5 stars 
Source: Netgalley

Little Summary:
So, this dark fantasy and historical fiction story follow three main characters: Lucy Klaeron, Carlos Borgia, and Lucy's older sister Octavia. The all three are so different that it made this read so enjoyable. There is deceit, betrayal, love affairs, justice, violence, magical beings. What more can you
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I requested this book because the synopsis was intriguing. The pace was a bit slow for me, but it was interesting. Once the pace picked up, boy did it! You have murder, magic, Egyptian mythology... INTRIGUE! BLOODY INTRIGUE!

The setting of Venice is beautifully described. I don't tend to like books that have flashbacks, but this was so well done and it's rare that the author gets it so right. It was amazing to see the thought process that went into everyone's decision making, leading them to any
J. Else
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Vessel of Ra is a unique blend of dark fantasy and historical fiction with plenty of surprises. Seriously, buckle your seatbelt because the speed of this plot is breakneck.

What I loved about the book was the blend of myth with fantasy elements. I thought the story was very unique. There wasn’t another book I could really compare this too, which is great. Schaff-Stump weaves a terrifically complex storyline with varied characters and diverse settings. I loved seeing the Egyptian gods and elem
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did like the blend of fantasy and Egyptian myths overall. I enjoyed looking into Octavia's wants and desires prevented from her becoming the savior. She was understandable at sometimes and infuriating in others.. II just found it a bit annoying there were little emotional response from characters in certain events. The demon familiars were the best. They had the right amount of sass without being obnoxious
Wendy Nikel
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
Thanks to the author, Catherine Schaff-Stump for offering me an ARC of this historical fantasy in exchange for an honest review. I'm a huge fan of historical fantasy, and this first novel in a series hits on many of my favorite elements of that genre.

The world of 19th century Venice that the author builds in this book is rich and vibrant. You can *feel* it as you read -- at times opulent and elegant, and at other times thick and sticky with swamp water. It's into this world that she blends the o
Beth Hudson
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Catherine Schaff-Stump’s novel “The Vessel of Ra” is a fascinating tale of abuse, betrayal, and difficult choices which takes place in early 19th century Venice. The reader is immediately introduced to Lucy Klaereon, the younger of two sisters, whose family have a long history of binding demons. Upon birth, some of the family are paired with a demon who takes the form of an animal familiar. These demons must be bound to the family member’s will on their sixteenth birthdays, or they will be kille ...more
Wendy S. Delmater
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book, set in the 1800s, starts with a nice young man, Carlo, a hidden descendant of the Italian renaissance’s famed evil Borgia family, rescuing Lucy Klaereon who tries to drown herself in a Venice canal rather than allow herself to be possessed. This leads to the magical Borgia family clashing with Lucy’s English family… a family that has made a historical pact with demons.

Lucy’s family has a long history of binding demons to their offspring. Upon birth, some of the family are paired with a
Bejaka Phoenix
I received this book on NetGalley for an honest review.

As an avid fan of Egyptology, I enjoyed the Egyptian theme of this novel and the innovative way Schaff-Stump incorporated the Egyptian Gods with a new myth story. While the book's cover and description was what peaked my interest, I quickly became immersed in the story of the Klaereon and Borgia magical families. One thing I liked about the novel, is how the underdog, Lucy was able to overcome the "fate" rendered to her by her family. The a
K. Lincoln
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The biggest strength of this interesting story of magical families in a past Europe is the depth of backstory related to the demons from the abyss manifesting as Egyptian gods. Long ago, an ancestor of Octavia and Lucy Klaereon made a pact with the Egyptian demons promising that in every generation a demon could attach themselves to a member of the family. When the person reached adulthood there would be a trial: either the human would bind the demon and gain magic or the demon would bind the hu ...more
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lucy, Octavia, and Carlos make a darn great trio! Lucy, and Octavia are Demon Binders born into privilege, and wealth this must be noted. There family had been Demon Binder for 90 years, at birth a demon attaches to a child, like a companion of sorts (insert a freakishly over protective demon) . Once said child reaches their 16th birthday, a trial happens were it's Demon against Binder, if the Binder wins the Demon gets banished to the abyss but can be summoned to do bidding for Binder. If the D ...more
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've plunged into the world of The Klaereon Scroll, and I am hooked! The historical setting is rich with a complex magical history, and the ensemble cast stand is distinctive yet unified, with each character clearly articulating their own voice and world-view.

Schaff-Stump excels in creating a sense of place, making the world feel physical and present, whether that's with the murky waters of Venice or the abrasive sands of the desert.

I've already got my hands on the sequel, and I'm looking forw
Rekha O'Sullivan
Very interesting story set mainly in Venice about two sisters, Gods of Ancient Egypt and the struggle of power between Gods and Humans.
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book. I was provided a copy by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I actually really enjoyed it, though the language was a little simplistic and would be more suited to a Young Adult audience. I'd recommend this to my history-buff teenage nieces.
Bill Kackley III
Well done

Mix of mythology and fictional history was great. Loves it and want more.Solomon, celeatials, demons and Egyptian gods(false gods) all in on good book.
Kate Heartfield
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A rich, immersive adventure.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adult fantasy fans
Recommended to Skjam! by: author
It is October 1837, and the acqua alta, the fall flooding, has come to Venice. Lucy Klareon has also come to Venice, as part of her Grand Tour, but she doesn’t plan to leave in the usual way. For on her sixteenth birthday, October 31st, All Hallows Eve, Lucy must do battle with the demon Ra, and either bind him as her servant, or become his possessed shell and be slain by her sister Octavia. Lucy’s pretty sure she’s going to lose, so she’s decided to skip the battle altogether by jumping in a ca ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Potential Review Biases:
* I received a free eBook from the author in exact for an honest review.
* The author is a personal friend.
* I'm currently home sick and on a boatload of cold medicine.

First things first, I should offer an apology to the author. I was supposed to write up a proper review before the print edition came out but while I read quickly I write reviews slowly. As I want to do better about reviewing books this year; I figured this one should be high up on my list to reread and revi
Jon Maakestad
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Nov 13, 2017
Curiosity Quills
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Catherine publishes the Klaereon Scroll Series.

A reissue of The Vessel of Ra is coming out February 14.

The sequel, The Pawn of Isis arrives March 19, 2019.

Additionally, you can buy Catherine's short story collection The Devil's Wingman and Other Stories

The Ground is Full of Teeth, Catherine's Southern Iowa Gothic Werenovel is available from Paper Golem LLC in Alembical 4.

Mark Twain's Daughter i

Other books in the series

The Klaereon Scroll (2 books)
  • The Pawn of Isis (The Klaereon Scroll  #2)