Revisiting a Classic: Knight of the Black Rose (Ravenloft)

I am a D&D nerd, having grown up on the game. I’m also a huge fan of the DragonlanceĀ novels and game setting, and have collected scores of books dedicated to that world.

So what does that have to do with horror? I’m getting to that!

The Dragonlance series had plenty of horrific moments in it, and one character in particular that is kind of the horror icon of that world. Lord Soth is a Darth Vader-esque character that is scarier than the dragons that populate Krynn. Soth was a once proud knight that who became an adulterer and a murderer. he was cursed and now roams the world as a Death Knight.

Soth is a scene-stealing character that was used sparingly in the original Dragonalnce trilogy because he would have overshadowed the main story by his mere presence. But in 1991, writer James Lowder penned a story that saw Soth transported to Ravenloft, the gothic horror setting of the D&D universe.

 

Not only did Soth get to star in his own novel, but he came face to face with Strahd von Zarovich, the iconic vampire from Ravenloft. I thought Lowder did a great job of creating an interesting dynamic between two powerful, evil beings that share some similarities.


I read this book when it came out in 1991, but have been rereading itĀ because both Dragonlance and Ravenloft are big influences on my Parted Veil series. Revisiting this story has made me want to go back and read all my Dragonlance books again. Even if you have no interest in D&D or Dragonalnce, I think any horror fan would enjoy Knight of the Black Rose.

Pay your respects.