Hanns Heinz Ewers : The Hearts of Kings

2016 : Ajna Bound
Format : Hardcover

Hanns Ewers (1871-193) was a German actor, poet and fiction writer, probably most well known for his works in the Horror genre. The most famous of those being the Frank Braun trilogy, featuring a character loosely based on Ewers himself. Besides his run-ins with US authorities over suspected spying and supplying fellow Germans with fake passports during WWI, Ewers is probably more infamously known as an early member of the Nazi party. He soon fell out of favor with party leaders, being vocal about his disapproval of the movements anti-Semitism, and his penchant for homosexual love affairs. Ewers was a professed bisexual. By 1934, his works were banned in Germany and his assets seized. To this day, the stigma of his association with the Nazis overshadows the genius of his work, which influenced a generation of horror writers to come.

Originally published in 1922 as Die Herzen der Könige, the total pages for this version of the short story is at 47. This makes it’s difficult to offer a comprehensive review of the tale itself, so a brief synopsis will have to suffice. The story takes place in Paris and centers around fictional French painter Martin Droling. The tale also features the real life Duke of Orléans, Ferdinand Philippe. Droling is intent on selling a series of horrific art works to the Duke painted using “mummy brown”, a pigment created using human hearts. In this case, the hearts in question belonging to past members of the royal House of Orléans. To delve any further would give away too much. Lets just say that it’s a story of enough caliber as to make Stephen King burn his manuscripts and take a hammer to his typewriter.

Stefan EggelerIncluded here and deserving equal billing to the writer himself are the etchings of Viennese artist Stefan Eggeler. His beautifully gruesome artwork plays an integral role in the story, bringing life to Droling’s macabre pieces. Eggeler is probably most well known for his suite of classic Witches Sabbath images, Walpurgisnacht.

And finally there’s the book itself, the original Eggeler etchings as stated above, translated and cover art by Markus Wolff (Crash Worship/Waldteufel) and designed by Finnish artist Timo Ketola, it’s a gorgeous piece of occult art. The details as taken from the Ajna website:

7″ x 10″
Pearl Linen B, Rich Bordeaux cloth with gold foil stamping.
Ebony and gold marbled end papers.
60# Natures Natural paper, deckle edged.
Black headbands.

Limited to just 493 copies, this is one you probably shouldn’t sleep on. Order your copy today at the link below.
Highly recommended.

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