The main things I took away from this novel were a look at the nature of lycanthropy in Ravenloft, a overview of the domain of Kartakass, and a good look at the Darklord of that domain.
Robert King- This is the fourth book that was released in the Ravenloft line of novels based off the Ravenloft setting in the pen and paper roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons. He wrote The Invasion Cycle (Invasion, Planeshift, and Apocalypse), The Onslaught Cycle (Onslaught, Legions, and Scourge), a stand-alone novel titled The Thran, and wrote the third book in The Artifacts series called Time Streams. Heart of Midnight was released in December 1992 and published by TSR, Inc. However, this book is hard to find and you'll most likely need to pick it up used. The killer is also the towns meistersinger, or leader, and as the time comes to choose a new ruler for Harmonia, Casimir enters the contest under disguise. The current meistersinger has yet to lose for the past twenty years due to drugging the ale before the contest begins, however Casimir doesn't drink and as the final stage is about to start, the liquid is forced down his throat. With a few surviving children, Casimir and Thoris, regroup in the rundown church of Milil and begin a plan to finally take revenge. But as time passes, is the bard really helping Casimir or turning him into something more beastly? For the longest time, the characters seemed bland but they did have hints of something more to them, but those hints weren't explored until later in the novel. This was the major problem with Heart of Midnight, you couldn't get behind the characters right away and everything happened way too fast. Those two would have been much more interesting leads instead of Casimir, who seemed to appear as little more than a side character. However, at the start of the story, he appeared to be a very sympathetic and likable character, but this doesn't last long. After the beginning, Casimir quickly turns into a side character. I would have rather seen more of the impact his change causes on his friends, instead of the focus being mostly on Casimir. While he isn't really there for the first half of the story and he only seemed to be more like a side character during that half, he really turned out to be amazing. The atmosphere was the other good thing about this story. The story had a very good, creepy atmosphere to it. The beginning, up until Casimir's revenge, should have been the first book. That whole story needed more detail and character development. Casimir looks decent and interesting but other than that, the background is bland and the coloring is just plain boring. The characters started out as bland, uninteresting people who I couldn't careless about. If you enjoy werewolf fiction and want to be pleasantly surprised to be manipulated by a fictional character, yes.
While I admit this book wasn't incredible, it did a couple of things right that I always want to see from horror and dark fantasy.
Si, ya sé que me leí la Saga de Geralt de Rivia, pero Corazón de Medianoche, al servir de soporte literario a un Escenario de Campaña de D&D me parece, dentro de mi sistema mental, fantasía medieval mainstream, mientras que para mi otros trabajos, como el mentado, es algo más indie. Por otra parte, la sensación encontrada se debía a que era la primera vez que afrontaba un escenario de campaña tan famoso como lo es Ravenloft. Debo decir que la novela no me decepcionó, el autor da con el tono del escenario de campaña. Por otra parte, me asombró el encontrarme en una novela de este tipo, personajes tan jóvenes. Salvo este punto, que no es mal de morir si eres un lector paciente, Corazón de Medianoche es una gran historia.
Harkon Lukas, an already established Ravenloft character, was also handled well (I have a different expectation for already existing characters than ones that were just created - especially if the author did not create such characters themselves.) Only negative would be the progression of some of the characters through the story. Julianna felt a little one-dimensional, and Thoris I thought jumped a bit too far out of character the more the story progressed.
For a first novel, the prose was actually better than I expected.