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To the world you are an abomination; a monster with unholy abilities. You're shunned and left to fend for yourself. Your only chance of survival is to tap into that dark potential - would you do it?In an isolated mountain community, sometimes a child is born with two hearts.

Such a child - a striga - is considered a dangerous demon, which must be abandoned on the edge of the forest to protect the community. The only choice the child's mother can make is whether to leave her home with her infant, or stay behind and try to forget. Miriat made her choice.

She and her nineteen-year-old striga daughter, Salka, now live a life of deprivation and hardship in a remote village, where to follow the impulses of the other heart is forbidden. But Salka is headstrong and young, and when threatened with losing everything, she is forced to explore the depths of her true nature, testing the bonds between mother and child.

The Second Bell by Gabriela Houston

  • Format: Paperback

    ISBN: 9780857668905

    Publisher: Angry Robot 

  • “A lyrical tale of mothers and daughters, the lies we tell ourselves and the choking strictures of petty society. Gabriela Houston’s twist on Slavic folklore offers readers a mediation on the power, beauty and danger of the natural world, seen through the eyes of a rich cast of characters whose behaviour is all too manifestly human, despite their sometimes supernatural nature. Captivating, provocative and poignant – not to be missed.”
    – David Wragg, author of The Black Hawks


    “Houston has penned a confident and original page turner of a debut novel that reads like authentic folklore. This is well worth your time!”
    – Gavin G Smith, author of The Bastard Legion series


    “Houston projects her background of Polish mythologies and dark fairy tales onto this fanciful debut. Redemption, sacrifice, and generosity underpin this story about mother-and-daughter relationships. Fans of mythical yarns and medieval fantasies will enjoy this easy-to-read fable.”
    – Library Journal

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