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In life, in death: family remains.     Silas Umber has finally come into his own as the Undertaker of Lichport when a mysterious invitation calls him beyond the marshes to Arvale, the ancestral manor of the Umbers. There, his extended family endures, waiting for a living Undertaker to return and preside over the Door Doom, an archaic rite that grants a terrible power to summon and bind the dead in judgment.     As Silas assumes the mantle of Janus, the Watcher at the Threshold, deep below the earth in the catacombs and sunken towers, grim spirits grow restless at his arrival--hungry for freedom and eager for vengeance against a family with a long history of harsh judgments. Now, Silas must right an ancient wrong and accept that even a house of ghosts can be haunted by its past--for in matters of family, we are who we were.

About the Author

Ari Berk

Please visit Ari Berk on the web at: www.ariberk.com

Ari Berk is an award-winning writer, folklorist, poet, visual artist, and scholar of literature, iconography, and comparative myth. Deeply dedicated to interdisciplinary writing, teaching, and research, Dr. Berk holds degrees in Ancient History (B.A.) , American Indian Studies (M.A.) , and Comparative Literature and Culture (Ph.D.) . The former student of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer N. Scott Momaday, he has studied at Oxford and traveled widely, making friends in many parts of the world.

By day, he is professor of English at Central Michigan University, teaching courses in mythology, folklore, American Indian studies, and medieval literature, as well as sitting on the board of directors of the Mythic Imagination Institute.

But by night, locked away within a high tower, Ari works tirelessly on his numerous writing projects surrounded by thousands of books and curious artifacts of ages past. To date, he has written the following books which you are most welcome to investigate further:

DEATH WATCH [Book one of The Undertaken Trilogy]

They say the dead should rest in peace. Not all the dead agree.

One night, Silas Umber's father Amos never comes home from work. Devastated, Silas struggles to understand what could make an ordinary mortician disappear from the face of the earth. But he's about to learn that Amos was no mere mortician: he was the Undertaker of Lichport, charged with bringing The Peace to the dead trapped in the Shadowlands and Mist Homes, those states of limbo binding spirits to earth. With Amos gone, Silas and his mother have no choice but to return to Lichport, the crumbling seaside town and necropolis where they all were born, and move in with Amos's brother, Charles, the town's former funeral photographer.

Even while Silas eagerly explores his father's town and its many abandoned streets and overgrown cemeteries, he grows increasingly wary of his uncle. There is something not quite right going on in Charles Umber's ornate, museum-like house - something, Silas is sure, that is connected to his father's disappearance. Determined to find his father, Silas's search leads him to his father's old office, where he comes across a powerful artifact: the Death Watch, a four hundred year old Hadean clock that allows the owner to see the dead.

With the Death Watch in hand, Silas begins to unearth Lichport's secret history - and discovers that he has inadvertently taken on his father's mantle as Lichport's Undertaker. Now, Silas must embark on a dangerous path into the Shadowlands to embrace his destiny and discover the truth about his father, no matter the cost.


THE SECRET HISTORIES(tm) Series (Templar UK/Candlewick US) - For thousands of years The Order of the Golden Quills have chronicled and collected knowl

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