The Face in the Frost
Prospero lived in the South Kingdom in a ridiculous doodad-covered house filled with the paraphernalia of a practicing sorcerer.... He's hero Number 1. Hero Number 2 is Roger Bacon, Prospero's longtime friend and learned necromancer.... In the frosty North Kingdom lived the wizard Melichus. The story begins in Prospero's home when he and Roger Bacon are reunited after a long separation. The two old friends should have been enjoying themselves, but actually they were both scared silly. Outside, inside, seeping around them in the weird, wailing night, was a Presence as cold as hell itself. The wizards tried chant after chant in corrupt Coptic but nothing did any good. The Thing was closing in.
"This is a great example of Bellairs' quirky, hodge-podgey style...although it sounds like the usual sword-and-sorcery kind of thing, it isn't at all - but it is considered a classic of fantasy literature." - Jean (Howling Frog Books)
About the Book
The first and only book to feature the wizards Prospero and Roger Bacon. It was written during Bellairs’ stay England.
Bellairs's projected title for the book was simply, Prospero.
A rumored prequel written by Bellairs for author Lin Carter's juvenile fantasy anthology, Magic Kingdoms, was to explain how Prospero and Roger Bacon were first introduced to each other. As best we can tell, Carter's anthology was never released and Bellairs' short story is presumed lost.
John's son, Frank, believed a notebook existed that had his father's hand-drawn map and notes for a second book about Prospero and Roger Bacon, according to Brad Strickland. In the mid-1990s Frank and Brad toyed around with a sequel that would have been called The Voice from the Fog.
An unfinished manuscript entitled The Dolphin Cross, a sequel, was released in 2009.
Allusions to the book include:
- The High House (1998), James Stoddard .
- The Whistle, the Grave and the Ghost (2003), Brad Strickland .
Markings of Hatto dot the Northern Kingdom landscape.
Roger Bacon tries to use a brazen head to encircle England with a wall of brass. Things don't quite work out.
There is a Five Dials Inn in Horton village, in Somerset, England – an area Bellairs may have visited during his travels overseas.
Prospero uses a model of the Actaeon that sank – will sink – in Charleston, South Carolina.