The Piaculum is an imaginative novel with a serious message of importance. It is the story of a man born with a birthmark that condemns him to a life of torment and anguish. A word of caution, this book is at times graphically grotesque. In telling the story of a cult called the Kathe, Richard Gray does a brilliant job of inventing people places and things that are at once believable and yet incomprehensible. The things the Kathe do in the name of their religion would make the most stalwart squeamish.
The plot is well-paced, the characters believably written, and the message that God sent his only begotten son to provide everlasting life is movingly taught with a modicum of preaching. The message that false prophets can mislead even the best of people brings to mind the tragedy in Waco.
If you are offended by violence, this book is not for you. If you are offended by any reference to religious issues, this book is not for you. If instead, you are excited at the prospect of reading first-class fiction, then The Piaculum is for you.