The Spectra Maker is the third novel by Mauro Longo, famous wandering writer, known for his series of short stories, role plays and librigames set in the world of Ultima Forsan, created in collaboration with Giuseppe Rotondo.

This work, as mentioned in advance, is the author's third novel and, as he himself talks about it in his blog, clashes with what is commonly called the "Third theory"(Album, book, game, you name it).

The third book, my friends, the third book cannot lie. This you had to write from scratch after finishing the second. The third book is what establishes whether you are a good writer or have only had luck so far.

Mauro Longo

Before my opinion on this sentence from the author, however, I would like to talk to you about the Ghostmaker.

Two words about the Ghost Maker

A painting from the battle of Lepanto to which the events of the book open up

This volume, edited by the house Dana Books (the same publishing house that imports Batman and all the DC comics in Italy), is a novel that lies between the historical and fantasy genres.

The year in which the story takes place is 1571, a few days after the battle of Lepanto, and tells the story of Bartimaeus Beretta, gunsmith, inventor, sorcerer. In short, the classic Venetian for all seasons, as other writers who have told stories in this troubled century have already made known to us in the past. The character embodies the will to power of a people who will soon witness the decline of their mercantile and political power, in a Europe that will see its greatness reduced after the discovery of the so-called New World.

The roads that Bartimeo Beretta travels, in his search for the "Ghostmaker" intersect with those of historical figures who really existed, such as the "black Knight”Of Hungary Ferec Nadasdy, la Blood Countess Erzsébet Báthory, the spy Esperanza Malchi or the renegade pirate Uluç Alì said Uccialli, known Italian traitor in the service of the Grand Sultan.

The Theory On The Third Book

The triad of books Mauro Longo

The third book has been released!

For the first time the author departs from his Ultima Forsan, but does not abandon some aspects that we have been able to appreciate in his previous works. The intrigues that Mauro Longo proposes to us in this novel are very reasoned, intricate, not at all obvious and full of suspense and make the narrative very complex and full of twists, such as to make you stay glued to the pages.

We can safely say that the ideas are there, and that this third book lives up to the previous two!

The quotations of Mauro Longo

The first time I approached a book by Mauro, whom I consider one of the kindest and most helpful people I have ever had to deal with in the "world" of the game, was with his "Guiscardi Without Glory" (which you can find at this address). When I bought the book, I wasn't sure what to expect: I didn't usually read Italian fantasy and I was very reluctant, as usual, being a very selective reader. Well, the volume instead made me think again. Right from the start I noticed the author's deep culture, and not only in the literary field, but also in the cinema. I caught a quote right away and it at three in the morning to compliment him.

Also on this tour Mauro, like many small crumbs of bread, sows small quotes in his latest work, which I will not reveal to you in order not to take away the taste of finding them in turn.

Two questions to the author

A photo of the author of the Manufacturer of Spectra

Since Mauro is always so available, and for the sake of completeness, we contacted him to ask him two questions, which were particularly dear to us, concerning his novel.

1) In your book you can perceive a strong pacifist component, despite the fact that there is a battle on the horizon and clashes throughout the story, especially in one of the flashbacks that best presents one of the protagonists. Is it therefore intended to be a criticism of the ancient world, or even of the modern one with the current situation we are experiencing?

Look, I say it very simply: I am NOT a pacifist. I believe that "violence" is, for good and (especially) for evil, a natural component of animal species and therefore also of man. Even the most meek herbivores, if threatened, possess in nature the tools and the instinctive inclination to defend themselves. So the problem, from my point of view, is not the concept of violence itself, but how it applies, how it ABUSES it and - even more - where it is going and why. If someone exercises brutal, cruel violence motivated by abject interests, then for me it is to be denigrated in every way, and to be fought. Exercising strength to defend correct and positive ideals (once defined), to defend values ​​and people in difficulty, on the other hand, I consider it an acceptable and often necessary fact. The third point, often paradoxical, is that of those who exercise violence by following orders. Is it lawful? Isn't that lawful? In my opinion, individual responsibility also remains when carrying out orders. 

“Just because you have received an order does not mean that you must carry it out” is a maxim that should be learned and somatized. Whatever it takes. This, however, of course, calls into question the entire defense body of an organized social structure ... and it is also right that it should be so. 

In short, I believe that in any historical moment, if one gets carried away by what someone else tells him to do, he will always end up making mistakes and one day being condemned by history. The only way not to be tainted by the injustices of your time is to always do what feels right, not caring what the law, the king or the general on duty say at that moment. And if you have to beat your hands, we must not back down.

2) This question is lighter, but a must. Will we see Bartimeo Beretta again in one of your future books, thus giving birth to a series focused on him or should we be satisfied with “Il Fabbricante di Ghosts”?

An attentive reader will notice that there are many links in the novel to possible sequels and prequels to the story, but at this moment there is still no plan for the future of Bartimaeus and his cheerful cronies. As soon as we decide, you will be the first to know!

Conclusions on "The Ghostmaker"

Il Fabbricante di Spettri is an excellent book to begin reading Mauro Longo's works. No previous knowledge is necessary and even those who do not know the history of the period can fully enjoy it. You can find everything in this novel: intrigues, passions, struggles all in the shadow of a historical period full of events that have shaped our modern history.