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.

Delving deeper into the haunting world of ghosts, ancestors, and eldritch lore, Ari Berk returns to the series that Publisher's Weekly calls "thought-provoking gothic fantasy," with a style the School Library Journal praises as "reminiscent of the classic gothic works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Shirley Jackson."

* * * 

Praise for Mistle Child


"Fine bedtime fare for readers looking to cut down on their sleep."

— Kirkus

"Dark and gothic, with rich and descriptive language, Mistle Child draws readers in, regardless of whether or not they have read the first book. Teens who enjoy horror stories will relish this dark, ghostly tale."

— School Library Journal

"Berk’s second title in The Undertaken Trilogy will definitely satisfy gothic fantasy lovers. Berk is certainly a master storyteller. He understands how to tell a ghost tale dripping with rich detail and vivid imagery. He leads readers into a captivating world that seduces with each page turn. Readers who are fans of this genre will devour this sequel and look forward to the conclusion." 


"Mistle Child is a gorgeously imagined and tightly woven story anchored in folklore and ghost lore of a highly authentic nature."

— The Children's Bookshelf

"Masterfully crafted."

— teenreads

This is a wonderful book with tons of atmosphere and a really unique plot...original, brilliantly rendered, and has a great story and characters...a book that has created emotions in me that I didn't even know were present.
— Great Imaginations

Another beautiful, haunting novel from Ari Berk... and while I would have loved it to be longer, well, that's just me being greedy. I'll take what I can get, and revel in the fact that there is more yet to come.
— little squeed

The story of Death Watch unfurls slowly and somehow masterfully combines an air of gloom with the sense and comfort of home. …Berk crafts a whole fantasy landscape out of death and the means through which it can trap both the living and the dead. It is a particularly mature theme and one that young adult targeted fantasy titles rarely seem willing to touch. …There are few novels I’ve read that have done as good a job at taking a character through a journey of growth and discovery… Where some YA tends towards melodrama, Death Watch conveys emotion with seeming ease and readers will latch on to Silas right from the outset. Ari Berk is definitely a writer to watch and the Undertaken Trilogy (of which Death Watch is the first) is a series that definitely needs some more attention. Death Watch is thoughtful, beautiful, and absolutely mesmerizing prose that adults and teens should experience for themselves.


Mike Ferrante/


Franklin Township Public Library, Somerset, NJ


MISTLE CHILD is available at better bookstores everywhere, 
or click below to purchase online 



Photographs and illustrations compiled by Amos Umber 

for the unpublished manuscript 

ARVALE MANOR — Its Domains 

and Holdings Both Spectral and Material