A brand-new historical fantasy from a legend of the genre. Fans of Bernard Cornwall, Conn Iggulden and Joe Abercrombie will love this. Reinmar of Bielawa, sometimes known as Reynevan, is a doctor, a magician and, according to some, a charlatan.
Discovered in bed with the wife of a high-born knight, he must flee his normal life. But his journeys will lead him into a part of Europe which will be overtaken by chaos. Religious tension between Hussite and Catholic countries is threatening to turn into war.
Pursued not only by the affronted Stercza brothers, bent on vengeance, but also by the Holy Inquisition, and with strange, mystical forces gathering in the shadows, Reynevan finds himself in the Narrenturm, the Tower of Fools. The Tower is an asylum for the mad, or for those who dare to think differently and challenge the prevailing order. The ‘patients’ of this institution form a gallery of colourful types including the young Copernicus, proclaiming the truth of his heliocentric solar system.
But can Reynevan escape the Tower, and avoid being drawn in to the conflict around him, without losing his own mind?
The first in an epic new trilogy set during the vibrantly depicted Hussite Wars by Andrzej Sapkowski, author of the bestselling Witcher series that has become an international phenomenon and inspired a bestselling videogame and Netflix show. Translated by David French, who worked with Sapkowski on six Witcher books. * * * * * * * * * ‘A ripping yarn delivered with world-weary wit, bursting at the seams with sex, death, magic and madness’ Joe Abercrombie
Sapkowski's love for the period is clear as he touches on notorious historical events and figures, including the Defenestration of Prague and printing press inventor Johannes Gutenberg. The carefully painted landscapes and intricate politics, meanwhile, effortlessly draw readers into Reinmar's life and times. This is historical fantasy done right
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A ripping yarn delivered with world-weary wit, bursting at the seams with sex, death, magic and madness
A well-crafted mix of historical fiction and fantasy with engaging characters, a tight plot and a unique setting
A bloody but satisfying picaresque