The orphan Cole wanders the world, seeking the fabled Underground City which he has promised his love Sigrid he will find. Somewhere else entirely, Niven sits in a palace garden taking lessons in astronomy and architecture, dreaming up ways to escape being married off to one of her father’s friends.
Cole’s story is pieced together from folk songs and fragments as he travels ever onwards towards his destiny: a new life even stranger than the one before. Niven too will learn what it means to leave the garden of childhood. Their world is one of witchcraft and wishing, wisdom and regret, as they slowly learn how much it is possible to love, and suffer for the sake of love.
Comic, grotesque, lyrical, and immensely readable, Tony Williams’s fantasy picaresque is a reader’s delight. A sweeping yarn through the darkest of ages, filled with rogues, lovers, murderers, swindlers, and saints.