An ornate yet dark fantasy, with echoes of Scott Lynch, Robin Hobb and Jon Courtenay Grimwood. An original and beautifully imagined world, populated by unforgettable characters. A debut novel which garnered rave reviews on publication from fellow authors, bloggers and the likes of SFX magazine.
Lucien de Fontein has grown up different. One of the mysterious and misshapen Orfano who appear around the Kingdom of Landfall, he is a talented fighter yet constantly lonely, tormented by his deformity, and well aware that he is a mere pawn in a political game. Ruled by an insane King and the venomous Majordomo, it is a world where corruption and decay are deeply rooted - but to a degree Lucien never dreams possible when he first discovers the plight of the 'insane' women kept in the haunting Sanatoria.
Told in a continuous narrative interspersed with flashbacks we see Lucien grow up under the care of his tutors. We watch him forced through rigorous Testings, and fall in love, set against his yearning to discover where he comes from, and how his fate is tied to that of every one of the deformed Orfano in the Kingdom, and of the eerie Sanatoria itself.
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Den Patrick was born in Dorset in 1975 and shares a birthday with Bram Stoker. He has at various times been a comics editor, burlesque reviewer, bookseller and Games workshop staffer. Anything to avoid getting a real job in fact.
He lives and works in London. His first three books for Gollancz, the War Manuals, were released in autumn 2013. He is currently working on The Erebus Sequence, which began with THE BOY WITH THE PORCELAIN BLADE and continued with THE BOY WHO WEPT BLOOD.
"Empathetic outsider Lucien makes a winning guide through Landfall's twisted halls of power in a series opener that should appeal to fans of Robin Hobb." —Library Journal
"Patrick's magnetic concoction of horrific, quick-moving fantasy is a winner." –Publishers Weekly
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