'Intricate and crisp, witty and solemn: a book with special and dangerous properties,' Hilary Mantel
'Baroque, Byzantine and beautiful - not to mention bold' M.R. Carey
Rotherweird is twisted, arcane murder-mystery with shades of Deborah Harkness, Hope Mirrlees and Ben Aaronovitch, Mervyn Peake and Edward Gorey at their disturbing best.
The town of Rotherweird stands alone - there are no guidebooks, despite the fascinating and diverse architectural styles cramming the narrow streets, the avant garde science and offbeat customs. Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, Rotherweird's independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history.
For beneath the enchanting surface lurks a secret so dark that it must never be rediscovered, still less reused.
But secrets have a way of leaking out.
Two inquisitive outsiders have arrived: Jonah Oblong, to teach modern history at Rotherweird School (nothing local and nothing before 1800), and the sinister billionaire Sir Veronal Slickstone, who has somehow got permission to renovate the town's long-derelict Manor House.
Slickstone and Oblong, though driven by conflicting motives, both strive to connect past and present, until they and their allies are drawn into a race against time - and each other. The consequences will be lethal and apocalyptic.
Welcome to Rotherweird!
A history-tragic-comedy all rolled into one, Rotherweird is intricate and crisp, witty and solemn: a book not unlike other books, but with special and dangerous properties. Line by line, silent and adroit, it opens a series of trap-doors in the reader's imagination — Hilary Mantel, two-time Man Booker prize winner
Baroque, Byzantine and beautiful - not to mention bold. An enthralling puzzle picture of a book — M R Carey, author of the bestselling The Girl With All The Gifts
Compelling . . . the love child of Gormenghast and Hogwarts. — the Guardian
Sublime . . . Call me greedy, but I'm already itching to return to Caldecott's universe. — The Irish Times
One of this year's most anticipated debut novels — SFX
This novel is a remarkable achievement. It's also extremely funny, in a typically British sort of way . . . a delightful Harry Potter for grown ups — Sunday Independent
Truly, sinisterly magical. 10/10 — Starburst
A great introduction to its strange and mesmerising world, and a feat of imagination, packed with ideas and extraordinary people. It's well worth the visit. — SciFiNow
This is a twisty, hilarious, magical story crammed full of intricate characters and nefarious plots — The Little Squid
I LOVED this book. It just did something to me. I was utterly immersed from page one . . . This is a novel of magnificence and detail, of science and nature — Fantastical Library
Assured and ambitious . . . deeply impressive debut — Nick Curtis, Evening Standard on Higher than Babel
Vivid and absorbing and grapples with big ideas without being dry, difficult or patronising — Sarah Hemming, Financial Times on Higher than Babel
What an enjoyable read! So vividly written, I could visualise every winding street and twisting chimney of Rotherweird . . . If you like Ben Aaronovitch, Neil Gaiman or Susanna Clarke, this book is for you! — Book Geek Girl