Stef Penney - Under a Pole Star - Quercus

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds

Under a Pole Star

Shortlisted for the 2017 Costa Novel Award

By Stef Penney
Read by Cathleen McCarron and Thomas Judd

  • Downloadable audio file
  • £P.O.R.

A panoramic historical epic and an unforgettable love story from the author of the Costa-winning The Tenderness of Wolves, for fans of Sarah Perry, Jessie Burton and Donna Tartt

COSTA WINNING AUTHOR Stef Penney returns to the wild Arctic setting she brought so vividly to life in THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES, in an epic story of ambition, perseverance and love against the odds. Perfect for fans of TO THE BRIGHT EDGE OF THE WORLD and THE ESSEX SERPENT. 'A supreme storyteller' Sunday Times

Flora Mackie first crossed the Arctic Circle at the age of twelve. In 1889, the whaler's daughter from Dundee - dubbed by the press 'The Snow Queen' - sets out to become a scientist and explorer. She struggles to be taken seriously but determination and chance lead her back to northern Greenland at the head of a British expedition, despite the many who believe that a young woman has no place in this harsh world of men.

Geologist Jakob de Beyn was raised in Manhattan. Yearning for wider horizons, he joins a rival expedition, led by the furiously driven Lester Armitage. When Jakob and Flora's paths cross, it is a fateful meeting.

All three become obsessed with the north, a place where violent extremes exist side by side: perpetual night and endless day; frozen seas and coastal meadows; heroism and lies. Armitage's ruthless desire to be the true leader of polar discovery takes him and his men on a mission whose tragic outcome will reverberate for years to come.

Set against the stark, timeless beauty of northern Greenland, and fin-de-siècle New York and London, Under a Pole Star is a compelling look at the dark side of the 'golden age' of exploration, a study of the corrosive power of ambition, and an epic, incendiary love story. It shows that sometimes you have to travel to the furthest edge of the world in order to find your true place in it.

(P)2016 WF Howes Ltd

Biographical Notes

Stef Penney grew up in Edinburgh. She has degrees in Philosophy and Theology and Film and TV, and was selected for the Carlton Television New Writers Scheme and has since written and directed two short films. She is the author of The Tenderness of Wolves and The Invisible Ones.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781786482556
  • Publication date: 03 Nov 2016
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Quercus
Penney works hard to fill her canvas with colour and conviction — Sunday Times
A terrific and beautifully written yarn that will make readers yearn to travel and fall in love in a cold climate — The Times
It is a tribute to Penney's superlative descriptive skills that the book's erotic charge is so startlingly effective, and that her icy landscapes cast such a lasting, almost hallucinatory spell. This combination is the true rocket fuel of Under a Pole Star, and what makes it resonate long after the Snow Queen has divulged her long-held secret — Guardian
Curl up with this stunningly evocative tale about an intrepid young female explorer. As immersive as it is mesmerising, this is a novel that you won't ever forget — Heat
This . . . powerful drama is played out against a landscape that dominates [Penney's] imagination — Daily Mail
A beautifully written tale, elegant and well-observed, full of powerful descriptions of a dazzling landscape — Sunday Express
This is an epic love story set against the forbidding beauty of snow meadows. A perfect winter read — Red Magazine
What has marked Penney out from the start is her ability to make her extensive historical research come alive — Sunday Herald
MacLehose Press

A Book of Falsehoods

Jaan Kross
Authors:
Jaan Kross
Quercus

Blackberry and Wild Rose

Sonia Velton
Authors:
Sonia Velton
riverrun

Dark Water

Elizabeth Lowry
Authors:
Elizabeth Lowry
Quercus

A World on Fire

James Heneage
Authors:
James Heneage
riverrun

Yellowhammer

James Henry
Authors:
James Henry
Quercus

Destroying Angel

S. G. MacLean
Authors:
S. G. MacLean
MacLehose Press

The Time in Between

Marcello Fois
Authors:
Marcello Fois
Jo Fletcher Books

Kin

Snorri Kristjansson
Authors:
Snorri Kristjansson

'A dark mystery in a dark age brought vividly to life' says Robert Fabbri, author of the bestselling Vespasian seriesEveryone loves a family reunion.He can deny it all he likes, but everyone knows Viking warlord Unnthor Reginsson brought home a great chest of gold when he retired from the longboats and settled down with Hildigunnur in a remote valley. Now, in the summer of 970, adopted daughter Helga is awaiting the arrival of her unknown siblings: dark, dangerous Karl, lithe, clever Jorunn, gentle Aslak, henpecked by his shrewish wife, and the giant Bjorn, made bitter by Volund, his idiot son.And they're coming with darkness in their hearts.The siblings gather, bad blood simmers and old feuds resurface as Unnthor's heirs make their moves on the old man's treasure - until one morning Helga is awakened by screams. Blood has been shed: kin has been slain.No one confesses, but all the clues point to one person - who cannot possibly be the murderer, at least in Helga's eyes. But if she's going to save the innocent from the axe and prevent more bloodshed, she's got to solve the mystery - fast . . .Lies. Manipulation. Murder. There's nothing quite like family . . .

Jo Fletcher Books

Prince of the Spear

David Hair
Authors:
David Hair

Desperate for the next Game of Thrones? Prince of the Spear continues the Sunsurge Quartet and delivers a full-on fix of epic fantasy.The unthinkable has happened. With the Leviathan Bridge critically damaged and its towers unable to control the skies between Yuros and Antiopia, the East has invaded the West. A vast windfleet, constructed in secret, is winging across the Pontic SeaThe holy Shihad has begun.The Rondian Empire is divided and weak. Empress Lyra has barely survived a coup, triggered by a masked cabal whose members still remain concealed in the highest echelons of her court. Only Lyra's secret affinity to the heretical power of dwyma saved her - but that affinity is also her most dangerous weakness.As empires clash, lives are torn apart and long-held beliefs are overthrown by circumstance and desperation. A young queen whose court is riddled with traitors turns to the wrong people in her hour of need. Two princes clash in the skies, the fate of two nations riding on their skill. Two brothers must reconcile disparate cultures to regain their kingdom. An idealistic rabble-rouser sees a chance to strike. And a small group of dwymancers grope blindly for knowledge in a race against time before the masked Cabal strike again.'Represents modern epic fantasy at its best' - Fantasy Book Critic on the Moontide Quartet

Quercus

Before We Were Yours

Lisa Wingate
Authors:
Lisa Wingate
riverrun

The Secret of Vesalius

Jordi Llobregat
Authors:
Jordi Llobregat
Quercus

The Lost Village

Neil Spring
Authors:
Neil Spring

'What a fantastic, spooky, action packed, page turning thriller ... the best I've read in ages' Amazon reviewer'In my opinion, this is his best work to date with a compelling story that blends just the right amount of truth and fiction to keep the reader completely hooked' Amazon reviewer'Neil Spring is Agatha Christie meets James Herbert' STEPHEN VOLKA haunting thriller with an unforgettable twist The remote village of Imber - remote, lost and abandoned. The outside world hasn't been let in since soldiers forced the inhabitants out, much to their contempt.But now, a dark secret threatens all who venture near. Everyone is in danger, and only Harry Price can help. Reluctantly reunited with his former assistant Sarah Grey, he must unlock the mystery of Imber, and unsurface the secrets someone thought were long buried. But will Sarah's involvement be the undoing of them both?Also by Neil Spring: The Ghost HuntersThe Watchers

Quercus

The Guardian Angel

Elizabeth Gill
Authors:
Elizabeth Gill

1820. Alice Lee, middle-aged and unmarried, takes in a young murderer, Zebediah Bailey, when he's released from Durham gaol. Their acquaintance had begun when Alice's local Methodist minister had asked his congregation if anybody would help the young man, and Alice had volunteered. Alice dutifully writes him every week, sending him sweets from her shop. And when Zeb comes out and has nowhere to go, Alice takes him back to Stanhope in Weardale with her, much to the horror of her neighbours.A tale of an unlikely friendship set in the atmospheric world of 19th century Durham, this is the first in a new series set in Weardale.

Jo Fletcher Books

Rotherweird

Andrew Caldecott, Sasha Laika
Contributors:
Andrew Caldecott, Sasha Laika
Quercus

Conspiracy

Iain Gale
Authors:
Iain Gale

'Wonderfully imaginative' Bernard Cornwell, author of The Last Kingdom. British Intelligence maverick James Keane goes undercover in Napoleon's Paris for his most daring espionage mission yet. Perfect for fans of Simon Scarrow and Bernard Cornwell.It's 1812, and one man is on the top of the world. Napoleon Bonaparte has enjoyed victories all over Europe and is rebuilding the glorious city of Paris. Meanwhile, his enemies struggle to keep alive the embers of rebellion that still burn at the city's heart. To aid this noble cause, a few British intelligence officers have been smuggled in, and James Keane is one of them.Keane finds himself at once adrift in a world of gambling houses and derelict cemeteries - of ex-Jacobites, disaffected French royalists, Irishmen and Americans, all of them voicing dissension. If Keane is to succeed, a means must be discovered by which to persuade these miscreants to rise against Napoleon's rule, without alerting the endless spies and informers that surround them. Forging alliances between unlikely collaborators proves especially difficult for Keane, whose honourable nature objects so strongly to this double-dealing. But he must persevere, or else lose the golden opportunity to aid in the defeat of the tyrannical French Emperor once and for all.

Quercus

Nobody's Child

Elizabeth Gill
Authors:
Elizabeth Gill

'A wonderful book, full of passion, pain, sweetness, twists and turns' Sheila Newberry. A moving tearjearker for fans of Maggie Hope and Dilly Court. 'Kath walked for so long that she wanted to lie down in the snow and sleep but she thought of her sister and knew she must go on. Soon the snow was so deep that she couldn't move. She could feel her shoes disintegrating and her feet were numb. The sky cleared and a great big moon came out and there were so many stars. She remembered what her mother had said before she died, that each star was one of her people. She musn't give up now . . .'When their mother dies and their father, in his grief, burns down their wagon and runs away, Kath and Ella - gypsy sisters - suddenly become orphans. With no one to turn to for help, they face hardship and hunger at every turn. Will their special sisters' bond be strong enough to see them to safety?From the bestselling author of Miss Appleby's Academy and Far From My Father's House comes a heartwarming tale of family and overcoming adversity.

Quercus

Doctor of the High Fells

Elizabeth Gill
Authors:
Elizabeth Gill
riverrun

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

J. Ryan Stradal
Authors:
J. Ryan Stradal

Who is Eva Thorvald? To her single father, a chef, she's a pint-sized recipe tester and the love of his life. To the chilli chowdown contestants of Cook County, Illinois, she's a fire-eating demon. To the fashionable foodie goddess of supper clubs, she's a wanton threat. She's an enigma, a secret ingredient that no one can put their finger on. Eva will surprise everyone. On the day before her eleventh birthday, she's cultivating chilli peppers in her wardrobe like a pro. Abandoned by her mother, gangly and poor, Eva arms herself with the weapons of her unknown heritage: a kick-ass palate and a passion bordering on obsession. Over the years, her tastes grow, and so do her ambitions. One day Eva will be the greatest chef in the world. But along the way, the people she meets will shape her - and she, them - in ways unforgettable, riotous and profound. So she - for one - knows exactly who she is by the time her mother returns.Kitchens of the Great Midwest is about the family you lose, the friends you make and chance connections that can define a life. Joyful, quirky or brazen, everyone lends their voice to tell Eva's story - one that's as heartwarming as it is irresistible, taking the bitter with the sweet.

Quercus

Fragments

Sarah Foot
Authors:
Sarah Foot

Quercus

Return to the Italian Quarter

Domenica De Rosa
Authors:
Domenica De Rosa

Sophie is only a quarter Italian. But that quarter is her charismatic grandfather Cesare, and he has instilled in her a great love of her Italian heritage. So when a journalist starts to investigate Cesare's war record, Sophie reluctantly questions just how proud she should really be. She embarks upon a journey into the past which takes her from nineteenth-century Naples to London's Italian quarter and one of the war's forgotten tragedies. And along the way she also learns something very important about herself...