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‘Intricate and crisp, witty and solemn: a book with special and dangerous properties’ – Hilary Mantel

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!

‘Baroque, Byzantine and beautiful – not to mention bold’ M.R. Carey

‘Compelling . . . the love child of Gormenghast and Hogwarts’ Guardian

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Fantasy

On Sale: 25th April 2017

Price: £14.99

ISBN-13: 9781784297626


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
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
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
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
Sublime . . . Call me greedy, but I'm already itching to return to Caldecott's universe
The Irish Times
Compelling . . . the love child of Gormenghast and Hogwarts
One of this year's most anticipated debut novels
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
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
Truly, sinisterly magical. 10/10
If J. K. Rowling had given Jasper Fforde permission to document a decade of derring-do in Diagon Alley, the result would read rather like Rotherweird
A quirky portal fantasy peppered with singular names . . . Top marks for inventiveness
Speculative Herald
This is an immensely enjoyable, Gothic(ish) / steampunk/ Gormanghast-esque romp with Dickensian overtones. Rotherweird itself is a great imaginative creation . . . A fun, often funny, exciting and highly readable story. Get it now
Blue Balloon
Highly recommended, I think this novel will eventually be viewed as a modern classic
The Eloquent Page
One of the most appealing and fascinating books I've read in some time now. There is darkness and humour here together with invention and originality. For me there are echoes of the work of both Mervyn Peake and Neil Gaiman here
Books and More Books
This is quite possibly the best fantasy novel I have read this year
Silvia Kay on YouTube
The writing is a true pleasure . . . an airy, yet incisive quality; a purposeful dreaminess; images that stick with me, yet prose that does not labor to describe
Strange Horizons
A highly unusual book, a kind of portal fantasy/historical fantasy/contemporary urban fantasy blend. It reminds me most of Robert Holdstock or Charles de Lint, though less ominous in tone than either
The Review Curmudgeon
Unusual, mannered, quirky
Library Thing
A fun blend of absurdist humour, creepy peril and fecund magic to be found here
Press Reader
History, fantasy, tragedy and comedy collide in new and unusual ways, to create a novel that is full of intrigue and mystery
The Book Muse
Rotherweird definitely delivered. The flippant way to describe it would be as a Midsomer Murders episode as told by Jeff VanderMeer with a touch of Agatha Christie. That doesn't do it justice though because joking aside it's a very good book
Stefen’s Books
I loved the blend of past, present and other worlds. I loved the characters, the intricate plotting and the playfulness with words, English and Latin
Boffins Books
An imaginative tour de force
The Times
Hugely entertaining . . . this novel is a remarkable achievement. It's also extremely funny, in a typically British sort of way
A mystical tale of suspense and adventure, mixed in with the macabre and Tudor England. Andrew Caldecott's ability to create and shape worlds and the characters in them, draws the reader into an intense narrative of plot and subtext that keeps you guessing. Enchanting and beautifully written