From the internationally bestselling author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street comes an astonishing historical novel set in the magical forests of South America, perfect for fans of The Night Circus, The Essex Serpent and The Muse
AN AMAZON BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH
Deep in uncharted Peru, the holy town of Bedlam stands at the edge of a forest. The shrine statues move, and anyone who crosses the border dies. But somewhere inside are cinchona trees, whose bark yields quinine: the only known treatment for malaria.
By 1859, on the other side of the Pacific, the hunt for a reliable source of quinine is critical and the India Office searches out its last qualified expeditionary, the injured Merrick Tremayne. Against his own better judgement, Merrick finds himself dispatched to Bedlam under orders to bring back cinchona cuttings at any cost.
As Merrick travels into hostile territory, he meets Raphael, a priest around whom the villagers spin unsettlingly familiar stories of impossible disappearances and living stone. It is through him that Merrick finally discovers a legacy that will prove more dangerous and valuable than the India Office could ever have imagined.