Award-winning author Simon Morden joins Gollancz with a stunning SF quest across a vast world that mirrors every London ever built.
Instead of fire, there was water.
A wave slapped through the open doorway, and a gust of wind blew into the smoke-filled corridor, dragging a spiral of soot outwards and away.
MARY. One slip away from prison, fighting to build herself a future from nothing.
DALIP. The gentle son of a warrior tradition. A young man who must fight for independence from his family.
STANISLAV. A fierce and capable man carrying the wounds of a brutal war.
They left London in flames for a place where everything was different. A place that can uncover your secrets.
A place haunted by a man called Crows . . .
This revealing portal fantasy takes ordinary folks and drops them into an extraordinary landscape, something like Narnia noir. Seven London subway workers, escaping from a mysterious conflagration that engulfs the city, leap into the primitive wilderness of Down, a world of dragons and sea serpents that responds to the desires and abilities of its inhabitants. Mary, a troubled young woman hanging onto a job as a track cleaner, discovers that she can tap into the magic of Down, causing castles to grow from the ground. Dalip, a Sikh struggling to retain his faith, must learn to survive as a pit fighter without succumbing to either fear or brutality. Together, they begin a quest to find a map that may lead them home. Philip K. Dick Award winner Morden provides his characters with ample incentives to indulge in their newfound powers, tempering temptation with the moral beliefs that sustain the protagonists. Their philosophies and wry humor are deeply rooted in the harsh real-world events that have shaped them. Even though illusions abound, true natures are uncovered through the transformative magic of Morden's setting.