In a grand medieval city where all change has been outlawed, a roguish young actor tempts fate and dinosaurs, all in the name of love
By law, nothing can change in Malacia—a teeming, eternal city of dukes, players, wizards, merchants, beggars, ape-men, lizard-boys, and courtesans—but that is of no great consequence to Perian de Chirolo. An out-of-work actor and unabashed rogue, he is well satisfied with his lot as long as there’s coin, eager young women to bed, and the occasional adventure. Perhaps it is this thrill-seeking spirit—or simply the lure of noble beauty—that makes Perian imprudently agree to take part in a mad inventor’s illegal experiments, since such foolishness will never be tolerated in Malacia. But Perian’s rash actions will only lead him on to further indiscretions, winning him first fame and then notoriety, causing him to be hunted, hounded, martyred, and trapped in a fight to the death with a razor-toothed Ancestral Beast on the outskirts of the city. And perhaps most frightening of all, Perian de Chirolo will find himself in love.
Grand Master Brian W. Aldiss, one of science fiction’s most able and ingenious creative artists, performs a truly astonishing feat of alternate-world building, immersing the reader in an unforgettable Medieval fantasy realm rich in color, incident, invention, and peril—and of course, giant lizards. Welcome to Malacia.