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The Tower of Fools: From the bestselling author of THE WITCHER series comes a new fantasy (The Hussite Trilogy) Paperback – 8 July 2021
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A BRAND NEW TRILOGY from the author of the legendary WITCHER series, set during the vibrantly depicted Hussite wars.
Reinmar of Bielau, called Reynevan, flees after being caught in an affair with a knight's wife.
With strange, mystical forces gathering in the shadows and pursued not only by the Stercza brothers bent on vengeance, but also by the Holy Inquisition, Reynevan finds himself in the Narrenturm, the Tower of Fools, a medieval asylum for the mad, or for those who dare to think differently and challenge the prevailing order.
The 'patients' of this institution form an incomparable gallery of colourful types: including, among others, the young Copernicus, proclaiming the truth of the heliocentric solar system.
This is the first in an epic new series from the phenomenon, ANDRZEJ SAPKOWSKI, author of the WITCHER books
Praise for Andrzej Sapkowski:
'Like Mieville and Gaiman, Sapkowski takes the old and makes it new' FOUNDATION
'Like a complicated magic spell, a Sapkowski novel is a hodge podge of fantasy, intellectual discourse and dry humour. Recommended' TIME
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A ripping yarn delivered with world-weary wit, bursting at the seams with sex, death, magic and madness ― Joe Abercrombie
A well-crafted mix of historical fiction and fantasy with engaging characters, a tight plot and a unique setting ― Grimdark Magazine
A bloody but satisfying picaresque ― Guardian
- Publisher : Gollancz; 1st edition (8 July 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 576 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1473226147
- ISBN-13 : 978-1473226142
- Dimensions : 13 x 3.8 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 160,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 October 2020
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In the midst of tragedy and war, there's humour too, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for Reynevan, Scharley and Samson in the next volume!
This novel is full of Christian lore and the complexities of the Hussite Wars that occurred during this time. There’s many competing factions: The Duchies of Silesia and Bohemia, the Holy Roman Empire, the Teutonic Knights who are still licking their wounds after the Polish-Lithuanian army defeated them at the battle of Tannenberg in 1415. Mind you, that battle was more about the expansion of Teutonic influence in Poland than anything else. You will have seen witches, magical creatures and so much more in this novel. I am glad that Andrzej added the fantasy elements which I’ve always seen in medieval manuscripts. It really brings the world alive.
But then, there’s also the fact I discovered: The Hussites have been declared heretics by the Church in Rome. For those familiar with European medieval history, the Church in Rome decreed many movements that were ‘heretics’. The Cathars, for one, were wiped out, the Huguenots another. They were considered ‘heretics’ for what, exactly? For the Church in Rome had become corrupt, corruption, selling fake bones as the relics of a lost and great saint. You’ll see very many religious debates going on this in this time. And a lot of Latin. A lot of latin. Dare I say, they had become more corrupt than the Greek-Roman Paganism priesthood had been. Everyone in this novel is acting in some peculiar way, for the will of God. But no one is following the commandments as set in the Bible. Not everybody of course is evil, let that be said. But you see where Andrzej got his inspiration from when he wrote the world of the Witcher. I loved Scharly, and the Giant named Samson. Two of the best characters in this novel.
This is a little confusing, what with all the names and duchies. As I am not too familiar with this area of history so much. But it is immersive. And a massive thank you to David French for taking on this arduous task of translating as it would not have been easy. Kudos to the cover designer team at Gollancz for making a fantastic effort. This is a historical fantasy, but to me it feels more light in terms of its fantasy content and delivers more on the historical fiction side. This could be because its setting the world up. I wonder if the developers at Kingdom Come Deliverance could hire Andrzej as their next writer for their upcoming games, because I see some similarities between the book and the video game which is set in Medieval Germany. Overall, this novel was great and I give it a 10/10!
My apologies to all who love this series but I gave up as there is so much out there to read that I will enjoy.
If this is a "good" example of this saga in book-form, I shall be sticking to the television adaptations. My 2 star rating reflects a less than neutral position as I totally failed to understand what the book was about.
An Advanced Reader Copy review - free books never buy my opinion!