An extravagant, lyrical novel about a city of poets and librarians at the height of the Renaissance. A city that never was.
A City of Poets and Dreamers, Liars and Cheats…
Tommaso Cellini, celebrated ruler of Cadenza, is dead, and the city mourns. For Carlo Mazzoni, an aspiring poet, it was the day of his arrival in the City of Words and the end of his dreams to walk side-by-side with the great man, two artists together.
For Vittoria — known to all but a handful as the famed ink maid Hypatia — the death of a ruler is less troubling than her sadness and inability to write. Without it, her admirers will leave her, and with it her livelihood.
With its ruler dead, the city plunges into turmoil amid rumours of war with its rival Venice. Surrounded by murder, intrigue, revenge and revolution, they must rely on new friends and sinister acquaintances to find their paths to freedom.
About the Author
Tom Beckerlegge grew up in the northwest of England in a house filled with books. Writing as Tom Becker, he won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize with his debut novel; The Carnival of Ash is his first adult book. He lives in Enfield with his wife and young son.
"It's a marvellously convincing dystopia" -- Guardian
"A gorgeous, immersive triumph of Renaissance-flavored worldbuilding" -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
— Publishers Weekly
‘Ingenious and intricate’ -- Katherine Addison
“[A] delicate study of the demise of society” -- SciFiNow
“Memorable” -- SFX Magazine
— SFX Magazine
“The zest and wit that Beckerlegge infuses into his fantastical Decameron is marvelous” -- Locus