by Andrew Caldecott
Pub Date 18 May 2017
‘A history-tragic-comedy all rolled into one, Rotherweird is intricate and crisp, witty and solemn: a book not unlike other books, but with special and dangerous properties. Line by line, silent and adroit, it opens a series of trap-doors in the reader's imagination’
HILARY MANTEL, two-time Man Booker prize winner
‘Baroque, Byzantine and beautiful - not to mention bold. An enthralling puzzle picture of a book.’
M.R. CAREY author of the bestselling The Girl With All The Gifts
Perfect for fans of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and Gormenghast, Edward Gorey, Neil Gaiman and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
The town of Rotherweird stands alone - there are no guidebooks, despite the fascinating and diverse architectural styles cramming the narrow streets, the avant garde science and offbeat customs. Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, Rotherweird's independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history.
For beneath the enchanting surface lurks a secret so dark that it must never be rediscovered, still less reused.
But secrets have a way of leaking out.
Two inquisitive outsiders have arrived: Jonah Oblong, to teach modern history at Rotherweird School (nothing local and nothing before 1800), and the sinister billionaire Sir Veronal Slickstone, who has somehow got permission to renovate the town's long-derelict Manor House.
Slickstone and Oblong, though driven by conflicting motives, both strive to connect past and present, until they and their allies are drawn into a race against time - and each other. The consequences will be lethal and apocalyptic.
Welcome to Rotherweird!
Andrew Caldecott (Author)
Andrew Caldecott is a QC specialising in media, defamation and libel law, as well as a novelist and occasional playwright. He represented the BBC in the Hutton Inquiry (into the death of biological warfare expert and UN weapons inspector David Kelly), the Guardian in the Leveson Inquiry (into the British press following the phone hacking scandal), and supermodel Naomi Campbell in her landmark privacy case, amongst many others.
His first produced play, Higher than Babel, was described as 'Assured and ambitious . . . deeply impressive debut' by Nick Curtis in the Evening Standard and 'Vivid and absorbing and grapples with big ideas without being dry, difficult or patronising' by Sarah Hemming, in the Financial Times, but informed by his love of history, which he studied at New College, Oxford, he was seized by the notion of a city-state hiding a cataclysmic secret: the result, Rotherweird. 'A history-tragic-comedy all rolled into one', says Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall, and 'baroque, Byzantine and beautiful,' according to M.R, Carey, author of The Girl with all the Gifts.
A sequel, Wyntertide, is currently taking shape.
Sasha Laika (Illustrator)
SashA Laika studied figurative art in Moscow, followed by a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration in the UK. A London-based artist for the last 10 years, Sasha creates highly intricate works that draw on imagery from mythology, folklore and religious iconography. Her works are inhabited by mystical creatures that morph between human and animal, and exist in transition somewhere between the worlds of fantasy and reality. She considers Rotherweird the perfect subject for her début work as a book illustrator.