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The Bedlam Stacks
by Natasha Pulley


Overview -

An Indie Next Pick

The eagerly anticipated new novel from the author of THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET--a treacherous quest in the magical landscape of nineteenth-century Peru.

In 1859, ex-East India Company smuggler Merrick Tremayne is trapped at home in Cornwall after sustaining an injury that almost cost him his leg.  Read more...


 
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More About The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley
 
 
 
Overview

An Indie Next Pick

The eagerly anticipated new novel from the author of THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET--a treacherous quest in the magical landscape of nineteenth-century Peru.

In 1859, ex-East India Company smuggler Merrick Tremayne is trapped at home in Cornwall after sustaining an injury that almost cost him his leg. On the sprawling, crumbling grounds of the old house, something is wrong; a statue moves, his grandfather's pines explode, and his brother accuses him of madness.

When the India Office recruits Merrick for an expedition to fetch quinine--essential for the treatment of malaria--from deep within Peru, he knows it's a terrible idea. Nearly every able-bodied expeditionary who's made the attempt has died, and he can barely walk. But Merrick is desperate to escape everything at home, so he sets off, against his better judgment, for a tiny mission colony on the edge of the Amazon where a salt line on the ground separates town from forest. Anyone who crosses is killed by something that watches from the trees, but somewhere beyond the salt are the quinine woods, and the way around is blocked.

Surrounded by local stories of lost time, cursed woods, and living rock, Merrick must separate truth from fairytale and find out what befell the last expeditions; why the villagers are forbidden to go into the forest; and what is happening to Raphael, the young priest who seems to have known Merrick's grandfather, who visited Peru many decades before. The Bedlam Stacks is the story of a profound friendship that grows in a place that seems just this side of magical.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781620409671
  • ISBN-10: 1620409674
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publish Date: August 2017
  • Page Count: 352
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Fantasy - Historical

 
BookPage Reviews

Expedition into the unknown

Crippled while working as an opium smuggler for his own government, Merrick Tremayne’s infirmity has become his excuse to retreat from life and retire to his crumbling home in Victorian-era Cornwall. Disabled and destitute, Merrick is perplexed when his former employers approach him with a mission to locate the source of another drug: a malarial cure found in the bark of Peruvian trees. Although previous expeditions failed to return, Merrick has nothing left to lose and so accepts the job.

Under the guise of botanist explorers, Merrick and his partner embark on a dangerous mission to locate the hidden trees and steal cuttings for the crown. They are assigned a local guide, Raphael, but as they climb into the Peruvian highlands, Raphael begins to reveal his own deeper connections to their destination.

Raphael leads them to the remote mountain enclave of Bedlam, where luminous pollen powers clockwork lamps, rare woods have explosive potential, and a salt line is literally the border between life and death. Adding to the exotic mysteries of Bedlam are lifelike statues posted along the forest boundary. These ancient figures move in eerie response to villagers who regard them with religious reverence. Navigating not only his own physical limitations but also Raphael’s mysterious connection to the statues, Merrick races to reconcile the mystical aspects of his quest before he reaches the point of no return.

Natasha Pulley’s captivating landscape unfolds slowly, her exquisitely crafted prose illuminating magical elements moving just at the edge of perception. The pace allows readers to probe Bedlam’s secrets and carefully pierce the boundaries between safety and savagery. Loosely connected to the world of her bestselling The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, The Bedlam Stacks is a lyrical paean to the power of transformation, faith and friendship.

 

This article was originally published in the August 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews