The Bedlam Stacks
by Natasha Pulley
What a stunningly magical book! Merrick (Em) travels to Peru on a mission for the India Office (formerly that of East India Company villainy). He is to bring back the quinine wood that treats malaria – a plant that grows in the heart of Peru and is protected by a local monopoly. When he finally arrives in the village of Bedlam, nothing is as it seems. Glass roads, moving statues, candle ivy, the history of the place, and its current residents – all combine to make Bedlam and the surrounding lands a place out of a fairy tale. And, not the watered down princess-saving fairy tales we tell our children now. The original ones!
I won’t tell you more so that I don’t ruin the book for you. Suffice it to say, you will not be disappointed when you pick up this book. Do keep a dictionary handy. Ms. Pulley has a firm grasp of the (British) English language. Do keep a computer handy to google things you haven’t heard of before, i.e. Schwarzwald-ish, Pyrrhic victory, shibboleths.
This is a swashbuckling, moving, brilliant, funny, touching story that I highly recommend!