The Tower of Fools

Andrzej Sapkowski, trans. from the Polish by David French. Orbit, $28 (464p) ISBN 978-0-316-70535-6
Sapkowski, author of the bestselling Witcher saga, sets a sharply detailed fantasy of magic, lust, and mayhem, the first in a new series, against the backdrop of the religious wars of the Renaissance as Czech Hussite reformers battle Catholic Inquisitors across Central Europe. Caught up in the cross-crusades, Reinmar of Bielawa, a scholar of medicine and magic, unwisely woos a married noblewoman, Adèle of Stercza, and must flee her husband’s kin when their tryst is discovered. When his pursuers realize they cannot catch him, they murder his brother instead and Reinmar swears vengeance. To the constant dismay of his companions—stoic Scharley, a paroled rebel, and hulking Samson, a supernatural creature trapped in a human body—Reinmar is impulsive, loyal to the point of foolishness, and frequently smitten (moving on from his infatuation with Adèle to an obsession with “the fair Nicolette”), making their plans to escape to Hungary less and less likely to succeed. Sapkowski’s love for the period is clear as he touches on notorious historical events and figures, including the Defenestration of Prague and printing press inventor Johannes Gutenberg. The carefully painted landscapes and intricate politics, meanwhile, effortlessly draw readers into Reinmar’s life and times. This is historical fantasy done right. Agent: Patricia Pasqualini, Patricia Pasqualini Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/23/2020
Release date: 10/27/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-316-42369-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-6181-0
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