cover image The Seventh Perfection

The Seventh Perfection

Daniel Polansky., $14.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-250-76756-1

A woman questions the eclectic citizens of a realm obsessed with power and memory in this innovative and rewarding fantasy from Polansky (The Builders). As servant of the God-King Ba‘l Melqart, specially trained Manet is the only Amanuensis, or “slave-recorder,” who has mastered the seventh perfection: she’s capable of remembering every detail of every minute of her life. When Manet discovers a locket containing the hologram of a unknown woman, she traverses her ancient, unnamed city to find anyone who can identify the subject, interviewing an ex-lover, a cyborg, a warrior priest, and a sentient plant, among others. The story unfolds almost entirely through these conversations, and only the interviewee’s responses are recorded, leaving the reader to imagine Manet’s questions. This single-sided dialogue reflects a society run on lies, propaganda, and a one-sided knowledge of history. As the eccentric interviewees attempt to identify the woman in the locket and relay what they can remember of the ascent of the God-King, it becomes increasingly clear that in this vast totalitarian city, propaganda has replaced truth and memory can be manipulated. While readers will crave more details about this world, the unique, challenging way the mystery unfolds presents a delightful puzzle. This is sure to impress. Agent: Sam Morgan, the Lotts Agency. (Sept.)