By the author of The People’s Act of Love

‘...a story so original and so fully imagined. Meek shows the era as alien, which it is, and doesn’t falsify it by assimilating it to ours. But his characters are recognisably warm and human.’

Hilary Mantel

‘Meek manages to craft a living, breathing world populated with characters that come alive in the mind . . . This is a fine novel that seems to speak across centuries with more than the likeness of truth.’

Financial Times


‘A bold, exciting, original novel.’

Daily Mail

‘...a compelling story that, like all great historical fiction, is not only about the past, but says profound things about the present.’

The Economist


‘The joy that Meek takes in words...it’s a world that he confidently builds and it’s beautifully built, you can smell the stinks of medieval life and you can see the people, you can really visualise the world...it’s just beautiful.’

BBC Saturday Review


‘Every page...is an act of devotion - both in the writing and the reading - a contemporary inhabitation of medieval argot, with all its bawdy lyricism and ornate intelligence’

Times Literary Supplement