By Wu Ming
While a fireplace rips throughout the Venetian Arsenal in 1569, the enigmatic Emanuele De Zante, spy-catcher and secret agent, is betrayed by means of his lover, imprisoned, and accused of treason. Given the opportunity to flee, he embarks on a trans-European odyssey that would try out his loyalty and strength him to question even his own identity.
via a sequence of lethal political video games prime the entire option to the Sultan’s palace in Constantinople, De Zante and his partners spiral headfirst toward a clash within which the nice empires of the Republic of Venice and the Ottomans threaten the very foundations of civilization.
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Extra resources for Altai: A Novel
Title. 92舒dc22ŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠŠ2010033472 ISBN 978-1-4391-5278-2 ISBN 978-1-4391-9934-3 (ebook) For Kim Wilkins, who encouraged me to start; and Darin Patterson, who was with me to the last full stop CONTENTS Š PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE Acknowledgments Hush 舰 Can you hear him? The trees can. They are the first to know that he is coming. Listen! The trees of the deep, dark wood, shivering and jittering their leaves like papery hulls of beaten silver; the sly wind, snaking through their tops, whispering that soon it will begin.
Before her eyes, he changes. She sees through the layers of mud, through the generations of darkness and rage and sorrow, to the human face beneath. A young man舗s face. A forgotten face. A face of such longing and sadness and beauty; and she reaches, unthinking, to unlock the window. To bring him in from the rain. Raymond Blythe, The True History of the Mud Man, Prologue PART ONE Š A LOST LETTER FINDS ITS WAY Š 1992 IT started with a letter. A letter that had been lost a long time, waiting out half a century in a forgotten postal bag in the dim attic of a nondescript house in Bermondsey.
The first child of Robert and Athena Blythe, he was named for his paternal grandfather, whose fortune was made in the goldfields of Canada. Raymond was the eldest of four brothers, the youngest of whom, Timothy, died tragically during a violent storm in 1876. Athena Blythe, a poetess of some note, was heartbroken by her youngest son舗s death and is said to have descended, soon after the boy was laid to rest, into a black depression from which there would be no return.