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Publisher's Summary

Rotherweird is a twisted, arcane murder-mystery with shades of Deborah Harkness, Hope Mirrlees and Ben Aaronovitch, Mervyn Peake and Edward Gorey at their disturbing best.

The town of Rotherweird stands alone - there are no guidebooks, despite the fascinating and diverse architectural styles cramming the narrow streets, the avant-garde science and offbeat customs. Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, Rotherweird's independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history.

For beneath the enchanting surface lurks a secret so dark that it must never be rediscovered, still less reused.

But secrets have a way of leaking out.

Two inquisitive outsiders have arrived: Jonah Oblong, to teach modern history at Rotherweird School (nothing local and nothing before 1800), and the sinister billionaire Sir Veronal Slickstone, who has somehow got permission to renovate the town's long-derelict Manor House.

Slickstone and Oblong, though driven by conflicting motives, both strive to connect past and present until they and their allies are drawn into a race against time - and each other. The consequences will be lethal and apocalyptic.

Welcome to Rotherweird!

©2017 Andrew Caldecott (P)2017 WF Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Intricate and crisp, witty and solemn: a book with special and dangerous properties." (Hilary Mantel)
"Baroque, Byzantine and beautiful - not to mention bold." (M. R. Carey)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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No Reviews are Available
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • kate
  • 11-05-17

Good story bit hard to follow

It's a clever idea, a very good story but for some reason I found it hard to follow, kept having to go back and listen again. Can't tell why - maybe too many characters with odd names, maybe too complicated for my wee brain. I don't think it was the narrators fault. Still I enjoyed it and got my monies worth as I probably heard it twice.

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • D. Menashy
  • 07-15-17

Weird? Rather...

Enjoyed this one - sort of Gormenghast meets Neverwhere. Very well narrated.

Loads of weird and dark happenings occur to interesting and well-written characters in and around a strangely-disconnected English town.

I did think the ending dragged on a bit and could have been pared back a little, so at the risk of outstaying my own welcome I'll leave it there...

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • P
  • 10-10-17

Brilliant and fun

Intriguing story, interesting array of characters and great narration. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • 11-01-17

A good first draft

Before launching into criticism, I enjoyed this book and it kept me entertained to the end - it had the some interesting ideas and the essence of some good characters. The real problem is that it feels like a long first draft that needs editing back to about 2/3 if it’s length and about half of its characters - none of whom are well developed enough for you to remotely care about. Add the fact that there’s more loose ends than a bowl of spaghetti and some daft coincidences and you’ve got a fun but frustrating book

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Spider
  • 11-28-17

Not to all tastes

I found this strangely mesmerising. At first I found the somewhat slow delivery irritating but became used to its measured pace even though I felt it made the tale drag in places. The narrator voices the characters quite well but has a tendency towards a rolling, poetic delivery that I'm not keen on but that's just my taste. However, it was worth sticking with it as the story is quite bizarre and has fantastic (in the true sense of the word) twists and turns that keeps one guessing to the end. There are shades of Mervyn Peake and Neil Gaiman in the storyline. If you liked the Gormenghast trilogy and/or Neverwhere, you'll probably like this.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Colin Dente
  • 09-27-17

Marvelous

A truly magical book. Full of inventiveness. I was sad when it ended. Heartily recommended.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • elly gausden
  • 06-27-17

Unbearably tedious

I couldn't finish it. Doesn't happen often, as I usually plough on to the end even if I'm not loving it. But I didn't like any of the characters, the plot was barely there and while I'll admit I kind of want to know what happened in the end, I really couldn't stand the idea of putting up with the dullness to find out.

22 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Daniela Crouch
  • 08-04-17

What a shame...

Listened to this on holiday and was disappointed. A book too in love with its own pretentious intellectualism. Yet with all its ideas, there's hardly a plot, the characters aren't developed well and sometimes I had to laugh out loud by how little cohesion there was. A shame really, it did have a lot of potential.

19 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ernest More
  • 04-03-18

More twists than a knotted ball of string

Would you listen to Rotherweird again? Why?

Was not until near the end of the book I realised what was going on. I think Second time round it would be a lot more clear what was going on. On the whole I did enjoy this book and will read it again just to clear up a few points in it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Khairunnisa
  • 12-31-17

Beautifully read historical fantasy

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked quite a few of the characters. The female characters were nicely drawn, with Orelia Roc being my favourite followed by Vixen Valourhand. Of the male characters, perhaps Ferensen is the most likeable, followed by Fanguin. Gregorius Jones is the most intriguing.

What does Kris Dyer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I really loved the portrayal of the characters. Each character has a very recognisable voice, suited to the character. Delicious.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I wasn't sure if I was going to like it after the first few lines. However, once I'd got into the story I found it fascinating. It made me laugh and there are moments of tension where I held my breath.

Any additional comments?

It's a book I've listened to several times over. There are a couple of small inconsistencies, for instance, the old injury that Salt has is said to be 6 months ago and then a short time afterwards, is said to have happened many years ago. I'm really looking forward to the next one in the trilogy to see if my predictions are right

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bernadette Aitken
  • 09-18-18

Intriguing

This is an interesting story and as it went along I became far more intrigued with it than I thought I would be when I started it.
A community seperate from the rest of the country by royal decree. No study of their history is allowed, but what a tangled history it turns out to be.
A new history teacher and the renovation of the town’s Manor house appear to be the catalyst for some extraordinary revelations and suspicious deaths.
The characters have rather unique names and I will admit that I found it hard to keep the names in my head to begin with. The story wove in directions I hadn’t anticipated. I did feel as if not all loose ends we tied up at the end. Maybe I just need to go back and check.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-15-18

Interesting premise becomes an overlong slog.

Struggled to get through, the plot gets so convoluted that all the main characters have to sit around a table and explain to themselves (and the listener) what the Hell is going on once at the midpoint and then at the end. Speaking of, the ending is just hanging for a sequel and is unsatisfying.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Avid listener
  • 08-24-17

Didn't live up to expectations

The narration was Very annoyingly S l o w....... the gaps and pauses were long enough to fit in a nap. The story was a little confusing and characters hard to follow in the audible format but that may have been because I sped up the pace.