An extravagant, lyrical novel in twelve parts about a city of poets and librarians at the height of the Renaissance. A city that never was.
Tommaso Cellini, celebrated ruler of Cadenza, is dead. For Carlo Mazzoni, an aspiring poet, it is the worst possible moment to arrive at the city gates, his dreams of literary fame turning to disappointment and disgrace.
For Vittoria – known to all but a handful as the notorious ink maid Hypatia – Tommaso’s death is overshadowed by the disappearance of her creative spark, while Vittoria’s impulsive sister Maddelina seeks to make her own name with a daring conspiracy.
As Cadenza descends into anarchy amid rumours of war with its rival Venice, Carlo and the two sisters become entangled in intrigue, murder and revolution.
Tom Beckerlegge grew up in the northwest of England in a house filled with books. Writing as Tom Becker, he won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize with his debut novel; The Carnival of Ash is his first adult book. He lives in Enfield with his wife and young son.