The first volume in the classic epic trilogy of parallel worlds, admired by Tolkien and the great prototype for The Lord of the Rings and modern fantasy fiction.
According to legend, the Gates of Zimiamvia lead to a land ‘that no mortal foot may tread, but that souls of the dead that were great upon earth do inhabit.’ Here they forever live, love, do battle, and even die again.
Edward Lessingham – artist, poet, king of men and lover of women – is dead. But from Aphrodite herself, the Mistress of Mistresses, he has earned the promise to live again with the gods in Zimiamvia in return for her own perilous future favours.
This sequel to The Worm Ouroboros recounts the story of Lessingham’s first day in this strange Valhalla, where a lifetime is a day and where – among enemies, enchantments, guile and triumph – his destiny can be rewritten.
- ‘The greatest and most convincing writer of invented worlds that I have read.’ – J.R.R. Tolkien
- ‘A new literary species, a new rhetoric, a new climate of the imagination. Every episode, every speech, helps to incarnate what the author is imagining.’ – C.S. Lewis
- ‘An eccentric masterpiece. Eddison is unequalled in the vigour, the vividness, the passionate intensity of his imagining, the brooding sadness that underlies it, and the cockeyed magnificence of his language.’ – Ursula K. Le Guin
- ‘A fantasy epic written in a lush, thick, cod-Elizabethan style that started off irritating and then became part of the fun.’ – Neil Gaiman
- ‘The greatest high fantasy of them all.’ – Robert Silverberg
- ‘A grand fantasy adventure.’ – Piers Anthony
- ‘Authentic dream, fantastic far beyond invention and natural beyond all possibility of unbelief.’ – Arthur Ransome
- ‘A romance of a world that never was … its landscapes are magnificent. One lives in it.’ – Hilaire Belloc