Piranesi lives in the House. Perhaps he always has.
In his notebooks, day after day, he makes a clear and careful record of its wonders: the labyrinth of halls, the thousands upon thousands of statues, the tides that thunder up staircases, the clouds that move in slow procession through the upper halls. On Tuesdays and Fridays Piranesi sees his friend, the Other. At other times he brings tributes of food to the Dead. But mostly, he is alone.
Messages begin to appear, scratched out in chalk on the pavements. There is someone new in the House. But who are they and what do they want? Are they a friend or do they bring destruction and madness as the Other claims?
Lost texts must be found; secrets must be uncovered. The world that Piranesi thought he knew is becoming strange and dangerous.
This book! I adored it! And I honestly have no idea how to review it because I really can’t tell you anything except that it is sooooooo good! haha
I went into Piranesi knowing nothing about it except that author Susanna Clarke had also written Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which I own but haven’t quite gotten around to reading yet because it looks so long! Despite not having read it myself, I have heard enough good things about it that I was excited to read something by Clarke that wasn’t quite so intimidating haha.
I actually read Piranesi in a single day because I was loving it so much and I just had to find out what was going on. Without saying too much, the plot of this was unlike anything I have read before – it felt unique, and intriguing, and so clever. Clarke’s writing is divine, it has sort of a dream-like feel which had me so entranced that I was happy to follow wherever her story-telling took me. The vibe reminded me a little bit of Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea, with beautiful writing that takes us wandering with the protagonist through a mysterious and grand setting.
That is really all I can think of to say. This might be my favourite read all year – I certainly would give it all the stars! If you want to be immersed in a beautifully written fantasy world for an adventure you didn’t expect, then you need to read this one! (I’ve popped a photo of the actual cover below, since my photo is of a proof copy).
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Out now from Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Review copy sent to me by the team at Bloomsbury Publishing Australia (thank you!) All views are my own.
Format: Hardback (272 pages)
Piranesi on Goodreads