Synopses & Reviews
In the year 1689, a cabal of Barbary galley slaves -- including one Jack Shaftoe, a.k.a. King of the Vagabonds, a.k.a. Half-Cocked Jack, lately and miraculously cured of the pox -- devises a daring plan to win freedom and fortune. A great adventure ensues, rife with battles, chases, hairbreadth escapes, swashbuckling, bloodletting, and danger -- a perilous race for an enormous prize of silver ... nay, gold ... nay, legendary gold that will place the intrepid band at odds with the mighty and the mad, with alchemists, Jesuits, great navies, pirate queens, and vengeful despots across vast oceans and around the globe.
Meanwhile, back in Europe ...
The exquisite and resourceful Eliza, Countess de la Zeur, master of markets, pawn and confidante of enemy kings, onetime Turkish harem virgin, is stripped of her immense personal fortune by France's most dashing privateer. Penniless and at risk from those who desire either her or her head (or both), she is caught up in a web of international intrigue, even as she desperately seeks the return of her most precious possession -- her child.
Newton and Leibniz continue to propound their grand theories as their infamous rivalry intensifies, stubborn alchemy does battle with the natural sciences, nobles are beheaded, dastardly plots are set in motion, coins are newly minted (or not) in enemy strongholds, father and sons reunite in faraway lands, priests rise from the dead ... and Daniel Waterhouse seeks passage to the Massachusetts colony in hopes of escaping the madness into which his world has descended.
"[Stephenson] might just have created the definitive historical-sci-fi-epic-pirate-comedy-punk-love story. No easy feat, that. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly
"Vast, splendid and absorbing." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"As rollicking and overstuffed as its predecessor [Quicksilver]." The New York Times Book Review
"Suspenseful...moves along as such a fantastic clip." Wall Street Journal
“[T]he definitive historical-sci-fi-epic-pirate-comedy-punk-love story. No easy feat, that. A-.” Entertainment Weekly
Limited to a single edition of just 1,000 copies, the book is a beautifully designed example of the art of bookbinding. Each volume will be numbered and signed by Neal Stephenson. Collectors and readers alike will welcome the chance to add this handsome volume to their Neal Stephenson collection.
- Completely redesigned from the trade hardcover in a larger format
- Each book numbered and signed by the author
- Each volume hand-bound in Japanese silk
- Each volume housed in a handsome slipcase featuring a die-cut aperture and covered in the same Japanese silk
- Also features a silk ribbon pull for easy removal
About the Author
Neal Stephenson is the author of the bestselling Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as the novels Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.