The Ninth Circle

Overview

A man comes to on the floor of a shabby apartment in the middle of Budapest. His head is glued to the floorboards with his own blood. There's a fortune in cash on the kitchen table. And he has no idea where, or who, he is. He can do extraordinary things—speak any number of languages fluently, go three days without food or sleep, and fight with extraordinary prowess. But without a name, without a past, he's isolated from the rest of the world; a stranger to everyone, including himself—until a chance ...

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The Ninth Circle

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Overview

A man comes to on the floor of a shabby apartment in the middle of Budapest. His head is glued to the floorboards with his own blood. There's a fortune in cash on the kitchen table. And he has no idea where, or who, he is. He can do extraordinary things—speak any number of languages fluently, go three days without food or sleep, and fight with extraordinary prowess. But without a name, without a past, he's isolated from the rest of the world; a stranger to everyone, including himself—until a chance encounter with a young scholar leads to his first friendship and his first hint that someone out there knows more about him than he does. Someone is sending him clues about his past. Photographs hidden in books and crates of wine. Cryptic clues pointing towards a murdered woman. And clear warnings against Stephomi, his only friend. But that's not all; Gabriel Antaeus is seeing strange, impossible things: a burning man is stalking his dreams and haunting his mirrors, his dreams are filled with violence from the past, and his pregnant young neighbor is surrounded by an extraordinary golden aura. Something dark and violent in Gabriel's past is trying to resurface. And as he pieces the clues together, everything points towards an astounding war between angels and demons—a battle not just for the future of the world but for the minds and souls of everyone in it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A mature literary theological mystery with a satisfyingly twisty thriller conclusion."  —Publishers Weekly

"Effectively fuses theological fantasy with psychological mystery to create a gripping narrative."  —The Guardian

"Highly engaging . . . successfully taps into the rich vein of deep-seated biblical superstition that is so compelling in works like The Omen or even The Da Vinci Code."  —SFRevu

"Beautifully packaged, the first in the series [New Stories from the Mabinogion] demonstrates a knack of being contemporary yet seemingly ageless, updating the original blend of Celtic mythology and Arthurian legend to create a work that's full of life . . . Told in sparse and understated prose, it's a tense and evocative piece of work that maintains the fine tradition of Welsh myth-making."  —Big Issue

"A haunting, engrossing story with a unique aura of its own. Alex Bell's remarkable debut is original, cleverly plotted and so well written the pages just flew by."  —Raymond Khoury, author, The Last Templar

Publishers Weekly
British university student Bell's impressive debut is a mature literary theological mystery with a satisfyingly twisty thriller conclusion. Waking up covered in blood and missing his memories, Gabriel Antaeus learns his name from the lease on his Budapest apartment and starts keeping a journal for fear of forgetting everything again. As he encounters photographs hidden in books and disturbingly supernatural dreams, Gabriel begins to doubt the trustworthiness of his only friend, fellow expatriate Zadkiel Stephomi. Gabriel soon finds his paternal instincts awakened by Casey, his pregnant teenage neighbor, and he begins to fear that much more than his life or hers may hang in the balance. Bell deftly weaves Judeo-Christian myth and Dante's Divine Comedy into a compelling genre mashup with glimmers of Gaiman, Blish and Ludlum, unfolding the mystery in teasingly intriguing bits that will keep pages turning. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780575084650
  • Publisher: Gollancz, Victor Limited
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,198,062
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Bell wrote The Ninth Circle, her debut, at the age of 19.

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