The first book in the word-of-mouth phenomenon debut fantasy series about one man's dangerous journey through a labyrinthine world.
"One of my favorite books of all time" - Mark Lawrence
The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of luxury and menace, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.
Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.
Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he'll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassins, and the illusions of the Tower. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.
This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.
The Books of Babel
Arm of the Sphinx
About the Author
Josiah Bancroft started writing novels when he was twelve, and by the time he finished his first, he was an addict. Eventually, the writing of Senlin Ascends began, a fantasy adventure, not so unlike the stories that got him addicted to words in the first place. He wanted to do for others what his favorite writers had done for him: namely, to pick them up and to carry them to a wonderful and perilous world that is spinning very fast. If he's done that with this book, then he's happy.
Josiah lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Sharon, their daughter Maddie, and their two rabbits, Mabel and Chaplin.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A tower of lunacy and insanity What can I say about this deservedly hyped novel that just recently got picked up by a traditional publishing house? Well, that until you read something yourself, you won't know if the hype is real or just rubbish. In Senlin's case, the book is an engrossing read that can be at times both wonderful, deslusional and even at times terrifying. This sordid vacation trip that went haywire all began because Thomas Senlin didn't feel up to the challenge of shopping for lady's underwear for the awaited hotel romping in The Baths. There you go, the guy is too prudish to make sense and too engrossed in what he believes other people see of him as the great community bookworm. Instead, his eyes really start to open when the reaches the Parlor and realizes they dumped him into the socially awkward butler role. He always had a different view of himself and after realizing ushers with just one quick glance had instantly typecast him into an undesirable supporting role that is incapable of doing anything, he starts to realize the Tower is beginning to change him. He needs to develop street smarts quickly in order to survive this Tower filled with treacherous crooks and gangsters. I don't wish to spoil the individual "perks" of the 4 first ringdoms. It's part of the fun of the book as we see Thomas desperately chasing after the desertic illusion of his wife that always seems to vanish in a cloud of white crumb. However, as I read the book, it reminded me of an old dystopian SciFi book from the 1930's called "Brave New World". As tourists flock to the individual levels reveling at its treats while they gleefully part with their money for cheap entertainment, Senlin and the reader see each level for what they really are. I kept on recalling the comments from Brave New World about one place a harbor of lunacy, the other a guesthouse of insanity. From the merry go rounds of the basement to the make believe of the Parlor and Baths, we soon see the ringdoms for the slums or outright false illusions that they truly are. Thomas doesn't want to cause a revolt against the system of paid and unpaid employment of this hellhole, he just wants to rescue Marya before she starts to believe that he abandoned her. A second thought that kept on coming into my mind as I read this book was a pleasant and yet terrifying experience of my childhood. I grew up at a time where a local (and very large) park had a small amusement park and featured all sorts of odd rides. From a huge metallic tobogan slide without rails so that you could easily fall over 50 feet to your death (or in the least end up with some nice blisters on your hands), odd games with asbestus coverings to jump through that were tearing apart, and finally, the infamous tunnel of time. I loved going inside of the tunnel of time over and over again. Basically they shove you inside of a maze with plywood walls, carpeted floors where you cannot see anything. You are surrounded in a terrifying claustophobic space of complete darkness. No trapdoors for the staff to rescue you if you freak out and get a panic attack either. Kids these days are too pampered in my opinion, they don't know what they are missing. Anyhow, you had to crawl left, right, left, up, down etc etc etc. It was a 3D maze where time falls to a standstill and you have to use your wits to get out. The closest thing today that I have experienced a similar (but less cool experience) was when I visited the secret baseme
This is the best fantasy debut I've read in ages, and one of my favorite books...maybe ever. Hope the rest of the series matches it. Read it!
A wonderful book with an unlikely protagonist who is far from heroic but must become a hero to save his wife.