The Raven's Seal

The Raven's Seal

by Andrei Baltakmens

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Overview

"Baltakmens captures the flavor and scope of classic British fiction." —Kirkus Reviews

"This atmospheric, character-driven, and plot-twisty bildungsroman is a worthy paean to Oliver Twist and Great Expectations." —Booklist

In the fictional 18th-century city of Airenchester, England, the body of Thaddeus Grainger’s rival turns up stabbed to death in an alley just hours after their inconclusive duel. Only one suspect comes to mind. Charged with murder, Grainger’s fate is sealed before his trial even begins.

A young gentleman of means but of meaningless pursuits, Grainger is cast into the notorious Bellstrom Gaol, where he must quickly learn to survive in the filthy, ramshackle prison. The “Bells”—where debtors, gaolers, whores, thieves, and murderers all mix freely and where every privilege comes at a price—will be the young man’s home for the rest of his life unless he can prove his innocence.

Despite his downfall, his friends—the journalist William Quillby and Cassie Redruth, the poor young girl who owes Grainger a debt of gratitude—refuse to abandon him. But before they can win his freedom, they must contend with forces both inside and outside the prison determined to keep Grainger behind bars and, at the same time, decode the meaning behind the crude wax seal that inspires terror in those who know its portent.

Set against the urban backdrop of late 18th-century England, The Raven's Seal unravels a tale of corruption, betrayal, murder, and—ultimately—redemption and love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985278755
Publisher: Top Five Books
Publication date: 10/01/2012
Pages: 418
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Andrei Baltakmens was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has a Ph.D. in English literature, focused on Charles Dickens and Victorian urban mysteries. His first novel, The Battleship Regal, was published in New Zealand in 1996. He has published short fiction in various literary journals, including a story in the collection of emerging New Zealand male writers, Boys' Own Stories (2001). For five years he lived in Ithaca, New York, where he was part of the professional staff of Cornell University. He is currently a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and now lives in Palo Alto, California, with his wife and son.

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