• "Full of new energy and a sense of new directions... The plot has a driving ferocity, the huge and extraordinary cast marshaled with exceptional dexterity"

  • "In this concluding installment [of her quartet of novels], Byatt blends her own excitement at 'intellectual curiosity of any kind' with a lucid narrative and gripping plot... I suspect her fans will be hoping for a fifth"

  • "An intellectual adventure full of energy and vitality [with] solid delights, keen and demanding pleasure"

  • "Rich in metaphor and glancing allusion... Predominantly a novel of ideas. It makes a fine conclusion to the quartet"

    The Economist
  • "Brilliant and densely's an absorbing read"

    Daily Mail