The brilliant first novel in the legendary gothic fantasy trilogy
As the first novel opens, Titus, heir to Lord Sepulchrave, has just been born: he stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that stand for Gormenghast Castle.
Inside, all events are predetermined by a complex ritual, lost in history, understood only by Sourdust, Lord of the Library. There are tears and strange laughter; fierce births and deaths beneath umbrageous ceilings; dreams and violence and disenchantment contained within a labyrinth of stone.
As the ruling family grows, deep in the cavernous kitchens the ambitious scullery boy Steerpike plots his ascent, determined to subvert the archaic order and bring revolution to the ancient stasis of Gormenghast.
Mr Peake's first novel holds one with its glittering eye - It has a genuine plot in the strictest sense, and it persuades you to read on simply in order to know what will happen - its gallery of characters is wonderful
A gorgeous volcanic eruption... A work of extraordinary imagination
The Gormenghast Trilogy is one of the most important works of the imagination to come out of [this] age