Arm of the Sphinx is the stunning second novel in the highly acclaimed Books of Babel series, following on from Senlin Ascends
'Like its predecessor, it is a brilliant piece of work . . . these two books are genius. I just love them. The story, characters and imagination shine' Mark Lawrence
Forced by necessity into a life of piracy, Senlin and his eclectic crew struggle to survive aboard their stolen airship as the hunt for his lost wife continues. But the Tower of Babel is proving to be as difficult to re-enter as it was to escape.
Hopeless and desolate, they turn to a legend of the tower, the mysterious Sphinx. But help from the sphinx doesn't come cheaply and, as Senlin knows, debts aren't always what they seem in the Tower of Babel.
Praise for the series:
'Brilliant' - Publishers Weekly
'I loved it' - Django Wexler
'An engrossing intoxicating delight' - Forbidden Planet
'An extraordinary debut that is well worthy of the hype. A beautifully written, highly engaging page-turning masterpiece' - Fantasy Book Review
'Thomas Senlin is the most unlikely yet likeable hero since a certain hobbit rushed out of Bag End leaving his second breakfast half-finished and entirely unwashed-up' - Fantasy Faction
Like its predecessor, it is a brilliant piece of work . . . these two books are genius. I just love them. The story, characters and imagination shine, and even without the quality of the prose it would be a good tale. But the prose just makes me constantly jealous. Not just the wordplay, but the cleverness of the sentiment and observation behind it . . . If these books don't gain some major recognition, I will despair
Arm of the Sphinx is an entertaining and easily devoured read . . . Bancroft's prose is beautiful - at times breathtaking . . . In his deadpan humour and sparkling creativity, Bancroft's writing reminds me of Terry Pratchett - breaking ground and defying tropes with an entirely different kind of world
An extraordinary debut that is well worthy of the hype. A beautifully written, highly engaging page-turning masterpiece
A terrific, free-ranging fantasy that ranges from Kafkaesque horror to heist thriller, all tied together by themes of agency and ascension. What begins as a disconnected series of curious vignettes turns into an exciting and cunningly constructed epic. Senlin is that rare fantasy protagonist that succeeds solely through intelligence and hard work, making his progress (such as it is) all the more impressive. This book is bonkers, entertaining, clever and - quite possibly - unique
Senlin Ascends crosses the everyday strangeness and lyrical prose of Borges and Gogol with all the action and adventure of high fantasy. I loved it, and grabbed the next one as soon as I turned the last page
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 favourite writers had done for him: namely to pick them up and 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 and their two rabbits, Mabel and Chaplin.
More examples of his work, including updates on upcoming instalments in the Books of Babel series, can be found at www.thebooksofbabel.com.