'The author's evocation of the setting is nothing short of magical; the prose, extraordinary.' Publishers Weekly
The one thing to remember about an adventure is that if it turns out the way you expect it to, it has not been an adventure at all...
Irene, a museum curator (and, unofficially, a treasure hunter) is searching for a set of legendary copper scrolls which describe the forgotten history of Cambodia's ancient Khmer civilisation.
Her mentor has sent her to China to enlist the help of Simone, a mercurial Frenchwoman who - along with her notoriously violent husband, 'the most dangerous man in the Orient' - has a reputation for both stealing artefacts and starting revolutions.
Irene and Simone set off through the Cambodian jungle to search for the scrolls, but it soon becomes clear that each is determined to acquire them for her own reasons, and that once they have located them it will be every woman for herself...
This gripping first novel is a real gem. - Bella
An exciting, evocative romp through the jungle where murder, mystery, romance and the maddeningly humid weather make for a gripping debut. - Marie Claire
A detailed, evocative historical adventure set in the 1920s between Shanghai, Saigon and Cambodia . . . Great page-turner. - Red
Atmospheric, lyrical, and written in almost painfully beautiful prose, this historical novel sings like a coloratura soprano performing in a gorgeous opera . . . the author's evocation of the setting and the foreign misfits that inhabited it is nothing short of magical; the prose, extraordinary. - Publishers Weekly
[This] is an adventure story with three distinct sections, Shanghai, Saigon and Cambodia; all are beautifully placed within the narrative, and yet blend together quite seamlessly to produce a detailed and imaginative journey into an ancient and powerful civilisation . . . An abundance of rich and varied characters combine to make this a really satisfying read. - newbooks
An intriguing read that takes different paths to those expected. Recommended. - Historical Novels Review
Fay's extraordinary first novel has everything great historical adventure fiction should - strikingly original setting, exhilarating plot twists, and a near-impossible quest . . . Every word of this evocative literary expedition feels deliberately chosen, each phrase full of meaning. - Booklist