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14 January 2010

The Sanctuary of the Redeemers on Shotover Scarp is named after a lie – as it holds either. It’s a vast and desolate place; for years, its occupants have endured a brutal regime of cruelty and violence – in the name of the One True Faith. Thomas Cale is one such occupant – he’s strange and secretive, witty and charming, violent and profoundly bloody-minded. He’s so used to the cruelty that he seems immune, but soon he will open the wrong door at the wrong time and witness an act so terrible that he will have to leave, or die. His only hope of survival is to escape across the arid Scablands to Memphis, a city the opposite of the Sanctuary in every way: breathtakingly beautiful, infinitely Godless, and deeply corrupt.
Paul Hoffman is a writer whose work explores the relationship between genius, madness, obsession and creativity. Once president and publisher of the Encyclopedia Britannica, he’s written twelve books, presented more than a hundred science shows on channels from CNN to the BBC and created elaborate puzzles under the pseudonym Dr. Crypton. He was also the recipient of the first National Magazine Award for feature writing.