Imagine a film made in black-and-white. Now imagine a novel written in black-and-white.
The Rat And The Serpent is a gothic tale relating the extraordinary fate of Ügliy the cripple.
Raised as a beggar in the soot-shrouded Mavrosopolis, Ügliy has to scramble for scraps of food in the gutter if he is to survive. But one day his desperation and humiliation is noticed by the mysterious Zveratu, and soon he is taking his first faltering steps into the world of the citidenizens. He meets the seductive Raknia and the arrogant Atavalens; one destined to be his lover, the other his mortal enemy. But as Ügliy ascends he becomes aware of a darkness at the heart of the city in which he lives. Slowly, he realises that the Mavrosopolis exists gloomy and forbidding around a terrible secret...
The Rat And The Serpent is a dark phantasmagoria related entirely in monochrome. Read this and enter a world portrayed as never before in the field of fantastic literature.
Cover by Stephen Palmer
“… the vividly depicted grim urban setting and numerous absorbing secondary characters keep the pages turning.” (Publishers Weekly)
“… some interesting ideas, a new take on the cityscape, and some lovely imagery. And any book that causes me to think so much about its intentions has to be worth a read.” (Emerald City)
“… a novel written in black and white in the same way that a movie is filmed in black-and-white, and that indeed is both uncommon and borne out by the crisp prose.” (Trashotron)
“… what we're being invited to read here is a sort of livre noir, black-and-white in the cinematic sense. A novel literally without colour. And [Palmer] has been thorough about this -- not only is no colour beyond the monochrome named, all things and substances in the book (most notably food) have been carefully chosen for their blackness, whiteness or greyness. Characters dine on "goat's cheese, olives and rice, mushrooms fried in squid ink," for example. It's an original reading experience, a rich and velvety kind of monochrome.” (Infinity Plus review of paperback edition)