Iain M. Banks paints a grim picture of a European nation after a bloody battle. Armed forces roam the lawless land where dark columns of smoke rise up from the surrounding farms and houses. For a young lord and lady, however, the trouble is only starting.
The couple are being kept captive in their home--a castle--by a sadistic female lieutenant from an outlaw band of guerillas. They are pawns in her dangerous game of desire, deceit, and death. The physical, sexual and political tensions that ensue catapult the narrative from war story to universal morality tale.
His satire is exquisitely poised, his storytelling gripping. INDEPENDENT Entertaining...comically inspired. GUARDIAN A phenomenon! WILLIAM GIBSON An apocalyptic masterpiece FINANCIAL TIMES