Their narratives are woven together in patterns of recurring events, strange traditions and uncanny visions. First, a cave-boy loses his mother, falls in love, and learns a deadly lesson. He is followed by an extraordinary cast of characters: a murderess who impersonates her victim, a fisherman who believes he has become a different species, a Roman emissary who realizes the bitter truth about the Empire, a crippled nun who is healed miraculously by a disturbing apparition, an old crusader whose faith is destroyed by witnessing the ultimate relic, two witches, lovers, who burn at the stake...
Each interconnected tale traces a path in a journey of discovery of the secrets of the land. In its last chapter, Moore himself describes the novel:
'It's about the vital message that the stiff lips of decapitated men still shape; the testament of black and spectral dogs written in piss across our bad dreams. It's about raising the dead to tell us what they know. It is a bridge, a crossing-point, a worn spot in the curtain between our world and the underworld, between the mortar and the myth, fact and fiction, a threadbare gauze no thicker than a page. It's about the powerful glossolalia of witches and their magical revision of the texts we live in. None of this is speakable.'
In the tradition of Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill, Schwob's Imaginary Lives, and Borges' A Universal History of Infamy, Moore travels through history blending truth and conjecture, in a novel that is dazzling, moving, sometimes tragic, but always mesmerizing.
With an Introduction by Neil Gaiman, a signature of full-color plates by Jose Villarrubia, and a cover design by Chip Kidd.
'Alan Moore is the best and most innovative writer in graphic novels. I have been a huge admirer for years.' -Michael Moorcock