Who was Piranesi?

Most truly excellent books start as a single question. The question that birthed this excellent book must have been: what if someone was trapped in one of Piranesi’s prisons?

I had never heard of Piranesi prior to reading this amazing tale by Susanna Clarke. And so I am doubly enriched.

A mysterious amnesiac protagonist is trapped in the sort of labyrinth Daedalus might have built for King Minos. He obsessively maps the halls of the House for his friend, whom he calls the Other. The Other calls him Piranesi.

And hall by hall, statue by statue, piece by piece, an extraordinary story is revealed.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi was an Italian Renaissance-era artist and architect who was most famous for his drawings of fantastic ‘prisons’. These prisons combined elements of classical architecture, ancient Greek culture and myths.

Susanna Clarke’s novel breathes a third and fourth dimension into Piranesi’s extraordinary art creating that rarest of all rare things. A fantasy so vividly drawn that it remains behind your eyes when you close them.

I read this novel as part of a side-quest. I am attempting to get representation for my Fae DNA trilogy and wasn’t having much luck. Asking some knowledgeable people for some insight revealed that the titles I was using for comparison were too old. And so I set aside my current book pile, got some suggestions and started reading.

Piranesi can hopefully serve as my ball of string to lead my out of my own maze to the prize of publishing.

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