FROM THE BESTSELLING WINNER OF THE PRIX SORCIERES
“Luminous . . . This uncompromising book sheds light on the violence in American society.”-AcuaLitte
“De Fombelle writes minimally for maximum effect . . . packs a punch.”-The Times
“Mixes the historical and the romantic in a dark whirlwind.”-Public Senat
“Beautiful writing, intricate plotting, and breathless reveals.”-Kirkus Reviews
1786. Alma lives with her family in an African valley, isolated from the rest of the world. Her days are spent exploring their blissful homeland; until her little brother finds the only way out.
Meanwhile, in Lisbon, the petty thief Joseph Mars manages to get himself on board the Douce Amelie, a slave ship, to look for a fabulous treasure. The ship’s captain, Lazare Gardel, is also hunting for treasure, that of the notorious pirate Luc de Lerne. Alma sets out on his trail, when she comes face to face with groups of Ashanti hunters, who capture and enslave everyone they meet. The journey to bring her brother home quickly becomes an intricate mission of self-preservation.
While everyone is searching for something, Alma and Joseph’s lives become intertwined on land and sea. In a whirlwind of adventures between Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, their quests and their destinies lead them irresistibly towards each other.