“The Bedlam Stacks is a gorgeously detailed historical fantasy novel that spans from England to China to Peru. The year is 1859, and Merrick Tremayne is enlisted by his former employer, the East India Trading Company, to smuggle ingredients for a crucial malaria treatment past the monopoly holders in Peru. Along the way, his story slips into fantasy as easily as sliding into warm water. Though Merrick begins his trip loyal only to the Company, his loyalties shift the longer he's away. Richly described and quietly romantic, this book is an absorbing and beautiful read.”
— Lillian Tschudi-Campbell, The Red Balloon Bookshop, Saint Paul, MN
Now in paperback, Natasha Pulley's "witty, entrancing novel . . . burnishes her reputation as a gifted storyteller" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
In 1859, ex-East India Company smuggler Merrick Tremayne is trapped at home in Cornwall with an injury that almost cost him his leg. When the India Office recruits him for an expedition to fetch quinine--essential for the treatment of malaria--from deep within Peru, he knows it's a terrible idea; nearly every able-bodied expeditionary who's made the attempt has died, and he can barely walk. But Merrick is eager to escape the strange events plaguing his family's crumbling estate, so he sets off, against his better judgment, for the edge of the Amazon.
There he meets Raphael, a priest around whom the villagers spin unsettling stories of impossible disappearances, cursed woods, and living stone. Merrick must separate truth from fairy tale, and gradually he realizes that Raphael is the key to a legacy left by generations of Tremayne explorers before him, one which will prove more valuable than quinine, and far more dangerous.