Booklist *STARRED REVIEW*


"Brendan Kane, though still a teenager, has been thoroughly disillusioned by his bloody stint as a soldier in the Civil War. He signs on as a crew member for the Narthex with little idea of the nature or destination of the boat's voyage. Among his fellow sailors are a veteran sea captain, convicts, a three-handed engineer, and an obsessive scientist. It turns out they are headed for the Arctic in search of a rumored paradise on Earth--a tropical valley that is host to exotic flora and fauna.

As the boat enters the beautiful but desolate Arctic landscape, the sight provokes extreme reactions among crew members, who are alternately elated and depressed, scared and emboldened by their journey. Despite endless weeks of near-unbearable conditions, the expedition leader forces the men to continue. They lose the boat, and then, one by one, the men succumb, some to hunger, some to cold, some to madness. But Brendan presses on, convinced that he will survive.

This is a mesmerizing novel that is exciting, brutal, and often gruesome. Providing fascinating glimpses of each man's backstory as well as breathtaking descriptions of the frozen landscape, Jones illuminates both the beauty and darkness of the quest."

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