Walter is a gifted young singer who leaves his home in the forests of Germany in a quest for fame and love; he embarks on a series of adventures which leads him through the haunting landscapes of twelfth-century Europe. His encounter with the mysterious Brotherhood of Watchers drives him to the crusades, into a clash with the Doge in Venice and on to the disaster of Constantinople.
But there is more to Walter than he dares imagine? What are the dark forces controlling him and those he loves?
The story is wrenched into the present when a sinister Oxford don dies in mysterious circumstances leaving an occult manuscript based on Walter to his assistant Ian with certain instructions. As Ian seeks to unravel these and his own life and love begin to weave into Walter’s – to whom he bears a striking resemblance – the novel’s secrets deepen.
This is a powerful and compelling tale about personal and political catastrophe and the individual’s resilience in a time of uncertainty and danger. It is also a daring and brilliant contemplation of the Middle Ages and its continuing importance. Walter’s work, it appears, is not finished, nor what he learnt, nor is his music lost forever.
‘An intriguing adventure of the hermetic imagination across time, T.J. Armstrong’s first novel compels attention throughout its twinned story-lines and leaves a strange afterglow in the mind’
Lindsay Clarke, author of the CHYMICAL WEDDING, winner of the Whitbread Award for Fiction.