A European nation not unlike Bosnia: armed forces roam the lawless land where dark columns of smoke rise up from the surrounding farms and houses. The war is ending, perhaps ended. But for the castle and its occupants, a young lord and lady, the trouble is just beginning.
Fearing an invasion of soldiers, the amorous couple takes to the road with the other refugees, disguised in rags. But the brutal female lieutenant of an outlaw band of guerrillas has other ideas. Just hours into their escape, the fleeing aristocrats are delivered back to the castle, where, now prisoners in their own home, they become pawns in the lieutenant's dangerous game of desire, deceit, and death.
"A Song of Stone" demonstrates Iain Banks's unique ability to combine gripping narrative with a soaring, voyaging imagination. This noir fable confirms his reputation as the master of things dark and debauched. Singular, haunting, and viciously wry, "A Song of Stone" is a tour de force of contemporary fiction.
Kirkus Reviews A daring, deeply unsettling meditation On the very human face of evil. Thomas Goughan Booklist This dark tale...will further strengthen Banks's reputation as one of [Britain's] most important and compelling writers. Publishers Weekly [Banks's] impeccable prose undulates with poetry and sensuality that transform the most ordinary movements of his tale into resonant images of beauty and terror. Peter Wolfe St. Louis Post-Dispatch The vehicle for [the] plot development is the book's remarkable voice. Give Banks an A-plus for his ability to build a mood. John R. Alden The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) Banks's writing -- from the elegance of his sentences to the swift-flowing back and forth of his storytelling -- is stunning. Times Literary Supplement (London) Banks's already high reputation can only be enhanced. The Times (London) Mad Max transplanted to the Scottish Highlands. Spin A fairly great, strange mix of classical affect, lush brutality, and adolescent fantasy in a tale of postsocial-collapse castle life....The writing will loop you in. Richard Eder Los Angeles Times Book Review ...powerfully written and fiercely provocative. John Clute The Washington Post Book World Braces the...Iain Banks has become extremely skilled at depicting the dark vagaries of living in the twentieth century.