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  • Published: 2 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241473931
  • Imprint: Michael Joseph
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 640
  • RRP: $32.99

The Absolute Book


It's been nearly 20 years since an epic, visionary contemporary fantasy captivated millions of readers - the wait is over

Taryn Cornick believes her sister Bea was deliberately run down, and killed. She believes it so hard she allows a man called the Muleskinner to exact the justice Bea was denied. An eye for an eye.

Which is when Taryn's problems really begin.

Because the police suspect Taryn's involvement in the driver's death.

Worse, others have their eyes on Taryn - those in a faraway place who know what Taryn's family have been carefully hiding in their vast library. The Absolute Book. They want it - and they want Taryn to help find it.

For the lives of those in more than one world depend upon it . . .

  • Published: 2 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241473931
  • Imprint: Michael Joseph
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 640
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Elizabeth Knox

Elizabeth Knox is the author of five books, but The Vintner's Luck was the first to be published outside her native New Zealand. It met great critical and popular success, was longlisted for the Orange Prize and turned into a film in 2009. She is married and lives with her family in Wellington

Also by Elizabeth Knox

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Praise for The Absolute Book

Reminded me of how I felt reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell or His Dark Materials - this is a masterpiece

Dan Kois, Slate

A triumph. Book where the best hearts meet the best minds meet the best imaginations are few and far between

Pip Adam

Every page is a declaration of love for story, for literature, for libraries

Maria McMillan

A tour de force. Ursula Le Guin would have loved this book

Jane Stafford

The power is in the skill and pace of Knox's storytelling, the perfect spinning of the intricate plot, the sharp dialogue and luminous evocation of place

Charlotte Grimshaw

An angelic book, an apocalyptic book, an astounding book

Francis Spufford

Intricately plotted and gorgeously written, THE ABSOLUTE BOOK has something for everyone: the search for a mysterious book, talking ravens, police detectives and academics, gods and demons, a giant saltwater crocodile, the bucolic English countryside and magical gates to hidden worlds. Here is a cinematic tale that is by turns dark and dreamlike, yet ultimately hopeful

Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches

Gorgeous. The payoffs and reveals are mind-blowing

Laini Taylor, author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone

A bibliophile's daydream

Scotland on Sunday

A propulsive parallel-worlds fantasy epic about the power of stories and storytelling

Guardian, 'What to look forward to this year'

One of those books which will never let you go. A beautiful, fantastic, ride that travels from one end of the earth to the other and beyond, Knox takes you on a journey that will amaze and astound you . . . The Absolute Book takes readers on a journey they won't soon forget. Fantastic and wondrous, it is a delight and will leave readers wistful for a world as magical as the one she's created


Contains multitudes, spanning the geographies of Canada, Britain and New Zealand; the cosmologies of fairies, demons and angels; and the genres of thriller, domestic realism and epic fantasy. Reading the book is like holding folds of shot silk to the light, finding green flash in something that looks purple, and appreciating how thoughtfully the warp and weft embrace each other. I'm in awe of it

New York Times Review of Books

If you love a little supernatural magic and mystery, you will love this clever blend of myth, religion, folklore and reality, as the story draws the reader into the realm of faerie and demon, immersing us in a fantasy world where bliss can be found

Living Edge

An enchanting weaving together of mythologies and a meeting of worlds, all bound up with the power of stories and the fate of the ultimate book. Far-reaching and profound, this is a novel to lose yourself in

Alison Littlewood, bestselling author of A Cold Season and The Hidden People

A mind-blowing optical illusion of a novel. This grand ode to Story itself is one that begs for a reread


Full of intrigue, mystery, magic, and history, this is a fascinating read that is hard to put down


A murder, a mysterious library and something called the Absolute Book feature in this fantastical new outing

The Times

An ambitious, gripping, and multifaceted [novel], animated by a sharp imagination


Gripping and hugely ambitious, the broad narrative flood sweeps us on to an extraordinary conclusion

Daily Mail

The dream for any book lover - a story about the importance of stories and all the ways we pass them on


A marvellous argument for stories. There are Norse gods, references to Merlin, a tour through purgatory and a strange parallel world where magic is real and humans are bit players in the clash of supernatural realms. Bewitching

The Times

An INSTANT CLASSIC, a work to rank alongside other modern masterpieces of fantasy such as Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series or Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Everything fantasy should be: original, magical, well read, compelling


Savour and absorb the world Knox conjures

Sunday Times

A book about books, a psychological crime novel, a romance, a portal fantasy, a technothriller, a historical fantasy, and an allegory - this melding of modes and mixing of genres, this surfeit of stories, is The Absolute Book's greatest strength. Accomplished, exuberant, generous, original . . . readers will have few regrets

Matthew Keeley, Tor.com

Where better to get lost than a mighty, make-believe kingdom reminiscent of Swift


Epic, imaginative and exquisitely written, this is a feat of fantastical world-building

Daily Express

Enchanting . . . Knox hits the mark


A magical book; doors between worlds; talking birds, vicious fairies and a trip to Purgatory. Stuffed with literary allusion and mythic echoes from the Norse legends to Alan Garner, straddling dimensions and hopping genres with ease, this is a one-of-a-kind fantasy novel that's worth getting lost in

Guardian, 50 Hottest Books

An angelic book, an apocalyptic book, an astounding book

Francis Spufford