A human cargo bound for servitude in exile. .. A pirate city hauled across the oceans. .. A hidden miracle about be revealed. .. This is the story of a prisoner's journey. The search for the island of a forgotten people, for the most astonishing beast in the seas, and ultimately for a fabled place - a massive wound in reality, a source of unthinkable power and danger. From the author of Perdido Street Station, another colossal fantasy of incredible diversity and spellbinding imagination, which was acclaimed in The Times Literary Supplement as: 'An astonishing novel, guaranteed to astound and enthral the most jaded palate. .. exhilarating, sometimes very moving, occasionally shocking, always humane and thought-provoking'.