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A fairy-tale infused historical novel for adults set in the late 18 th century, moving between Imperial China and France during the ‘Terror’ of the French Revolution, and inspired by the true story of a quest for a blood-red rose.

The novel will draw upon ‘The Blue Rose,’ a fairy tale set in China about a quest for an impossible rose.


Autumn is a thin, pale moon,
smoking with chill and fires in the gutter.
Shadows are blue and creep across the lawn.

In the death of one god, find the death of all.
Wind, now, circles those limits of reality
we name with simple names.
It blows colour through her hair.

So pure and cold the wind breathes.
It pares the flesh from the bones of the land -
finds at last the essential shape.

In that first light -
night running away like water -
the body is an empty jar
to be filled with light like the seeping sky.

Waiting on the railway station,
the cold blazes along the lines like fire.
The sun is rising
into her eyes, and she is red.