The Anatomist's Dream by Clio Gray

By Clio Gray

In a small salt-mining city, Philbert is born with a ‘taupe’, a disfiguring irritation of the cranium. deserted via either mom and dad and with just a puppy pig for corporation, he ultimately unearths safe haven and companionship in a traveling carnival, Maulwerf’s reasonable of Wonders, because it makes its annual migration throughout Germany bringing leisure to a humans beset through famine, repression and innovative ferment.

Philbert quickly reveals a worrying kin in Hermann the Fish guy, Lita, the Dancing Dwarf, Frau Fettleheim, the Fattest lady on the planet and an collection of ‘freak show’ artists, magicians and entertainers.

But then Philbert meets Kwert, ‘Tospirologist and Teller of Signs’, and whilst he persuades the boy to endure exam via the popular doctor and craniometrist, Dr Ullendorf, either Kwert and Philbert embark on an altogether darker and extra perilous trip that might have far-reaching outcomes for a complete country.

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Thomas, you are incorrigible,” said Anne fondly. ” I nodded, having no idea what she meant. As we neared the Tower I stared up at the forbidding wall with its narrow slits. From the squared battlements protruded tall spikes topped with what looked like bundles of blackened rags. I squinted in order to see better. ” I asked, imitating Anne’s accent. She burst out laughing. “Yes, it is a menagerie—of criminals and traitors! ” Emme hissed. ” As I stared, the raglike bundles resolved themselves into skulls with torn flesh like strips of stiff leather.

What monstrous creatures were here? In the dimness I glimpsed the tawny hide of a beast straining against an iron collar, the fur around its face like a giant ruff, sharp teeth bared. Feeling my gorge rise with panic, I pushed my way out of the Tower and ran into the courtyard, gasping the damp air. All the way back to Whitehall, everyone talked of the queen’s menagerie. The roaring beast I had glimpsed was called a lion. The catlike wailing came from a leopard, one of four in an iron cage, Emme said.

I cannot, Your Majesty,” I replied, for I was trembling all over. “Without your gracious help,” I added. Then the queen took my wrists and lifted me to my feet. Her hands were slim, her fingers long and tapered. I counted four rings on each hand. “Do not fear to look upon me, child. Think of me as your mother now,” she said. It was a command, though softly spoken. I lifted up my eyes to meet hers. They were bright and pale. She smiled and it was like the sun beaming from behind a cloud. I no longer saw graying hair against her cheek.

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