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 take to the roads with the other refugees, disguised in rags. But the sadistic 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. The physical, sexual, and political tensions that ensue catapult the narrative from war story to universal morality tale.
Already a number one bestseller in England, A Song of Stone demonstrates Iain Banks's unique ability to combine gripping narrative with a soaring, voyaging imagination. As he did in his widely acclaimed novel The Wasp Factory, Banks once again addresses the timeless questions of truth, betrayal, duty, and loyalty, weaving them around a complex plot and into a seamless, spellbinding whole. Banks has been hailed by The Times of London as the most imaginative British novelist of his generation; 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.