|From The Publisher*|
When the first glass was emptied, Alejandro and Petrus smiled at each other and JesÃºs noticed the redhead's lovely grey and pensive eyes.
"Where did you come from?" he asked.
"From the bridge," Petrus answered. "The bridge that links our world to yours."
Then, after a silence:
"It is invisible to you."
Alejandro de Yepes and JesÃºs Rocamora, young officers in the Spanish regular army, are stationed alone at Castillo when, out of nowhere, a friendly redhead appears to them in the cellar. There is something magnetic and deeply mysterious about this Petrus. Alejandro and JesÃºs are bewitched, and, in the middle of the sixth year of the longest war humankind has ever endured, they abandon their post to follow him across a bridge only he can see.
Petrus brings them to a world of lingering fog, strange beings, poetry, music, natural wonders, harmony, and extraordinary beauty. This is where the fate of the world and all its living creatures is decided. Yet this world too is under threat. A long battle against the forces of disenchantment is drawing to a climactic close. Will poetry and beauty prevail over darkness and death? And what role will Alejandro and JesÃºs play? Muriel Barbery's new richly imagined novel, the sequel toThe Life of Elves, will transport readers to a lost world exposed to the constant churn of civilizations and remind them of the power of poetry and imagination.
"Readers who love meditative, dreamlike fiction will enjoy this translation, which rings with the music of the original French."-Booklist
"A Strange Country is a remarkable adventure and philosophical novel, which sings the praises of imagination and inventiveness. It's Tolkien in the land of Giono."-FranÃ§ois Busnel,La Grande Librairie
"A Strange Country is a marvelous mix of wonderful storytelling, poetry, and adventure . . . It is also an instruction manual for those aiming at nobility of heart. It speaks against the decline of all that is poetic in our lives and encourages readers to rediscover enthusiasm for this world."-Mohammed Aissaoui,Le Figaro LittÃ©raire
"Muriel Barbery allows us to reconnect with our portion of dreams, of poetry. To enter into her world is a true enchantment."-Isabelle Potel,Madame Figaro
Muriel Barbery is the author of theNew York Times bestseller,The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Europa, 2008),Gourmet Rhapsody (Europa, 2009), andThe Life of Elves (Europa, 2016). She has lived in Kyoto, Amsterdam, and Paris, and now lives in the French countryside.