City of Crows

Current Stock: 2
UPC: 9781609454708
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Author: Chris Womersley
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Europa Editions (September 18, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609454707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609454708
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8.2 inches

"A gothic masterpiece."―Better Read Than Dead

Set in seventeenth-century France―a country in the thrall of dark magic, its social fabric weakened by years of plague―Chris Womersley's City of Crows is a richly imagined and engrossing tour de force. Inspired by real-life events, it tells the story of Charlotte Picot, a young woman from the country forced to venture to the fearsome city of Paris in search of her only-remaining son, Nicolas. Fate (or coincidence) places the quick-witted charlatan Adam Lesage in her path. Lesage is newly released from the prison galleys and on the hunt for treasure, but, believing him to be a spirit she has summoned from the underworld, Charlotte enlists his help in finding her child.

Charlotte and Lesage―comically ill-matched but nevertheless essential to one another―journey to Paris, then known as the City of Crows: Charlotte in search of Nicolas, and Lesage seeking a fresh start.

Dazzlingly told, with humor and flair, City of Crows is a novel for readers who like their fiction atmospheric, adventurous, spine-tingling, and beautifully written. Pre-revolutionary France, with all its ribaldry, superstition, and intrigue is mesmerizing, and Charlotte Picot's story―the story of a mother in search of her lost son―holds universal appeal.


“By interweaving the trivial, the humorous and the grisliest of the grisly, Chris Womersley straps us in for a shivery ride.”―Katharine Grant,The New York Times Book Review

“Womersley weaves a haunting tale of the drastic lengths people will go to achieve their deepest desires.”
Publishers Weekly

“Chris Womersley (Cairo) has expertly blended historical facts about Paris with his story told in alternating points of view. [...] The overall effect is a lavish feast for those who love specifics. The main characters are likable and believable, while the supporting characters add their own flair to the tale. Superstition, fear and magic abound in this historical tale of mistaken identity and of a mother's love for her child, making for a read that entertains and informs at the same time.”―Shelf Awareness

“Fascinating historical truths clash with swashbuckler tropes. . . Worth reading for the writing alone."
Kirkus Reviews

“Basing his novel on actual characters, Womersley weaves an intriguing tale, blending coincidence with the question of magical intervention. [...] By the end (which leaves room for lively debate), Charlotte is convinced of the power of her magic, and this reader is convinced of the magic of Womersley.”
Historical Novels Review

“A brilliantly compelling read.”
Australian Women’s Weekly

City of Crows is opulent with ancient ritual significances . . . Charlotte Picot has astonishing strength and a marvelous dignity.”
―Carmel Bird, The Australian

The Australian

“Womersley’s writing is poetic and original; his insights into human character
are true.”
The Monthly

“Womersley is one of the unrepentantly daring and original talents
in the landscape of Australian fiction.”
The Sydney Morning Herald

“A beautifully written book from a master storyteller.”
Australian Book Review

“An immersive tale.”
―Martin Shaw, Books and Publishing

City of Crows is a novel of rare craftsmanship, with an enthralling plot,
empathetic characters, a fascinating setting―in terms of both time
and place―and the darkly dramatic appeal of the occult and the
Good Reading

“A novel that entrances you, bewitches you and keeps you thoroughly
―Boomerang Books

“Nothing short of dazzling. Hieronymus Bosch in literary form.
This book is fabulous.”
―Deborah Crabtree, Readings Book Store


Chris Womersley’s previous novels have been awarded the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction, the Indie Award for Best Fiction, the ABIA Award for Literary Fiction, and have been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, The Age Book of the Year, and the ALS Gold Medal for Literature. His short fiction has appeared in Granta, The Best Australian Stories, Meanjin and Griffith Review. Womersley lives in Melbourne with his wife and son.