The Physiognomy (The Cley Trilogy, #1)
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The Physiognomy

by Jeffrey Ford
Release date: 1997
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy
Tags: world fantasy award

World Fantasy Award: Best Novel winner (1998).

Offering a freshly-imagined world of bizarre creatures and strange customs, this unique and sardonic allegory explores the power and price of science and the ambiguity of morality. Humourless and drug addicted, physiognomist Cley is ordered by the Master of the Well-Built City to investigate a theft in a remote mining town. Well-versed in serving justice, arrogant Cley sets out to determine the identity of the thief using the pseudo-science of judging people by their features, but becomes distracted from his task by a beautiful girl from town. When the young-but-wise woman rejects him, he looses faith in his abilities, and in a drug-induced frenzy he "remakes" her features. The subsequent horror of what he has done, what he represents, and the shallow life he leads forces him to seek atonement and true justice, risking the Master's wrath, which may entail death by head explosion.

Edited by Emelie (2015-01-09)

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