The battle has been fought and won, and all have been transformed by
the struggle. Imago of Lockwood has become Lord Mayor of the City
Imperishable, though at a price beyond his wildest imagination. Bijaz
the Dwarf has been imbued with a godlike power and a responsibility he
scarcely understands. And Jason the Factor, resurrected from death at
the hands of his sister, the Tokhari sandwalker Kalliope, has become
the sula ma-jieni na-dia, the fabled Dead Man of Winter.
When a beautiful mountebank named Ashkoliiz arrives in the City Imperishable, accompanied by a group of mercenary Northmen and an exotic and terrible ice bear, the mood of the City turns strange. Amid much pomp and showmanship, Ashkoliiz offers to lead an expedition to uncover the lost tomb of the Imperator Terminus, stirring up the mob with promises of treasure and imperial power... but what will her quest unleash?
Far south in Port Defiance, the rabble-rousing dwarf Onsiphorous endeavors to lure the city's expatriate dwarfs, slashed and sewn alike, back home, even as corsair raids and a river blockade threaten to not only impede his progress, but cut off trade, communication, and transportation to the City entirely.
Meanwhile, the deadly political struggles in the City Imperishable take a turn for the worse, and Imago must use every ounce of his cleverness and guile in order to maintain power against the vengeful machinations of the corrupt assemblage of Burgesses, not to mention preserve his own life. Political intrigue, adventure, and all-out war await the principles and inhabitants of the City Imperishable. Though it all, the City may endure, but none will remain untouched by the Madness of Flowers...
In the tradition of Perdido Street Station, City of Saints and Madmen, and The Etched City, Campbell Award-winning author Jay Lake returns to the decadent urban fantasy first glimpsed in Trial of Flowers. The trial may be over, but the madness is just beginning...
Joseph Edward Lake, Jr. (1964-2014) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer. In 2003 he was a quarterly first place winner in the Writers of the Future contest. In 2004 he won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction. He lived in Portland, Oregon, and worked as a product manager for a voice services company.
Lake's writings have appeared in numerous publications, including Postscripts, Realms of Fantasy, Interzone, Strange Horizons, Asimov's Science Fiction, Nemonymous, and the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. He was an editor for the "Polyphony" anthology series from Wheatland Press, and was also a contributor to the Internet Review of Science Fiction.
Photo by Roger Podva, 2009.