In one bloody and brutal night her husband and son are murdered, and she, once Empress of Shinabar, becomes a hunted exile pursued through the desert. In an attempt to find meaning in her desolation, she embarks on an extraordinary journey of the spirit to find eternal truths. When she brings the truth to the world, written in the priceless Book, it inspires love and hate, and the birth of a new faith.
- "This is a particularly daring sort of novel, and that it’s Perry’s fantasy debut is nothing short of amazing. Perry is best known for her period detective novels, but Tathea has nothing in common with them. Instead, it starts out like a religious allegory along the lines of C S Lewis’ “Narnia” books, as Queen Ta-Thea is forced to flee her kingdom and question her existence. The rest is like an account of a prophet’s travels, with Ta-Thea returning from her journey to share her new faith. ... The twist in this case is that Perry has created a fictional religion instead of using one from reality. This is a pure fantasy, not an allegory, but one based on religion rather than politics. ... There’s still a central figure battling to save the world, a magical object, a range of supernatural armies and mortal allies, but Ta-Thea’s means of saving the world is ultimately by transmitting a religion, not by raising an army and waging war (although she does that too). The magical object in her case is a religious tract… ... This is an innovative, well-written, intriguing novel, far removed from and far above the norm. *****" SFX,
- "…ambitious, engrossing… she has devised here a powerful, inventive meditation on the possibilities that lie in and beyond the origin of religion." Publishers’ Weekly,
- "From the very first page, this is riveting reading. Every facet of humanity is represented within a complex yet beautifully moving story, crafted with a depth of thought and the sometimes reckless abandon of a master storyteller… a truly epic tale, worthy of the several readings it may take to fully absorb its wisdom and unvarnished honesty." NAPRA,
- "Perry’s readers may not follow her here, but this is fine work: a philosophical novel reminiscent of Erewhon, Gulliver’s Travels, and Candide." Booklist, Chicago,