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The Scribe lives in a town on the frontiers of Central Asia.

This is a world of spies and scholars, clerics and quacks, generals and princesses, of thefts, intrigues, miracles and murders.

A world where every act is fuelled on paper, for without it nothing - diplomacy, commerce, art, even love - is possible.

This ambitious Scribe feverishly dreams of writing his masterpiece. And before he can begin he feels he must find the perfect paper, a paper unimaginably beautiful, as pure as the mountain snows.

But there is a crisis looming. The ancient practice of paper-making is in decline, and the European paper - factory made - is scarce and expensive.

In the isolated mountain town, which has become the scene of a power struggle, paper is more necessary than ever.

The Scribe sets off on a quest that sends him from mosque to palace, from citadel to marketplace, in hot pursuit of straw and rag reams from the past, of wood-pulp paper of the present, and towards the shimmering pages of the future.




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