Beyond the Hanging Wall by Sara Douglass

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Like his physician father, Garth Baxtor is gifted with The Touch. By laying his hands upon a person, Garth can sense what dwells within: pain, illness, joy, or sorrow. It is through the application of The Touch that the gifted minister helps the sick of Escator by diagnosing ills and promoting healing.

By decree of the royal treasury, for a period of three weeks each year, physicians of Escator - in lieu of taxes - are required to attend to the needs of the criminals who labor endlessly in the Veins, the labyrinth of mines carved deep into the earth and from which they harvest the gloam-a priceless commodity upon which the fortunes of Escator depend.

It is during one such period of mandatory service that Joseph Baxtor decides his son is old enough to accompany him to the Veins as his apprentice. Garth is delighted. It's a chance to escape the dull and dreary surroundings of his quiet village for the delights of the capital city of Ruen. Joseph has been ordered to attend King Cavor himself. Garth will actually meet the king in person!

As he discovers all too soon, however, the task at hand is a grim one. Descending into the mines for the first time, Garth could hardly be less prepared for what he encounters: thousands of men laboring like animals in dreadful conditions deep below the earth's surface.

Applying his hands to the wound of one prisoner known only as Lot No. 859, Garth is stunned by what he discovers. This man is no common criminal. But then, who is he? Could it be? After all these years?

Prince Maximillian?

The answer to the riddle will involve Garth in a harrowing journey out of the Veins and into the Land of Dreams as he tries to resolve the question of the identity of Lot No 859. In the process, Garth will solve a centuries-old mystery-a mystery that will pit one king against another and shake the Kingdom of Escator to its foundations.

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About Sara Douglass

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Sara Douglass has worked as a nurse and has a Ph.D. in early modern European history. Her first fantasy adventure, The Axis Trilogy, had an overwhelming response from readers (Starman won the 1996 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel). This was followed by the bestselling Wayfarer Redemption Trilogy, and other works of both epic and historical fantasy. Sara lives in an 1880s-era house, Nonsuch, in Hobart, Tasmania.
Published October 3, 2006 by Tor Books. 364 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Beyond the Hanging Wall

Kirkus Reviews

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With the help of a young marsh girl, Ravenna, who has the power to enter the land of dreams, and of Vorstus, abbot of an order dedicated to the royal house, Garth realizes that King Cavor, current ruler of Escator, must have had Maximillian captured and condemned to the mines (those wearing the M...

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Publishers Weekly

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Later, in the Land of Dreams, Garth has a conversation with the ancient heraldic beast of Escator, the droll monster Manteceros, who agrees to confirm the identity of the true king if Garth can rescue prisoner 859 from the Veins and have him challenge the vile pretender, King Cavos.

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The Best Reviews

In the kingdom of Escator, medical apprentice Garth Baxtor learns how to apply his gift of the healing touch and use of herbs under the tutelage of his father physician Joseph.

Jul 13 2003 | Read Full Review of Beyond the Hanging Wall

Strange Horizons

As Joseph gives Garth a lesson in how to detect a specific illness, Garth also gradually learns to accept the fact that a healer cannot save all his patients.

Apr 26 2004 | Read Full Review of Beyond the Hanging Wall

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