The Folly of the World by Jesse Bullington

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On a stormy night in 1421, the North Sea delivers a devastating blow to Holland: the Saint Elizabeth Flood, a deluge of biblical proportions that drowns hundreds of towns, thousands of people, and forever alters the geography of the Low Countries. Where the factions of the noble Hooks and the merchant Cods waged a literal class war but weeks before, there is now only a nigh-endless expanse of grey water, a desolate inland sea with moldering church spires jutting up like sunken tombstones. For a land already beleaguered by generations of civil war, a worse disaster could scarce be imagined.

Yet even disaster can be profitable, for the right sort of individual, and into this flooded realm sail three conspirators: a deranged thug at the edge of madness, a ruthless conman on the cusp of fortune, and a half-feral girl balanced between them.
With The Folly of the World, Jesse Bullington has woven an extraordinary new tale of the depraved and the desperate.

About Jesse Bullington

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Jesse Bullington spent the bulk of his formative years in rural Pennsylvania, the Netherlands, and Tallahassee, Florida. He is a folklore enthusiast who holds a bachelor's degree in History and English Literature from Florida State University. He currently resides in Colorado and can be found online at
Published December 18, 2012 by Orbit. 503 pages
Genres: History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Folly of the World

Kirkus Reviews

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It’s a time and a place that rarely appears in historical fiction, but it serves as the setting of a very long and, at times, oppressively grim novel.

Sep 25 2012 | Read Full Review of The Folly of the World

Publishers Weekly

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Sander is a madman who enjoys the thrill of being hanged so much that he deliberately commits crimes and gets caught, always escaping the noose at the last moment.

Oct 08 2012 | Read Full Review of The Folly of the World

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The Bookbag

The fruitiness adds to the comedy here, and the sense of humour certainly came across more successfully than that which I remember reading from Bullington before.

Nov 19 2012 | Read Full Review of The Folly of the World


The Folly of the World features no firebolts, has Belgians where banshees might be, and most telling of all, it occurs in the real world...or else a setting very much resembling what you’d expect from said six centuries ago: “They’d done a decent job building things up to accommodate the r...

Dec 13 2012 | Read Full Review of The Folly of the World

Fantasy Literature

The Folly of the World proudly carries the Bullington torch of depravity, but it’s applied in a more focused, less liberal manner — like using guided missiles instead of napalm.

Dec 19 2012 | Read Full Review of The Folly of the World

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