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  • Published: 31 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9780857528063
  • Imprint: Doubleday
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $37.00

The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley

The spellbinding historical fiction mystery of one young man's quest for the truth

A rich, detailed and vibrant tale of a young man finding himself against the backdrop of 18th century London and Constantinople, for fans of Once Upon a River and Jessie Burton

In 1754, renowned maker of clocks and automata Abel Cloudesley must raise his new-born son Zachary when his wife dies in childbirth.

Growing up amongst the cogs and springs of his father's workshop, Zachary is intensely curious, ferociously intelligent, unwittingly funny and always honest - perhaps too honest. But when a fateful accident leaves six-year-old Zachary nearly blinded, Abel is convinced that the safest place for his son is in the care of his eccentric Aunt Frances and her menagerie of weird and wonderful animals.

So when a precarious job in Constantinople is offered to him, Abel has no reason to say no. A job presented to him by a politician with dubious intentions, Abel leaves his son, his workshop and London behind. The decision will change the course of his life forever.

Since his accident, Zachary is plagued by visions that reveal the hearts and minds of those around him. A gift at times and a curse at others, it is nonetheless these visions that will help him complete a journey that he was always destined to make - to travel across Europe to Constantinople and find out what happened to his father all those years ago.

With a Dickensian cast of characters that are brilliantly bonkers one moment and poignant the next, Sean Lusk's debut will take readers on an immersive journey into the wonders of the world of Zachary Cloudesley.

  • Published: 31 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9780857528063
  • Imprint: Doubleday
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $37.00

About the author

Sean Lusk

Sean Lusk is an award winning short story writer, winner of the Manchester Fiction Prize and the Fish Short Story Prize. He has lived in Greece, Pakistan and Egypt and now lives in the Scottish Highlands. The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley is his first novel.

You can find him at www.seanlusk.com or on Twitter @seanlusk1

Praise for The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley

Wild, bewitching and propulsive, Sean Lusk's drama of prophetic visions, exotic feats of engineering, transgressive desire and familial love is one of those novels that makes you rejoice that we are a storytelling species. The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley, peopled with vivid characters and sumptuously-imagined scenery is a triumph of the imagination, of language, and of generosity.

Liz Jensen

With a cast of colourful characters who are guaranteed to charm, this hugely entertaining book is full of imagination, adventure, wit and warmth.

Anita Frank

Flavoured with characters of Dickensian brilliance...One taste, you'll be addicted.

Essie Fox

A superb historical novel... Sean Lusk has a bright future ahead of him.

William Ryan

One of the best books I've read this year. Atmospheric, engaging, and elegantly written, this amazing tale of a clockmaker whose son possesses unusual talents is completely unforgettable.

Sunday Times bestselling author, Bonnie Garmus

Fans of eccentrically flavoured historical fiction with a touch of magic are in for a treat with this bustling Dickensian debut about a boy born with the ability to see into the minds of everyone he meets and which spans 18th-century Europe, from London to Constantinople.


[A] dashing, magical debut . . . intricately plotted, and peopled with intriguing characters and cunning clockwork

Daily Mail

An original and unique tale that blends historical fiction with magical realism and steampunk. Moreover, it features tragedy, humour, and adventure, amongst a Dickensian backdrop whilst remaining accessible to a large audience; there is something for everyone.

The Strand Magazine

Packed with intrigue, vividly drawn characters and heartstopping emotion, this beautifully written, ingeniously crafted debut is absolutely enthralling

Sunday Express

'An original coming-of-age tale... enjoyable and imaginative debut'

Sunday Times (Historical Fiction Book of the Month)

Inventive, fantastical... memorable

The Times

An exhilarating magic carpet ride to 18th century Constantinople


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