I was just mooching around Amazon, as you do, when I came across this "deal of the week":
"Set in seventeenth-century Iran, The Blood of Flowers is the powerful and haunting story of a young girl's journey from innocence to adulthood. The novel begins in the 1620s in a remote village where the narrator (whose name, in the Iranian storytelling tradition, we are never to know) lives with her mother and rug-maker father. On the sudden death of her father our heroine and her mother fall upon hard times and are forced to travel to the bustling, beautiful, exotic city of Isfahan where relatives take them in. Everything is new: the grudging charity of her aunt, the encouragement of her uncle, one of the finest carpet-makers in the world, who begins to teach her his craft, the treacherous friendship of the daughter of rich neighbours. And there's an adventure ahead which will introduce her to the sensual side of life as well as to the cruelty of betrayal and rejection before she finds her way to contentment and possibly, even, to happiness, in a world full of contrasts and dangers."
The book is on sale at £5.85 until Sunday night (list price £12.99), and Cathy is on for it. Also on offer this week are Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy ( "Get ready for the biggest NEW publishing phenomenon of 2007!" I shall say no more here) also at £5.85 (list £12.99), and Decency and Disorder: The Age of Cant by Ben Wilson at £11.25 (list £50) : "We all see the Victorians as a respectable, well-mannered and sober people, yet a generation before Queen Victoria ascended the throne, the British were notorious for their boisterous pastimes, plain-speaking and drunkenness. How was it that this free-spirited and pleasure-loving people embraced the kinds of values that we know as Victorian moralism? "Decency and Disorder" is about the generation who grew up during the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars. Acclaimed young historian Ben Wilson recreates their age, and some of its most exciting figures, in this landmark history book."