In their opinion, there are no practising magicians left in the country of England. Little do they know that they are soon to encounter the reclusive Mr Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey, who will cause the stone statues of the Cathedral of York to speak and dance - and a beautiful young woman to be raised from the dead. Mr Norrell goes to London, persuaded that he must make his gifts available to the government in its war against Napoleon. He swiftly becomes a man of influence and distinction, only to be threatened by the appearance of Jonathan Strange, a charming and rich young man with sardonic eyebrows and an extraordinary talent for magic. It is a talent that will take Jonathan Strange to the very edges of darkness, where lurks the shadowy figure of the Raven King, a human child taken by the fairies in ancient times, who became the most legendary magician of all...Elegant, witty and utterly compelling, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell creates a past world of great mystery and beauty that will hold the reader in thrall until the last page. It is an astonishing achievement.