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Balthasar's Odyssey: A Novel
by Amin Maalouf
ISBN 155970666X / 9781559706667 / 1-55970-666-X
Publisher Arcade Publishing
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It is 1665, and all the signs and portents foretell that next year the Antichrist will appear and the world will come to an end. Antiquarian merchant and sage Balthasar sets out in search of a rare book that may bring salvation to a distraught world, a mysterious work entitled The Hundredth Name. In the course of his odyssey throughout the Mediterranean and beyond, Balthasar travels through countries in ruin, cities in flame, and stricken communities awaiting the Apocalypse. He encounters fear, falsehood, and disillusion, but he also discovers love at a time when he had given up all hope. [via]