In the year 1731, Alexandre Lourenco watches as his brother Bartolomeu’s airship, the Passarola, ascends from the ramparts of St. Jorge’s Castle in Lisbon. When the brothers board the ship, they embark on a journey that will take them from the salons and bordellos of Enlightenment Paris to the desolate far reaches of the North Pole, in search of scientific truth and knowledge. As they encounter such characters as the loquacious Voltaire and the irascible King Stanislaus of Poland, and attempt to escape Russian enemy fire and the condemnation of Portugal’s Cardinal Conti, Alexandre hopes to find his calling in life, while his brother keeps his eyes on the Passarola’s next horizon.
A delightful picaresque tale filled with evocative period detail, Azhar Abidi’s debut is not only a story of adventure and suspense, but a thoughtful book on the nature of truth, and a heartfelt portrait of the relationship between brothers.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - veracite - LibraryThing
A lovely plot, beautiful imagery, clever but over too fast, I think. I'm not sure if this is because I had a solid two hours to fill and read it without breaks or because it touches on interesting ... Read full review
PASSAROLA RISINGUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
A Brazilian-born priest who explores the far reaches of earth and the heavens is the subject of this diverting debut novel, the work of a Pakistani-born Australian author.The learned cleric is ... Read full review