A doomed lord, an emergent hero, and an array of bizarre creatures haunt the world of the Gormenghast novels which, along with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, reigns as one of the undisputed fantasy classics of all time. Peake has created a world where all is like a dream—lush, fantastical, vivid, and yet symbolic of a dark struggle.
At the center of everything is the seventy-seventh earl, Titus Groan, who stands to inherit the Gormenghast Castle and its kingdom. Inside, all events are predetermined by a complex ritual whose origins are lost in history, and the castle is peopled by dark characters in half-lit corridors. When Titus is crowned, he is called "Child-Inheritor of the rivers, of the Tower of Flints and the dark recesses beneath cold stairways...Child-Inheritor of the spring breezes that blow in from the jarl forests and of the autumn misery in petal, scale, and wing."