My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I don’t think there are enough words to describe the genius that Mervyn Peake put into creating the world within a world that is Gormenghast. Living in a dimension all of its own between the historical, the fantastical and the grotesque there is a land and a castle whose inhabitants’ lives are punctuated by century-old rituals. Every one in Gormenghast is peculiar – the Countess, surrounded by white cats; the twin aunts, inseparable and almost indistinguishable; Swelter, the gigantic but stealthy cook – and yet so fit to the particular nature of the place that it all seems natural, hardly of notice.
Though the title of the book is about Titus, the newborn heir to the earldom, this first volume is mostly about the repercussions caused by the ambitions and machinations of the young Steerpike, who is set to change Ghormenghast forever and climb his way all to the top, no matter who stands in the way.