The rooftops of Fez

Leave a comment on today’s Mutterings post, and you have a chance at winning a copy of the Garment of Shadows ARC.

Russell’s first view of her larger surroundings comes when she climbs to the rooftop terrace, to see:

All around lay a tight jumble of buildings, their rooftops—squared, domed, and crenellated; brick and stone and tile; crisply renovated or crudely patched or on the point of collapse—at a myriad of levels, like the world’s largest set of children’s blocks. The town covered slopes dropping into a valley; higher hills, green with winter rains, lay in the distance. Here and there, tree-tops poked up between the structures, but there was no discernable break for roads, and the buildings were so intertwined that they appeared to be resting atop one another.

In modern Fez, one has to squint and remove the satellite dishes, aerials, and plastic sheeting from view, but behind those accretions, the city is the same.

To read more Garment of Shadows, go here.

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  1. Robbin Stull on July 14, 2012 at 1:47 am

    The city has looked the same for many, many years with more to come I suppose. And yet here in our own town we ask “when did they build that, tear down that, and where are the trees?”

  2. The Bold Flying Officer on July 14, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Looking at the picture, it’s just like that. How many other old towns and cities can be found under TV aerials, add-on glass, neon signs and the like?

  3. Randi Schwartz on July 14, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Perhaps one of the greatest technological tricks of today is the ability of photoshop to remove the remnants of technology in pictures and return historical locales to their original appearance…

  4. Carina on July 14, 2012 at 3:00 am

    It.´s wonderful to have all these illustations to the text. I will certainly go back them and explore them once more when I have the book. It adds so much to the experience of the story itselt, even if thats is an awsome experience of its own.

  5. Katie on July 14, 2012 at 3:32 am

    It sounds like the perfect town for Russell and Holmes to explore! A town practically built for investigation with all of its nooks and grannies though I do wonder how long it will take Holmes to find Russell since it sounds as if she will not know to look for him!

  6. Kerry on July 14, 2012 at 4:12 am

    I love the juxtaposition of disintegrating walls and satellite dishes. It makes me wonder what those children’s blocks look like on the inside . . .

  7. Seth Huckstead on July 14, 2012 at 4:23 am

    The setting is beautiful, and I imagine, the writing is as well.

  8. Christine Girty on July 14, 2012 at 4:32 am

    A million places for Russell and Holmes to disappear in…if all those walls could talk, I wonder what stories they could tell…

  9. Susan Gainen on July 14, 2012 at 5:07 am

    Thanks for showing me a place that I’ve never seen before.

  10. Karin on July 14, 2012 at 5:18 am

    I am looking forward to reading Garment of Shadows even more so now that you have provided us with some photos of the setting. I never tire of Russell and Holmes’ adventures. Thanks!

  11. Tiffany on July 14, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Wow, I’m really loving these illustrations and photos–its making Morocco more of a real place and less just a setting for the next Mary Russell novel.

  12. Karen on July 14, 2012 at 6:33 am

    If it weren’t for the little orbs of connectivity, this could almost be a deserted city. Many buildings are just walls with the weeds replacing occupants. A lone glass greenhouse within a courtyard. Laundry hanging on line that looks like it’s painted on the wall. After looking for things within all that gray, I really want to make a jig saw puzzle out of this! That would keep our family busy for a while!

  13. Terry on July 14, 2012 at 6:46 am

    What an intriguiging tapestry to work with!

  14. Karen Cook on July 14, 2012 at 6:48 am

    The addition of visual cues certainly enhances and brings a sharper image of what our minds can only imagine while reading of Russels’ adventures. I am looking forward to yet another great read!

  15. becky up a hill on July 14, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Amazing old city, full of mysteries. Thanks for the chance.

  16. Gail Y on July 14, 2012 at 7:04 am

    So many satellite dishes and so few people. Intriguing cityscape, indeed.

  17. Judy Westmoreland on July 14, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I wonder how many of these homes have rooftop gardens?

  18. tmgray on July 14, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Nothing can ever truly stay the same, no matter how much we may wish it.

  19. Anne Tierney on July 14, 2012 at 7:57 am

    I suppose in a place like like Fez, the aromas/odors and the sounds as well as the sights lend such an air of timelessness.

  20. Laura Kennedy on July 14, 2012 at 8:03 am

    I am intrigued with walls–the sense of protection they provide–what they enclose, what they exclude. And this photo has introduced a new point of fascination for me: what’s growing on top! There must be more rain there than I had imagined.

    And yes, I would very much like the ARC I won on Day 2! I’ve corrected my email address here, and sent a message to info at I’m also a fan on facebook, if all else fails.

  21. Nancy on July 14, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I Also enjoy these little photos that you share with us the readers

  22. Karen Gold on July 14, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I wonder if people sleep up on those flat roofs on hot nights.

  23. Merrily Taylor on July 14, 2012 at 8:29 am

    This really re-ignites my interest in going to Morocco! Perhaps we should design a Russell tour!

  24. Marie K on July 14, 2012 at 9:09 am

    The rooftops of the fez remind me of the rooftops of Jerusalem! I just love wandering the maze-like streets of these old cities, it’s quite magical.

  25. Laurie M. on July 14, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I love Russell’s visual of the city. Being a person who has always lived in a fairly rural area, my first glimpse at this picture of Fez was a bit overwhelming – almost claustrophobic. Then the eyes start to take in the structures and the mind focuses on the intricacies of maneuvering through this architectural phenomenon. Wonderful!

  26. Shannon on July 14, 2012 at 9:15 am

    It amazes me how there are places this old in the world, that don’t ever seem to change much, while here in the US, we consider anything more than 100 years old historical.

  27. Sandy K on July 14, 2012 at 9:18 am

    There is such a special look about the old cities of the Middle East.

  28. Kathleen on July 14, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Loving the daily pictures of Morocco–all building the excitement for Russell’s newest adventure come September. 🙂

  29. Laura on July 14, 2012 at 9:23 am

    What an amazing place!

  30. MaryjoO on July 14, 2012 at 9:24 am

    love the photo with the “grass” on the roof! And of course would love to win — you’ve wetted our appetite mightily with the post of the two excerpts…. 🙂

  31. Kristy K on July 14, 2012 at 9:32 am

    How incredible. I love the modern touches meeting the rustic architecture. And I am so beyond excited to read this book.

  32. Briana on July 14, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I love this photo! It looks just how I would imagine an ancient Roman city would have looked (other than the power poles, obviously!). How fun that you get to go to all of these beautiful places!

  33. Jessica B. on July 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I should think the layered accretions of building would appeal greatly to Holmes, in its resemblance to a beehive. Except in Fez, the honey to be harvested comes in the form of generations of stories, and not all of them are sweet.

  34. Mandolin on July 14, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Can’t wait to read more about this wonderful place.

  35. Betsy Chamberlin on July 14, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Fascinating, intriguing, but oh, I could never face the heat!

  36. kt on July 14, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I agree with Carina. It will be so fun to read the book and come back to see the photos that correspond with various parts of the story.

  37. Bree on July 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Fez looks like an interesting place, can’t wait to read more!

  38. Libby Dodd on July 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

    You prose evokes the reality (well, the historic reality) wonderfully. Now for more!

  39. Kathryn Campbell on July 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Ah, one of my favorite words. Crenellated. I first heard that word when I was quite young – maybe Shakespeare? I have always thought of that word as elegant. It must have been wonderful to walk that history.

  40. La Donna on July 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    We have some friends who went to Morocco for their honeymoon. Never could understand why (other than it was cheap at that time) but now I’m beginning to see ….

  41. Tom Varela on July 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you!

  42. Leslie Liszak on July 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Fez, past and present look and sound intriguing…and crenellated is one of my favorite words.

  43. Michelle Tabb on July 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Loving the photos with the snippets of descriptions! Cannot wait for this release!

  44. Nikki on July 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Wow, it _has_ been a long time since I’ve dropped by here. Good day to come, though…:-)

  45. Meagan on July 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Whoa. It kind of reminds me of Aladdin and how he jumps from roof to roof to get away from the police. AMAH-ZING!!!!

  46. Pam Gibson on July 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    The scirocco wouldn’t find much to destroy; all the building materials are either solid (beams, tiles, mortar-built mud brick) or easy to take down in a hurry, like awnings. I wonder whether the modern buildings use the system of metal slat blinds set into tracks called ‘persiani’ (sp?) in other Mediterranean countries.

  47. Sky Schneider on July 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    LOVE the photos and snippets. Making me even more impatient for the next book!

  48. Lark on July 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    It’s easy to see the Fez of Mary’s description in your photograph. Thank you for sharing these images! And all the excerpts just make me more and more eager to read the book.

  49. Jen on July 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I love these little glimpses of the city and the story to come.

  50. Kelly Hernandez on July 14, 2012 at 7:00 pm


  51. Ann Boyd on July 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    What a fascinating place! I can’t wait to read more about it.

  52. Katie O on July 14, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Can’t wait for this book… so excited!!

  53. Betsy Z on July 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Fez sounds fascinating. I would like to visit there someday.2

  54. Erica Ruth on July 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    You can hardly tell where one ends and another begins!

  55. Christina Pollock on July 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I really like reading about this part of the world!

  56. Meredith Taylor on July 14, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Thank goodness September will be here soon!

  57. Roxanne on July 16, 2012 at 6:06 am

    It is a jumble, isn’t it? I can’t imagine what the streets and alleys below this mishmash of building must be like.

  58. Joanna Canfield on July 17, 2012 at 12:17 am

    In all the books I have read of yours, I find myself captured by the descriptive and evocative picture you paint…or should I say write…of the countries, cultures, arcitecture and the people. So much so that I am eager and do look for further books to read about these wonderful places. Further Education…I enjoy it so much!! Thank You.

  59. Kathy Aiau on July 19, 2012 at 8:02 am

    The pictures will add to the reading experience. Wow

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