Three Eight One by Aliya Whiteley

Three Eight One by Aliya Whiteley
English | 2024 | Sci-Fi & Fantasy

An astonishing literary crossover novel about the pressures of growing up and the nature of authorship.


In January 2314, Rowena Savalas – a curator of the vast archive of the twenty-first century’s primitive internet – stumbles upon a story posted in the summer of 2024. She’s quickly drawn into the mystery of the text: Is it autobiography, fantasy or fraud? What’s the significance of the recurring number 381?

In the story, the protagonist Fairly walks the Horned Road – a quest undertaken by youngsters in her village when they come of age. She is followed by the “breathing man,” a looming presence, dogging her heels every step of the way. Everything she was taught about her world is overturned.

Following Fairly’s quest, Rowena comes to question her own choices, and a predictable life of curation becomes one of exploration, adventure and love. As both women’s stories draw to a close, she realises it doesn’t matter whether the story is true or not: as with the quest itself, it’s the journey that matters.

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