Sylvie a 17-year-old orphan discovers Claudius Amaranthus, a 2000 year old man entombed in the hidden basement of an abandoned asylum.
Awake for the first time in a century he tells Sylvie his story. She discovers that Galen, the doctor who bestowed immortality on him is still alive. Their search for him leads them to new worlds and allows them to find purpose and meaning through each other. More
17-year-old Sylvie is expelled from Paris when an affair between her and her host family’s daughter Constance is discovered. In the upheaval before her departure, her world is cast further into chaos by the death of her reckless parents in a car accident.
She returns home to Melbourne, Australia, an orphan without friends, family, or a will to live.
After a failed suicide attempt she exiles herself to a tiny deserted sea-side town and becomes intrigued by an abandoned rehabilitation facility opposite her house. Within, she discovers a hidden cellar inside which she finds a human-like creature attached to the cellar’s back wall in a cocoon.
She evacuates him to her house and manages his convalescence and as he recovers he recounts his story.
His name is Claudius Amaranthus, born in 263BC at the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. He explains that aside from the periods in the cocoon he has lived constantly ever since.
His immortality isn’t the result of magic, but rather the work of science, solved by the brilliant physician Galen and the Amaranth, the group to whom Claudius belonged. Their “Therapies” were the end result of three thousand years of medicine and science that was hidden within the Egyptian priesthood. It took the doctors and scientists at the Library - mainly because of Galen’s inspired brilliance - to finally perfect it.
When word of the Therapies leaked, the Library was burned, and the Amaranth hunted down during a tumultuous era of competing religious ideologies. Claudius escaped to South America, and returned to Europe only when the Spanish re-established contact more fifteen hundred years later.
The last of the Amaranth, he despaired watching the world decay and decline despite his efforts to foster the great minds of Europe.
During the First World War he was burned beyond recognition and sent to Australia, the anonymous soldier who wouldn’t die despite his extensive injuries. Like Sylvie, he found the hidden cellar where he “went down” into his cocoon to repair his devastated body.
He arises after almost a century asleep.
The gift of immortality, Sylvie discovers, comes with a poisoned dark side – the inability to forget. Claudius is immobilized by suffering at the loss of friends from centuries beforehand, and has learned to minimize his grief by withdrawing from intimacy. Despite this Sylvie is captivated by his dark and brooding nature, and as he spends more time around her, Claudius is astounded that a person so young could be so complete and capable.
Despite having lived for two thousand years Claudius has missed the 20th Century and its exponential change has left him floundering in the past, meaning Sylvie not only manages his physical convalescence but also his integration into the modern world.
During his convalescence Sylvie discovers the Voynich manuscript, a document written in a secret script known only to the Amaranth, and when she reveals it to Claudius he discovers that Galen too escaped the destruction of the Library and is probably still alive.
The search for Galen begins.
It leads them to New York, where Claudius finds a cache of goods he left in safety deposit boxes a hundred years before. Their contents, which include “trinkets” he has collected include never before seen manuscripts by Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare, and ancient Greek poets. Alongside these are jewellery, coins, and other objects of such rarity that the boxes are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
But how do they find Galen, and how does Claudius deal with the modern world, so radically changed?
How does Sylvie manage her attraction to Claudius and her burgeoning relationship with John Milton, the investment banker assigned to Claudius's account.
And the biggest question of all: What if they can find Galen and the Therapies are recreated?
What would happen in a world where immortality was possible?
The answers lie within the Amaranth Chronicles.