We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

The Sorcerer of Pyongyang

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781472156945

Price: £16.99

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

In the most isolated country on earth, a chance discovery shapes a young man’s destiny.

Growing up amid the starvation and oppression of 1990s North Korea, 10-year-old Cho Jun-su stumbles upon a mysterious game, left behind in a hotel room by a rare foreign visitor.

As Jun-su painstakingly deciphers the rules of the game in secret, he unlocks an inner world that is at first an antidote and then a threat to the political cult that surrounds him. Over time, the game leads Jun-su on a spellbinding and unexpected journey through the hidden layers of his country, towards precocious success, glory, love, betrayal, prison, a spell at the pinnacle of the North Korean elite and an extraordinary kind of redemption.

Warm, uplifting, and deeply-researched,The Sorcerer of Pyongyang is a love story and a tale of survival against the odds. Inspired by the testimony of North Korean refugees, and drawing on the author’s personal experience of North Korea, it testifies to the power of empathy and the human imagination.


Marcel Theroux has given us a riveting and poignant story from the hidden world of North Korea. Deeply researched and powerfully imagined, his novel reveals the lives of privileged elites, gulag prisoners and ordinary men and women living in this isolated land. A thriller, a love story and an exploration of the paradoxical emotions of human beings struggling with extreme situations, this is a book by which I was irresistibly gripped. I'm sure many others will find it no less compelling and enjoyable.
John Gray, author of Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of Life