The waters of Fez

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

Water is the reason for Fez. It is the source of a hundred springs, which means every large house has its courtyard fountain, every street corner its public fountain:

And as if the suq’s guiding spirit had heard my plea, around the next corner was an open area where three of the diminutive lanes came together, which in any normal town would have gone unnoticed but here was tantamount to a village green. Set into one of the resulting corners was a magnificently tiled fountain, at the moment gushing water into a child’s brass pot. I waited while two women filled their jugs, then pushed forward to thrust my hands under the frigid clear water.

There’s a great-looking film made about Fez and its waters—including the water clock, which enters into Garment of Shadows. The film’s trailer is here:

Hidden Waters — Trailer (HD) from Joseph Lukawski on Vimeo.

To read more Garment of Shadows, go here.

To order a copy—hardback, audio, e-book, or signed—go here.


  1. I love the picture of a city built for water but it saddens me that the water is disappearing. Hopefully people will work to change that in the future!

  2. Robbin Stull says:

    The tilework with its intricate designs and vivid colors projects a sense of coolness in overwhelming heat.

  3. D Smith says:

    I love having the glimpse into the life in Fez. It speaks of humanity, the spiritual, and the needful. May this glimpse of Fez serve me well in moments of selfishness.

  4. Seth Huckstead says:

    Here’s to a review copy…

  5. I want a fountain like that. Gorgeous!

  6. Having the film trailer with this post is a great combo — thank you! I can almost catch the scent of the air, now that I have visuals, sounds … and a sense of what Russell is experiencing as she races through the scene.

  7. La Donna says:

    Is it September yet?

  8. Carol m says:

    I’d love to have a courtyard with a beautiful fountain!

  9. Anne Tierney says:

    Oh, for September 4th to be here!

  10. I’ve been trying to decide between Morroco and Iceland for my next trip. You are not making the decision any easier.

  11. I wonder if Russell will complete her ensemble with a fez? Surely, Holmes will wear one?

  12. Tiffany says:

    That is so cool!!! 🙂 The film looks awesome.

  13. Nancy Reynolds says:

    Yet another great picture – and I can’t wait to watch the video you provided, too. All these great photos and information – the anticipation for the book is growing daily. Thanks for all this fun lead up to the book!

  14. Judy Westmoreland says:

    The tilework is just beautiful. If I
    lived in Fez I would love to have courtyard fountain.

  15. I’ve always had an itch for adventure! These memoirs and current pics have just ignited that!

  16. Vero A. says:

    Ah, water – life itself!

  17. Everytime I see that tilework I want to paint tile or paint tile designs. Luckily, I have a friend who is a potter who has figured out how to get my designs onto her tiles. I can’t wait to see how it works.

  18. and after thrusting her hands into that frigid clear water I wonder if the damn spot came out. 😉

  19. Janet Evans says:

    Love that you share photos….makes it so much more real. Can hardly wait to read the whole book.

  20. I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley, where the climate is much like Morocco. I have always craved moisture–rain, fog, baths, pools, fountains, water running over beautifully patterned tiles.

  21. Kathleen says:

    Such beautiful tiles on the fountain!

  22. Wow, what detail!

  23. Betsy Chamberlin says:

    Moving from rainy humid south-central Pennsylvania to SoCal in my 50’s gave me a whole new viewpoint on water. Surely Morocco must be just as big a step farther along the continuum of water-consciousness.

  24. Scott M says:

    Beautiful architecture, and definitely neat to see more of Morocco.

  25. The tiling is so beautiful! The intricate detail makes it look like carved lace.

  26. So, if Russell went to Fez today she would have a much harder time finding water with which to clean her bloody hands. Very sad to think about.
    Guess I need a copy of the story to cheer me up!

  27. Alissa Nolan says:

    Thank you for including the video. Reading this book will be much more vivid with these little snapshots stored in my brain!

  28. Sue Thompson says:

    As usual it’s such a shame to see something made with such care and love fading into the grey of 21st century industrial decay.
    I just hope enough of the beauty of such places survives to inspire restoration and renewal.

  29. Thanks for including the film clip – it was very helpful in understanding Fez. Now I want to go there, of course!

  30. It’s sad to see the water disappearing from that area, and those beautiful old fountains just decaying.

  31. I love the description…I could picture it even without the video.

  32. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to see, but I want Mahmoud and Ali to show me around.

  33. Meredith Taylor says:

    Beautiful images! I missed yesterday’s time limit by seven minutes. grrr Here’s to Fri the 13th.//Meredith

  34. Gail Youngblood says:

    Thank you for more photos of Fez. All the better seeing the story when the book finally comes out!. I love the posts asking if it’s September yet. I feel the same way!

  35. Rachel Adrianna says:

    at least someone captured it on video before it goes under!

  36. It’s friday the 13th! It must have been beautiful with the river flowing right through the city. I wonder what kind of health problems arose from drinking water straight from the river?

  37. Alison Skier says:

    Beautiful tilework fountains…so sad to see the effect factories have had on the city’s water in the film trailer. Can’t wait to read M.R.’s adventures here. She takes me to some exotic places…still so fond of O Jerusalem!

  38. Very cool.

  39. Anne Lape says:

    I, as always, look forward to reading about Russel’s deep appreciation for and ability to assimilate to the local culture. I always feel as though I am traveling with her.

  40. I’m confused. Isn’t this “Mutterings”? Why does it say to “leave a comment over at Mutterings” at the top of this page?

  41. Pam Gibson says:

    In Sicily, every little town has its own distinctive set of colors for pottery & tile produced there. I wonder whether the same is true in Morocco; are these tiles identifying where they were made? Much of the Moorish culture still permeates their former lands.

  42. Kim Box says:

    As usual, every time I read Mary Russell I learn something. And in the most delightful way!

  43. Tom Varela says:

    Thanks for this.

  44. Erica Ruth says:

    What a beautiful but sad film….water is such a precious commodity in so many places, yet we take it for granted so often. On a happier note, the fountain is beautiful!

  45. Love the pictures! The city is beautiful.

  46. I’ve been travelling through Spain, especially central and southern Spain, where the Moors, who were from North Africa including Morocco, had a strong historical presence. This is also visible in the architecture as you can see fountains, and former mosques converted into churches or synagogues (as in Toledo), that maintain Moorish influence.

  47. Thank you.

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