The Second Rule is a comic, passionate, complex novel about a young architectural student, Tomas Sala, who designs a grotesque folly showing every conceivable building style, only for the nation's leader to commission what will become known as The Palace of Democracy - a tribute to the very political system that is collapsing around them.
But early success, he learns, has to be paid for. While Tomas builds his absurd vision, his personal dreams disintegrate. His timid, intellectual parents die in a suicide pact, his wife, the mysterious Helena, goes into exile, his friends follow until he is among the few who remain in a dying, polluted city dominated by the Palace.
During his student years, Tomas met a Turk who told him there are two rules in life, but never told him the second. One night when he makes his way through the ancient streets of the old quarter, he meets the Turk again and, on learning the second rule, he sets out on a journey of redemption.
The book is beautifully-written, thought-provoking and cleverly weaves its way through current political problems and modern relationships.