The Year of Our WarGollancz S.F. Series
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...
One of the most exciting, original and important new fantasy novels to be published since China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station. A breathtakingly skilful debut. It is rich, literary and fast moving. Try it.
Comparison: China Mieville, Sheri S Tepper, C J Cherryh.
Similar this month: Ian McDonald, David Gemmell.
The Year of Our War by Steph Swainston
The most exciting, original and important new fantasy novel to be published since China Mieville's PERDIDO STREET STATION. A breathtakingly skilful debut.
A superb work of literary fantasy. In a truly original imagined world of breathtaking, sometimes surreal, beauty, fifty utterly alien but disarmingly human immortals lead mankind in a centuries-long war.
Jant is the Messenger, one of The Circle, a cadre of fifty immortals who serve the Emperor, and the only immortal - indeed the only man alive - who can fly.
The Emperor is seeking to protect mankind from the hordes of giant insects who have plagued the land for centuries, overwhelming towns with their beautiful nests, eating everything and everyone in their path. But he must also contend with the rivalries and petty squabblings of his chosen immortals. These are squabbles that will soon spill over into open civil war.
Steph Swainston has written an astonishingly original literary fantasy. She writes beautifully. Her novel places her in a tradition of writing typified by Mervyn Peake, M. John Harrison and, latterly, China Mieville. This is a breathtaking debut novel of the finest quality.
'An enjoyable piece of 'weird' fiction'
'A joy to read, it is bursting at the seams with ideas. The Year of Our War is the first book that makes you believe New Weird actually is a movement, rather than a bunch of books China Miéville likes. A Miéville quote appears prominently on the cover where he describes the book as "thoughtful, exuberant, incredibly inventive, funny but never whimsical or mannered." This is true and it doubles as a kind of manifesto pledge for New Weird'
'A stunning fantasy, and the most incredible thing about it is that it is a first novel... The setting is impeccably realised, with a deftness of touch and a genius for description which would be impressive in an author of considerably greater experience - of the current crop of British fantasy writers, only China Miéville can touch this level of brilliance. In fifty years time, people are still going to be reading this book and talking about it the way we talk about Gormengast'
About the Author
Publication date14th April 2005
More books by Steph Swainston
Author 'Like for Like'
PublisherOrion Publishing Co
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