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"Great balanced battle scenes, offering both individual perspectives and sweeping overviews, leave a sense of lingering horror....the expanded world and its inhabitants are consistently compelling." —Publishers Weekly
Praise for Mark Charan Newton’s Nights of Villjamur
“Mark Charan Newton’s star as writer is burning with a fierce talent.”—Stephen Hunt, author of The Rise of the Iron Moon
“Highly recommended . . . Newton’s compelling and visionary debut approaches epic fantasy with a fresh eye.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“This is fantasy with vast scope and ambition.”—The Guardian (U.K.)
Second book of a series (followingNights of Villjamur, 2010), reaching U.S. shores after publication last year in the UK, where the author resides.
In the subgenre referred to by its practitioners as New Weird—bizarrely outlandish fantasy or far-future rational science fiction, take your choice—we're offered a world lit by a red sun, littered with remnants of advanced technology, populated by humans, humanoids, human-alien hybrids and still weirder creatures. Driven forth by a usurper, Rika, heir to the Jamur Empire's throne, her sister Eir, and formidable swordsman and con-man Randur, flee towards Villiren, a northern city already feeling the frigid early effects of a new ice age. Worse, the city faces invasion by the insensate lobster-like alien Okun, whose hordes pour through a portal from—somewhere. Homosexual albino Commander Brynd Lathraea of the Night Guard commands Jamur's troops against the Okun while desperately trying to persuade the gangs who really run Villiren to help defend it. Unfortunately the most powerful gangster, the half-vampire Malum, loathes homosexuals. Meanwhile, bafflingly, hundreds of prosperous citizens and loyal soldiers have inexplicably vanished from the streets; Inspector Rumex Jeryd, a furry, tailed, humanoid rumel, searches for the culprit, unaware as yet that the responsible party is a huge spider ordered forth by the mysterious Doctor Voland. Knowledge of the previous book is neither assumed nor required, although many characters are common to both. Newton's battle sequences often startle and impress, and he's not afraid to kill off major characters. Thankfully, he resists the temptation to overinflate the scope of the proceedings.
Less weird than some, with fairly orthodox plotting, characters and narrative that build to a satisfying conclusion while promising still more.
Posted July 30, 2012
City of Ruin picks up where Nights of Villjamur leaves off. The city of Villien and the planet that it is on is being invaded. This novel is part steam-punk, part-fantasy and part Sci-Fi rolled into an entertaining story. Humans, reptile beings called “Rummels” and a bird-like race share the world that is faced with threats from these unknown invaders and a mysterious killer within the city. The plot consists of several story arcs interwoven into one overall story, that come closer together as the book goes on. The main character is a Rummel investigator called Rumex Jeyrd. He is not Sherlock Holmes, but neither is he Inspector Lastrade – just a detective doing the best he can under difficult circumstances and faced with everyday prejudices against his species while a world is being destroyed.
The action is fast paced the storyline intriguing and the author does a very good job weaving all the plot line together. If you like your SF story with a strong bit of mystery and a good touch of swashbuckling you will enjoy City of Ruin.
Posted May 29, 2011
At a time when the Jamur Empire needs to be united to combat an outside intrusion, the nation is divided. In Villhamur, Chancellor Urtica sits on the throne while Empress Rika is forced to flee the capital for Villiren; where she hopes to gain the support of the Night Guard though she is unsure whose side Commander Brynd Lathraea is on. The Empress is accompanied on her trek north by her sister Eir and their protector Randur.
Across from Villiren, the Okun have massacred the local populace on Tineag'l Island. These ruthless foes prepare to cross the strait to invade Villiren next even as the Jamur military led by Brynd prepare to defend the city knowing that defeats will mean the slaughter of every person. However Brynd has non military problems too from an extortion scheme while Inspector Rumex Jeryd does his duty regardless of the pending disaster by investigating the recent disappearances of dozens of locals.
The second Legends of the Red Sun dark fantasy (see Nights in Villjamur) is a terrific military, political and social epic that provides a deep look at a city anticipating with some deniers the encroachment of the enemy. The story line is action-packed and loaded with fully developed characters especially those inside the beleaguered city although there are too many subplots that cause the minor ones to effect the flow of the critical themes. Still City of Ruin is an engaging tale as the vicious Okrun come to Villiren with their scorched earth blitzkrieg war machine.
Posted January 2, 2012
No text was provided for this review.
Posted August 23, 2011
No text was provided for this review.