Sunday, 8 January 2017

FANTASY REVIEW: Castle 5: Fair Rebe; - Steph Swainston

Release Date: 24/11/16
Publisher: Gollancz


Steph Swainston's much-anticipated return to her uniquely imagined fantasy world of the Fourlands.

Fifteen years after the last devastating Insect attack, the immortal Circle is finally ready to launch an offensive against their implacable enemies. This time they have a new weapon - gunpowder. Hopes are high.

But the Circle's plans are threatened when the vital barrels of gunpowder go missing. Jant, the Circle's winged messenger, is tasked to investigate. Soon it becomes clear that the theft is part of a deadly conspiracy . . . and Jant and his friends are among the targets.

As tensions rise, Jant races to foil the conspirators. Can he expose them in time - or will the crisis blow the Fourlands apart?


Fantasy is a genre that every so often has an author not only try something a little different but also helps to pave the way for new talent, and for me Steph is one of those authors who likes to push the boundries to help take the genre in a different direction. Here pulling into this title, set in the Castle universe is a tale that brings terrorism into a full scale battle where the reader gets to see that not all faces of warfare are armes facing off against each other.

The writing is crisp, the character faulted and for me thats what helps bring them to life, the fact that no matter what foibles they have their acts of heroism really stand out for the fact that they feel like real people. Add to this great dialogue alongside a plot that once it sweeps you up won't let go all round makes this a thrilling ride. Magical.

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