Monday, 29 March 2010

FANTASY REVIEW: Above the Snowline - Steph Swainston


This is Jant Shira's life before the drugs took over, as a hunter in the mountains. Awian exiles are building a stronghold in the Darkling mountains, where the Rhydanne hunt. Their clash of interests soon leads to bloodshed and Shira Dellin, a Rhydanne huntress, appeals to the immortal Circle for justice. The Emperor sends Jant, half-Rhydanne, half-Awian, and all-confidence, to mediate. As Jant is drawn into the spiralling violence he is shaken into coming to terms with his own heritage and his feelings for the alien, intoxicating Dellin. ABOVE THE SNOWLINE tells the story of Jant's early years in the Circle and shows the Fourlands as you've never seen them before.


Since Steph first came to my attention with her Troy series I’ve kept a close eye on all her releases as I really do like her pace, her descriptive prose and above all her characterisation. Within this offering is a tale, which is totally self-contained. It is always good when an author does this as it allows new readers a chance to try them without having to get behind a huge catalogue. Steph’s writing really is some of the best out there and whilst I still think her Troy books are superior, this is a cracking fantasy novel with characters that are not only flawed but also heroic as they struggle against their fates.

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