Monday, 1 September 2014

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The House of War and Witness - Mike, Linda and Louise Carey

Release Date: 19/06/14
Publisher:  Gollancz


In the year 1740, with the whole of Europe balanced on the brink of war, a company of Austrian soldiers is sent to the village of Narutsin to defend the border with Prussia. But what should be a routine posting is quickly revealed to be anything but. The previous garrison is gone, the great house of Pokoj, where they're to be billeted, a dilapidated ruin, and the people of Narutsin sullen and belligerent. Convinced the villagers are keeping secrets - and possibly consorting with the enemy - the commanding officer orders his junior lieutenant, Klaes, to investigate. While Klaes sifts through the villagers' truths, half-truths and lies, Drozde, the quartermaster's woman, is making uncomfortable discoveries of her own - about herself, her man, and the house where they've all been thrown together. Because far from being the empty shell it appears to be, Pokoj is actually teeming with people. It's just that they're all dead. And the dead know things - about Drozde, about the history of Pokoj, and about the terrible event that is rushing towards them all, seemingly unstoppable. The ghosts of Pokoj, the soldiers of the empress and the villagers of Narutsin are about to find themselves actors in a story that has been unfolding for centuries. It will end in blood - that much is written - but how much blood will depend on Klaes' honour, Drozde's skill and courage, and the keeping of an impossible promise ...


A new title from the Carey’s that brings cracking storytelling, prose and experience to a wonderfully imaginative world that the reader will just love to spend time in. The characters really stand out and not only help bring the world to life but give the reader someone to hang onto as the events unfurl thrusting all into uncertain times.

Back this up with dialogue that just leaps off the page alongside a pace that has some great lulls to allow you to think through what you’ve just read and all round it’s a book that gave me a huge amount of pleasure to read. Great stuff.

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