Home Literature Stories Movies Games Comics Blogs News Discussion Forum Art Gallery
  Science Fiction and Fantasy News
Esslemont's Stonewielder Prologue and Cover (07-26)
Deals and Deliveries (9!!!) (09-12)
Iron Man: Femmes Fatales by Robert Greenberger (09-12)
Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead by Steve Pe (09-12)

Official sffworld Reviews
Big Time, The by Fritz Leiber (05-29 - Book)
Rogue Clone by Steven L. Kent (05-25 - Book)
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig (05-21 - Book)
The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith (05-17 - Book)


Author

Site Index

Book Info    Bookmark and Share

The Year of Our War by Steph Swainston

  (4 ratings)

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Rating (4 ratings)
Rate this book
(5 best - 1 worst)
 
Book Information  
AuthorSteph Swainston
TitleThe Year of Our War
SeriesThe Fourlands
Volume1
YearUnknown
GenreFantasy
 
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
 
Submitted by Archren 
(Apr 12, 2006)

“The Year of Our War” is a debut novel that puts one in mind of China Mieville. It’s not your everyday, ho-hum, dwarves and elves kind of fantasy. This story spans two realities, one with four species and one with a zoo-full. And while the eponymous war is the central plot driver, it is not the center of the story.

In this low-magic fantasy, God created the world and then left. It left behind an Emperor with an excess of immortality. Over the centuries, the Emperors has formed a Circle of immortals, each the absolute best at one task or trade. They do not age and they are much harder to kill than normal humans. They serve at the Emperor’s sufferance, however, and if a stronger or better mortal comes along and bests them, they can easily be replaced.

The viewpoint character of this first-person narrative is Jant. While one race, the Awians, has rudimentary wings, Jant is a unique crossbreed and can actually fly. He is also blessed with superior running speed and endurance, making him the perfect Messenger, which is his title in the circle. He not only travels on the Emperor’s business, he can also travel between the two realities mentioned above.

This has the edge of the modern “New Weird” fantasy. There are classes and elites, species both imaginative and grotesque, some very nasty interpersonal politics (what else would you do if stuck with the same fifty people for centuries?) and some fairly non-heroic combat. There is also some graphic sex that is disturbing, although character-illuminating. One unique theme that I found in reading it was the conflation of struggling with drug abuse (Jant is an addict) and waging war.

The book is not without its flaws: there are some narrative notes that ring false, and the depictions of naval combat seemed very poorly written compared to the land-based battle scenes. However, instead of looking at a new writer and saying, “Gosh this doesn’t suck. I’ll bet they’ll be good soon,” with this book one can say “This is really good. I hope the next one [already released] will be even better.”




Sponsor ads

 

Latest

The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize!
05-31 - News
Stephen King's Joyland UK Promotion
05-30 - News
UK Publisher of Stephen King’s New Novel Unusual Promotion
05-30 - News
Big Time, The by Fritz Leiber
05-29 - Book Review
Rogue Clone by Steven L. Kent
05-25 - Book Review
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig
05-21 - Book Review
The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith
05-17 - Book Review

05-10 - News
The Tyrant's Law by Daniel Abraham
05-04 - Book Review
Galaxy's Edge 1 by Mike Resnick
04-28 - Book Review
Poison by Sarah Pinborough
04-21 - Book Review
Bullington, Beukes and Bacigalupi event
04-19 - News
The City by Stella Gemmell
04-17 - Book Review
Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
04-15 - Book Review
Tarnished Knight by Jack Campbell
04-09 - Book Review
Frank Hampson: Tomorrow Revisited by Alastair Crompton
04-07 - Book Review
The Forever Knight by John Marco
04-01 - Book Review
Book of Sith - Secrets from the Dark Side by Daniel Wallace
03-31 - Book Review
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill
03-25 - Book Review
Fade to Black by Francis Knight
03-13 - Book Review
The Clone Republic by Steven L. Kent
03-12 - Book Review
The Burn Zone by James K. Decker
03-06 - Book Review
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz
03-04 - Book Review
Blood's Pride by Evie Manieri
02-28 - Book Review
Excerpt: River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
02-27 - Article
Tales of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg
02-24 - Book Review
American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett
02-20 - Book Review
Evie Manieri Guest Post
02-19 - Article
The Grim Company by Luke Scull
02-17 - Book Review
Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein
02-11 - Book Review

New Forum Posts




About - Advertising - Contact us - RSS - For Authors & Publishers - Contribute / Submit - Privacy Policy - Community Login
Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use. The contents of this webpage are copyright © 1997-2011 sffworld.com. All Rights Reserved.