The sequel to the most important debut fantasy of the last ten years.
The phenomenal follow-up to Steph Swainston's acclaimed The Year of Our War moves us effortlessly into new waters.
It has been five years since the Insects devastated the Fourlands. Reconstruction proceeds under the watchful eyes of the Circle - the fifty immortals who serve the Emperor.
Jant, the Emperor's winged Messenger, has other concerns. He suspects his wife is having an affair and a brilliant newcomer has joined the Circle, displacing Jant from his rightful position as centre of attention. Worse still, an inhabited island has been discovered three months' sail from the Fourlands and the Emperor has enlisted Jant for his diplomatic mission. Just perfect for a man terrified of the sea. Unfortunately for Jant, he is a pawn in an ancient political game.
It'd be enough to drive anyone to drugs . . .
A second novel that makes one impatient for the third. An uncompromisingly classy act. - The Guardian
Honest-to-god unputdownable. A blistering debut (THE YEAR OF OUR WAR)
Steph Swainston's writing is as elegantly superior to most other fantasy as a samurai sword is to a flint dagger
A joy to read, it is bursting at the seams with ideas. The Year of Our War is the first book that makes you believe New Weird actually is a movement, rather than a bunch of books China Mieville likes. A Mieville quote appears prominently on the cover where he describes the book as "thoughtful, exuberant, incredibly inventive, funny but never whimsical or mannered." This is true and it doubles as a kind of manifesto pledge for New Weird - SF SITE
A stunning fantasy, and the most incredible thing about it is that it is a first novel... The setting is impeccably realised, with a deftness of touch and a genius for description which would be impressive in an author of considerably greater experience - of the current crop of British fantasy writers, only China Mieville can touch this level of brilliance. In fifty years time, people are still going to be reading this book and talking about it the way we talk about Gormengast (THE YEAR OF OUR WAR) - INK MAGAZINE