Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Mark Charan Newton
Nights of Villjamur (Legends of the Red Sun)
Bleak and brooding, with minimal violence but intense, characters drag you along with them. This is not a reinvention like many are touting and Newton’s prose and dialogue are not as gripping as some quarters insist, but he is taking much of the invention of new weird and attaching it back to more traditional fantasy, thankfully the subgenre of Dying Earth is his milieu, and writing it with noir energy.
Newton’s Nights of Villjamur was a somber moody success, almost like a fantasy novel that read like a Scandinavian crime novel. The second entry is louder, more packed with grotesquerie and invention, and more emotional. Gang wars, bizarre technology, dystopian politics, inter-dimensional war, weird ancient technology, mutant animal/human hybrids, religious fanaticism, homophobia, and vampires are packed in with the somber mood retained from the first book, in this wonderful revitalization of the dying earth sub-genre. The plot tears you from grim set piece and danger to another and then all stops are pulled out are the apocalyptic siege of the city of Villiren. Brutal, relentless, and thunderous this is breathless reading. City of Ruin is a very impressive second entry in this series.
City of Ruin
Book of Transformations