The Tangled Lands
Written by Paolo Bacigalupi andTobias S. Buckell
Published by Head of Zeus
Publication date: 8th March 2018
Age range: 13+
Summary (from Goodreads):
Khaim clings to life. Flooded with refugees and slowly starving, the last city of a once-great empire is surrounded by a choking thicket of toxic bramble. This is a world poisoned by magic. Every time a spell is cast, the bramble advances, sprouting in tilled fields and roof beams, thrusting up from between cobblestones and bursting forth from sacks of powdered spice. A bit of magic, and bramble follows. A little at first, and then more – until whole cities are dragged down under tangling vines. Armies hack and burn… but in a world that can’t give up magic’s sweet succour, the bramble can’t be stopped.
Or can it? After ten years of research, an alchemist believes he has found a potent new weapon to wield against the bramble. His invention promises freedom from fear, freedom from hunger, freedom from the rule of Khaim’s tyrant, the Jolly Mayor. But these are twisted times – there are no easy answers, only unforeseen consequences…
Award-winning authors Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias S. Buckell have created a radical and darkly relevant fantasy, conjuring the collapse of a civilization, smothered by its addictions. This is a world of glittering memories and a desperate present, where everyone uses just a little magic… and someone else always pays the price.
Why I can’t wait to read this:
- I love fantasy and I particularly love fantasy worlds where magic has a price or there are severe consequences to using it – otherwise I think it can be quite unrealistic (though you could argue that using magic at all could not be considered as realistic…)
- I read the chapter sampler from Netgalley which gave us part of the story of The Alchemist and I loved it. It seems like my kind of slightly dark, gritty fantasy world!
- The image of the brambles spreading and feeding on the magic and the use of magic then becoming forbidden, coupled with illnesses that can only be treated by magic…I want to find out more!
- I liked the parallels between the use of magic destroying their world and our own consumption slowly destroying our world. Kind of a modern cautionary fairytale!
- I hadn’t actually heard of these authors before (that’s what you get when you live overseas for more than a decade!) but I recently found out that one of the author’s previous books have won big literary awards e.g. the Hugo Award, while the other author has been nominated. As both my other half and myself are massive fans of Science-fiction, we tend to just buy the entire shortlist each year (apart from the years where we were on the other side of the world!). If previous books are anything to go by, this is sure to be a great read.
What do you think?
Does it seem like a book you might be interested in reading?
Which other books are you looking forward to?
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