my books news & reviews

Review @ The Agony Column

Rick Kleffel over at the popular review site The Agony Column has written up a lovely review of Nights of Villjamur.

an impending ice-age, driving refugees to seek solace in a city that takes its cues from The Pessimist’s Guide to the Afterlife, a city populated by cults like that of Sri Chinmoy, a city where the dead are banging at the gates. That would be Villjamur, where a variety of intriguing characters are on a collision course, none of whom is a wise wizard waiting to retire, a farm-fresh country boy with a special destiny or hot farm girl handy with a sword. Instead, you get a dash of Lear, with a King’s daughter, and, always a great sub-plot driver for entertaining fantasy, a murder mystery. Cults, con-men and genocide round out this sunny vision without giving a single hint that everything will be solved in climactic sword fight between the farmboy and a wizened but magically-powerful antagonist.

This is all very well and good, but for readers, the proof is in the reading. Newton writes prose that’s both direct and detailed, moving the action but embedding it in a heavy, grungy atmosphere. He does a great job of integrating the supernatural, the science fictional and the surreal into his fantasy.

I’m sure someone is bound to rip into the book sooner or later. At this rate I’ll be getting a touch of the Joe Abercrombies…

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.