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Review In The Mail & Guardian

Esteemed South African newspaper, the Mail & Guardian, cracks open Nights of Villjamur:

Nights of Villjamur is as much about the city of Villjamur — its squares, caf├ęs and quartiers — as it is about situation or characters. Newton’s distinctive voice evokes a claustrophobic sense of place, as powerful as that of Jeff Vandermeer’s Ambergris, and much of his tale engages with what it means to live in — and be of — this city and what it means to be different. Slouching through the sleet-soaked streets are police investigators, assorted royals and aristocrats (some more insane than others), a country boy on the make and a career soldier trying hard to hold on to his ethics. Each has a rough-edged individuality and the intricate plot mixes elements of detection, horror and strategy with its sorcery and swords. Although the occasional jarring sentence suggests editor and writer are still meshing their skills, Nights of Villjamur introduces an intriguing, intelligent new fantasy voice.

And a hurrah for that. What intrigues me most of all is just how much coverage this newspaper has given to fantasy fiction – that’s very encouraging to see, and I wish more British newspapers would take notice.

By Mark Newton

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