Sunday 19 May 2019
Smoke in the Glass by Chris Humphreys
I must start by saying this had some interesting ideas and, thankfully, they were as well realised as I had hoped. The setting for the story is a world split into 4 parts, each kept separate from the other by 'unclimable mountains and unsailable seas'. In the past 3 of the 4 lands (I'm not sure about the 4th) were visited by a being who granted some of them gifts, foremost amongst these gifts was immortality. For me that was all the hook I needed. The immortality, you see, is quite random and we see this early on when two characters go to rescue a couple of children. During the ensuing fight both are killed but one stays seas and the other re-awakens to find he is now an immortal.
The 3 lands we visit are very different, one felt Egyptian based, one African (although I did waver on that at times) and one was definitely Norse based (my favourite) so the lead characters all felt very different. They handle their immortality differently too. Whereas two of the lands seem to use it to build a base of wealth and power those in the Norse land use it also for 'sport'. They are constantly fighting and keeping tally of who has killed who the most.
But into these lands comes an invasion from the fourth land and 3 must come together to save all. Yup, you guessed it, there's a prophecy involved - and I do love a good prophecy in my fantasy fiction.
This is a promising start to a new series, although it does feel like an introductory piece at times. The world building and character development worked well for me and I'm looking forward to the next volume. The only downside for me is that this was a NetGalley copy, therefore not quite 'the finished article' and there were a few issues with the text that threw me out of my reading rhythm but, you know what? I enjoyed it enough that I will be getting a print copy from the bookstore first chance I get ready for my re-read before the next volume.
A solid 4/5 stars
Thanks very much to Stevie Finegan at Gollancz for inviting me onto this blog tour and NetGalley for providing the file.
Please also try and visit the other sites of the bloggers on this tour.