Welcome to day 2 of the Blog Tour for Edward Cox's new novel.
'On the broken world of Urdezha, Wendal Finn died on the hostile plains of the wasteland, one more casualty in the endless war between the city-dwellers and the clansfolk. But now Wendal has returned to his home city of Old Castle, possessed by something he brought back from the wasteland, something old and best left forgotten. The spirits are calling it Sycamore, an ancient entity out to avenge all victims of murder. And in a city like Old Castle, no one is innocent.'
I'll be honest, I didn't really know what kind of story to expect when I picked this one up (except that it would be a good one, Ed Cox has never let me down before). What it turned out to be was a sci-fi/fantasy mash-up with a healthy dose of mystery thrown into the mix.
When it starts we are with Wendal Finn in Old Castle, he is already 'dead' and possessed by an entity. Other recently dead are wanting him to avenge their murders, which the entity is happy to do until Finn's body wears out, at which point it will just find another host.
When one of the recently dead (ghouls) leads Finn/The Entity into a trap Finn gets a second chance and, maybe the opportunity to find out why his wife died while he was at war.
As always with Cox the world-building is top notch. This is a world at war where Scientists and Magicians vie for supremacy, where the clans are rising and a supernatural storm is coming. The magic here is pretty brutal, with spells being etched into people's bodies but that really gives the story an extra edge. What really impressed me though was The Song of Always (you'll understand when you pick up the book, I'm not giving anything away here except to say it is a cracking concept)
This reminded me a lot of the works of Ed Mcdonald and Peter Newman and I thoroughly enjoyed it
Many thanks to Kate Moreton and Gollancz for inviting me onto this tour, Netgalley for providing the review file, and please try and find a bit of time to check out the posts by the other wonderful bloggers below