At the beginning of the year, I devoured (pun intended, Mark might get it) Mr. Chadbourn’s Age of Misrule trilogy. It is only fitting that I end the year with the start of the following trilogy, Kingdom of the Serpent, and the enjoyable romp through history that is the first book, Jack of Ravens. This book is not only a good vs. evil fantasy tale that chronicles the fight through history, but it imagines a world outside of our world, a (dare I say it) “Matrix” like veil, leaving you wondering which is real and which is fantasy. Chadbourn does an excellent job of weaving in historical figures into a timeline that asks the participants to bend their minds and look behind the veil.
And dragons! What more do you need?
The Age of Misrule series started with the world as it is today, a world of reason. Jack Churchill and the rest of the five of the Pendragon Spirit, rode the wave of chaos that spread as technology failed and a battle began with Fragile Creatures (us humans) initially serving as collateral damage…but in the end being the weight that tipped the scale.
Some spoilers for that first series after the break.
My notes on Mark Chadbourn’s excellent first novel in his Age of Misrule trilogy, World’s End, has been published on SFSignal.com.
There are almost as many end of world novels as there are authors (yes, guilty!) in both science fiction and fantasy. My last article on SFSignal talked about different types of technology changes that can be found in sci-fi novels; Chadbourn’s series features a gradual technology collapse in a fantasy novel, with technology slowly but surely being replaced by a sense of the Earth, nature and magic. Chadbourn handles this transition seamlessly, taking the characters (and the reader) from a modern London to using Stonehenge as a refuge from creatures so heinous they cannot look upon them without nausea. Even though it was originally released in the late 90s by Gollancz in the UK, World’s End has a very 2012ish “a new age is coming” feel to it.
Read the entire review here.