Physiognomy by Jeffrey Ford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sometimes a book will spoil you and sometimes a book will amaze you and sometimes it will blow your mind.
This one comes close to doing all three.
Think phrenology taken to a full sociological extreme, with abuses of power included, throw it into a land that could be hell, but all it’s inhabitants are so used to the strangeness that they take everything, including architectural explosions created by headaches, in stride.
And the follow a wildly abusive character filled with outright funny insults, watch him self-destruct, bring innocents along with him, and then have him go through a transformative arc.
A lot of these aspects may seem usual in the fantasy realm, but what I’m neglecting in my description is the sheer imaginative force of this world, the people within it, and the amazing richness of every line.
I can easily recommend this for anyone tired of the same old fantasy. This is really rich fare.
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