The Ruthless by Peter Newman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Excellent dark fantasy, character-driven and subtle, with tones of Mervyn Peake and modern epic fantasy mixed with a truly nasty worldbuilding setup that requires the old deathless rulers to sacrifice their children to be reborn in those youthful bodies.
But it's not just the ideas that make these two books good. It's the way they're told. Total immersion and acceptance of the social necessity, the terror of the Wild below these flying castles, the weird and interesting reveals about the Wild itself. It's the writing.
And 16 years after the first book, with new rebirths of old characters and massive changes for the rest, we're lost in multilayered plots of revenge and survival and I can't tell who I ought to be rooting for. It's rather delicious.
And by now it's nearly impossible for me to stop. Thankfully, I have the third book in my greedy little hands and I'm about to crack it open to see who among the undying will make it through to the end, or whether their fates will be as truly horrible as I expect.
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