Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: The Confederacy of Heaven

The Confederacy of Heaven
Margaret Taylor
Available as an audio book from
Podiobooks and as an e-book
from Smashwords and Barnes & Noble

Review by Dan Breen

This is the first work of Margaret Taylor I've read and it'll be far from the last. I found the story instantly engaging.  New terms were explained clearly and in the context of the story allowing me as a fresh reader to be able to visualise the world, the looks and the sounds building the suspension of reality vital in a good work of fiction.  Taylor blends the strange and familliar to give us reference points in the story.

The story itself follows Nasan, a member of the Rattlingbones tribe as she undertakes, unwillingly at first, a quest of global magnitude, armed with minor magics, a tamed flying monster and probably the most unhelpful spirit guide you could have, (although to be fair, it's not his fault).
I really don't want to give too much away, or regurgitate the synopsis on the dust jacket, as you really should read this for yourself.
The characters are, in many ways, transplants from other genres grafted very well into this setting.
Native American tribes, frontiersmen, blinkered politics caused by a mis-quoted piece of text, much that we can identify with, and the message of the story, (there is one), is both subtle and unobtrusive, but is presented quite clearly.

The book itself is a joy to read if a little short. I didn't want it to end, but the story doesn't suffer from padding, or tracts written in just to hit a word count, which is very much to the credit of the writer.

If you're a fan of things like the old BBC series Tripods, or Mad Max, or books like Sword of the Spirits, (John Christopher), then this is for you.

You can thank me later after you've read it.  

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