Mark Charan Newton — Nights of Villjamur

I’m late to the party on this one, as I often am with fantasy… So I’m just adding another redundant voice talking about this book (hence the shorter review). Villjamur is the largest city at the heart of the Jamur Empire in a world that is settling in for another 50 year ice age. Jamur Rika is on her way back to the city after the death of her father, the Emperor. Her younger sister, Jamur Eir, is causing trouble on her own. Inspector Jeryd is investigating a mysterious murder… and at the heart of all of this are the undead, cultists, secret religions and conspiracies, and refugees crowding outside of the city, terrified of the impending Freeze.

It’s certainly a lot to absorb, but Newton has a lot of interesting ideas, and I liked that the world was so different–although Dying Earth isn’t a new concept, the impending icy freeze still felt fresh, and Villjamur had real character. The prose was a little awkward at times, but really readable at others–there was never anything so bad that I stopped reading (like that ‘best wetboy ever’ line in the Brent Weeks trilogy), but it does feel like there is some room for editing or improvement (dialogue, especially, was often redundant or stilted). Still, there were more than enough flashes of innovation, originality, and characters to keep it interesting, and piquing my interest in the rest of this series.

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