The Year of Our War

The Year of Our War

by Steph Swainston

Unique among his fellow immortals and mortal folk alike, Jant Comet can fly.

And Jant may be the only being alive capable of stemming the onrushing tide of destruction and the unstoppable insect infestation.

  • Series: Fourlands
  • Language: English
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Rating: 3.62
  • Pages: 385
  • Publish Date: January 18th 2005 by Harper Voyager
  • Isbn10: 0060753870
  • Isbn13: 9780060753870

What People Think about "The Year of Our War"

BEFORE READING "THE YEAR OF OUR WAR" All this talk of "Game of Thrones" is making feel a little jealous. That's right, I wanted to read this many months ago; I bought it; and then I put it on the Groaning Shelf of Books That I Will Read Someday. UPON STARTING "THE YEAR OF OUR WAR" What the hell is going on in this story? But those first 60 pages are kind of foggy now UPON RE-READING THE FIRST 60 PAGES OF "THE YEAR OF OUR WAR" AND CONTINUING Yes. Awesome. I love fantasy fiction for its swords and monsters and big conflicts between good and evil, and I am wary of reading any fantasy fiction at all for its recurrent bloat, immature sexual hijinks, stilted dialog, cardboard characters, and tired tales of conflicts between good and evil. I like the characters, I like the story, and I really like how Swainston brings it all together with a vital energy that once again makes reading a fantasy book urgent and enjoyable.

I read the book based on a short but positive recommendation from Emerald City, having otherwise been totally oblivious to any kind of literary hype (China will do that to you!) That being said, I did expect some tasty weirdness and interesting world-building, which is the staple of so-called Weird Fiction. Other members of this Circle of immortals include Lightning, the Fourlands' best archer for 1,500 years, and Mist, the Emperor's sailor. Ah, but there's more: see, Jant is also a drug addict, whose heroine-like substance addiction sometimes takes him to an alternate reality he calls the Shift, which is also infested by Insects. Truth be told, all of the concepts in The Year of Our War sound awesome on paper, but they're only half-realized. The biggest victim here is the Shift, which sounds on paper like it is meant to be a violent and visceral version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. You get turtle-men, leopards with square spots, horse-men wearing invisible clothes, and "problemmings" who jump from cliffs and fly in the air. Overall, if you get past the soap opera and the sometimes awkwardly modern language, there are some cool ideas in The Year of Our War. It's not a bad book; it just doesn't stand out all that much.

The novel follows Jant, the immortal court messenger, and drug addict. The writing is fun, the characters are interesting, and it was just different. That said, it was a bit hard to follow in some places; I think if a little bit more detail was put in, with a bit more expostion, it would have cleared a few things up. Every time Jant tried to organise other immortals to take action, they'd just go do their own thing. I'm like, "but what about the damn bugs???" Who knew making people immortal would make them selfish little shits? Good writing, interesting plot, frustrating characters.

Along with the character development, the world itself, as well as the concept of a select immortal few (no spoiler here, that's the main drive of the book from page 1) has sparked more than it's fair share of conversations, thus demonstrating that it's both thought-provoking and interesting.

Se apprezzate Brandon Sanderson e la sua creazione di mondi con regole balzane, credo che la Swainston l'abbia fatto prima e meglio, e al contrario di Sanderson scrive personaggi stuzzicanti, in cui รจ facile immedesimarsi, e non Naruto mormoni un po' troppo bidimensionali.

When the latestt offensive from the brilliant King of Awia goes awry, resulting in his death and a massive counter-offensive by the Insects as the kings' ineffectual brother takes the throne and ineptly sabotages years of fighting, the Circle and the Fourlands as a whole stands on the brink of chaos, as grudges between Immortals get interposed over mortal politics. Overall, the book makes for a quick, decently enjoyable read, though I hope future volumes make more use of the unventive, New Weird elements of the Shift.

I thought that the world and the story had a lot of potential, but it felt like a first novel to me. (It is a 4-book series, and this one ends at a cliffhanger point.)

Don't get me wrong I love animation but things like three human heads on top of a rat's body or a creature with a hand in-place of a head that communicates through sign language may be delightful for some people but just doesn't work for me.(Not that any of these things actually appeared in the book, this is just an example of why I don't like Mieville-ish or new-weird aspects.) Overall, though this is a very fine piece of fiction which I must admit in-spite of my reservations because of the secondary world weirdness.