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The year of our war
Steph Swainston
Adult Fiction SWAINST

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In British author Swainston's first novel, a well-written, if occasionally uneven, fantasy, three humanoid species coexist successfully in a medieval world under the rule of a benevolent, immortal emperor, supported by a circle of 50 immortal warriors. For many centuries, however, this civilization has been under attack by Insects, monstrous creatures who convert everything they conquer into the Paperlands, endless wastelands of bizarre white walls and tunnels. Now one of the immortals, Jant the Messenger, addicted to the hallucinatory drug called cat, which allows him access to an alternate universe, has discovered the Insects' secret. Despite his debilitating addiction, Jant must find a way to preserve his world against the monsters' increasing onslaught. Numerous bloody battles keep the action moving, and Swainston has a powerful sense of the surreal, but her domestic scenes tend to drag and verge on soap opera. Jant is an engaging antihero, though most of the other characters are fairly flat. This off-beat fantasy should appeal to fans of China Mieville's fiction as well as to those who remember Roger Zelazny's Amber series with fondness. Agents, Mic Cheetham and Simon Kavanaugh. (Feb.) Forecast: Blurbs from China Mi?ville, M. John Harrison and other important genre authors will give a boost to this British import. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

For hundreds of years, the people of the Fourlands have fought the giant insects from beyond the Insect Wall. Jant, one of a group of 50 elite immortals, acts as Messenger to unite the realms against their common enemy and may be instrumental in the defeat of the insects, provided he can conquer his own addictions and survive the infighting among the immortals. Swainston's first novel brings a bold new vision to the fantasy genre, combining classic fantasy elements with imaginative new images. A strong addition to most libraries' fantasy collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Jant Comet
Can fly; messenger for the emperor; has the ability to enter an alternate reality through a hallucinatory drug.

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