Wolfhound Century – Peter Higgins (Gollancz 2015)

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Every so often I feel the need to give fantasy fiction a go.  I know there are books of this genre that do have the potential to blow me away, but they seem to be few and far between.  I was keen to read the first part of Peter Higgins’ trilogy which also incorporates “Truth and Fear “ and “Radiant State”.  With all three novels in Peter Higgins’ trilogy now published, Gollancz has re-issued in a new edition the first volume, which originally appeared in 2013.

There is no doubt that this is a richly imagined world.  A war amongst angels has caused a number of them to crash down to earth and become embedded in the ground, turning to stone on impact.  Angel stone has properties used to control individuals and to form Mudjhik, giant stone creatures used in warfare.  When an Archangel secretly falls to earth without dying, his embedded body slowly poisons the surroundings, controls and invades minds and causes the odd seismic interference.  If you are with me so far then it is likely that you will enjoy this book.

Policeman Lom is seconded  by a Government Department to track down a terrorist and is drawn into a complex scenario of intrigue and violence.  I did find that I had to read the first half very slowly to take on board Higgins’ vivid imagination but once we’re  in the realm of fight or flight things begin to slot into place.  It reminded me of writers such as China Meiville, whose “Kraken” I read and really didn’t get on with but I did find this more accessible and enjoyed it more.  I am still looking for writers to provide me with a good point of entry into this genre, so if anyone has any ideas please let me know.  I’m not convinced that this would be a good introduction to fantasy fiction as there are considerable demands made on the reader but there is no denying the vividness of the language and the quality of Peter Higgins’  imagination.

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The Wolfhound Century was published in this new edition by Gollancz in 2015.  It was previously published in 2013.

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