Friday, July 18, 2008

Forgotten Friday’s: Kage Baker Writes Fantasy Too

Kage Baker is best known for her short fiction and a series of SF books – The Company. What is less known is that she has written fantasy as well, and it’s quite good. The Anvil of the World (US, UK, Canada) is a mosaic novel that is heavy in satire and subversion of fantasy norms – a book that I enjoyed quite a bit (full review – it’s one of my earliest, so don’t hold that against me :).

About The Anvil of the World:


And now, a fantasy. The cast:

The CHILDREN OF THE SUN are an energetic, mechanically-minded race, offspring (so their legends say) of a blacksmith-god and a fire-goddess, long ages ago. Sanguine, optimistic, quarrelsome, artistic, inventive yet a bit careless with their technology. They live in stone cities. Long ago some immense catastrophe nearly wiped them out, a fact they cheerfully ignore as their slag heaps grow ever higher, as their cities grow ever more crowded.

The YENDRI are a forest-dwelling people, refugees from ancient slavery in another land, led to freedom by a Holy Child. They have long since settled into a pastoral life of meditation and other spiritual pursuits, which would be perfectly idyllic but for two things: they can’t abide the Children of the Sun, whom they see as vulgar and destructive, and their Holy Child grew up and married someone they despise even more bitterly than the Children of the Sun.

DEMONS. No, we’re not talking about Eeeevil and the hosts of Hell. These demons are elementals, insubstantial unless given bodies, with a ratio of Good to Evil about the same as any other race. Some of them are quite intelligent; some of them are abysmally stupid. All are powerful and dangerous if crossed. Many of them have gone into service in exchange for corporeal forms, and they serve a shadowy figure known as the Master of the Mountain… who happens to be the husband of the Green Saint, formerly the Holy Child of the Yendri.

Complications:

A Child of the Sun going by the alias of Smith, for reasons best known to himself, has a hidden destiny. It requires that he change addresses a lot. He’s not getting any younger, though, and, times being what they are, he accepts a job as a caravan master…

The Master of the Mountain and the Green Saint have had children. A lot of children. In fact, they have released a rather large brood of semidivine semidemonic highly-conflicted offspring on the world. Certain extremist elements amongst the Yendri are really, really angry about this, regarding the children’s very existence as Sacrilege…

The Children of the Sun have reached critical mass, and their fate is about to be shaped on the anvil of the world. Will they perish or survive? The past rises like a ghost, old scandals are raked up, long-buried secrets are brought to light—and Smith discovers he is not the only one with something to hide…

She is returning to fantasy with a new release coming from Tor in September – The House of the Stag (US, UK, Canada), set in the same world as The Anvil of the World.

1 comment:

Barrie said...

This sounds right up my 15 y.o.'s alley!

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