Ahoy there me mateys! I have loved Paolo Bacigalupi ever since I read the windup girl. So when I heard that he had co-written a book, I knew I had to pick it up. Just be aware that this is not one complete story but rather four interrelated short stories set in the same world. I am glad that me matey, Millie @ milliebotreads, warned me of this so I was prepared.
That said, I absolutely loved this book. The world and its magic is so very fascinating. Brambles are taking over the world and destroying everything in their path. They are spread by the use of magic and they kill. The solution seems easy. Just stop doing magic. And yet folk can’t seem to help themselves. A little spell to stop a sickness. A charm to fix physical defects. A magic bridge to span a river. The bigger the magic, the more the brambles grow. Every spell hurts. The four stories talk about the consequences of the brambles in various walks of life.
The four sections follow 1) an alchemist, 2) an executioness, 3) a child of Kahim, and 4) a blacksmith’s daughter. Personally, stories 1 and 4 were me favourite. The alchemist story set up the world in a wonderful way and I was highly invested in what would happen. The blacksmith’s daughter had unexpected turns throughout that kept me guessing.
All of the stories had unresolved endings and yet were satisfying. That be unusual for me. I would love to have further adventures of both the alchemist and the blacksmith’s daughter. I would also love to have more stories set in this amazing world. It was a quick read and I couldn’t put it down. I want more!
Check out me crew members reviews of this one:
Millie @ milliebotreads review – “Uhm, this book was SO GOOD. I didn’t take a single note because I was too busy reading. I read the majority of the book in one sitting and was tempted to cancel my plans the next night so I could finish it! I don’t even know what to say!”
Mogsy @ thebibliosanctum’s review – “Other than taking place in the world, the four these stories here are unlinked or can be read separately, and yet, a common theme does run through all of them. The concept of family features strongly in each tale, not to mention a central figure who sacrifices a great deal in order to save a family member.”
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Khaim, The Blue City, is the last remaining city in a crumbled empire that overly relied upon magic until it became toxic. It is run by a tyrant known as The Jolly Mayor and his devious right hand, the last archmage in the world. Together they try to collect all the magic for themselves so they can control the citizens of the city. But when their decadence reaches new heights and begins to destroy the environment, the people stage an uprising to stop them.
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