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3.0 

The Tangled Lands

By Paolo Bacigalupi & Tobias S. Buckell
The Tangled Lands by Paolo Bacigalupi & Tobias S. Buckell digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

WINNER OF THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD FOR BEST COLLECTION

From award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias Buckell comes a fantasy novel told in four parts about a land crippled by the use of magic, and a tyrant who is trying to rebuild an empire—unless the people find a way to resist.

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.

In four interrelated parts, The Tangled Lands is an evocative and epic story of resistance and heroic sacrifice in the twisted remains surrounding the last great city of Khaim. Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias Buckell have created a fantasy for our times about a decadent and rotting empire facing environmental collapse from within—and yet hope emerges from unlikely places with women warriors and alchemical solutions.

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16 Reviews

3.0
“Great, unique idea for a fantasy world. I love it a lot and I love the incredibly dark tones and topics.”
“I bought this book because I'm a huge Paolo Bacigalupi fan, and the premise seemed promising, but I was massively let down. For starters, it's not a novel, but 4 novellas in one book. While this isn't inherently bad, none of the descriptions I read about it made that clear. Regarding the actual stories, though, I enjoyed 2/4. The first two, which I believe were written before this was collected in this form, were quite engaging. They introduced the universe well, and they set up a lot of really interesting plot threads that I was looking forward to seeing advanced in the second half. These stories are the only thing keeping me from giving this book 1 star. Well, no such luck. The second two stories were much less interesting, and they didn't really go anywhere. Whereas the first two stories both felt like amazing setups for an epic fantasy series, the second two were boring vignettes that happened to take place in the same city but had otherwise no connections to the first stories. I can best describe them as depressing and unsatisfying. By the last two chapters of the last story, I was truly holding on for dear life just trying to finish. I think this is an example of an anthology gone wrong. While it's not essential for stories in an anthology to serve a larger plot, it's kind of expected when they all take place in the same universe and in roughly chronological order like that. At the very least, they should have some sort of thematic resonance that comes to some kind of conclusion. In this case, though, they just got worse as they went.”

About Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Windup Girl, Ship Breaker, The Drowned Cities, Zombie Baseball Beatdown, The Doubt Factory, The Water Knife, Plump Six and Other Stories, and The Tangled Lands. His writing has appeared in WIRED, High Country News, Salon, OnEarth Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. He has won the Michael L. Printz, Locus, Hugo, Nebula, Compton Crook, and John W. Campbell awards.

Tobias S. Buckell

Called “violent, poetic, and compulsively readable” by Maclean’s, science fiction author Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times bestselling writer born in the Caribbean. He grew up in Grenada and spent time in the British and US Virgin Islands, and these places influence much of his work. His Xenowealth series begins with Crystal Rain. Along with other stand-alone novels and his more than fifty stories, Tobias’s works have been translated into eighteen different languages. He has been nominated for such awards as the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus, and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. His latest original novels are Hurricane Fever, a follow-up to the successful Arctic Rising, which NPR says will “give you the shivers,” and the acclaimed Halo: Envoy. He currently lives in Ohio, with his wife, twin daughters, and a pair of dogs. He can be found online at TobiasBuckell.com.

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