Wyntertide: Rotherweird book 2 by Andrew Caldecott (book review).

July 11, 2018 | By | Reply More

Fiendishly plotted and carefully crafted, ‘Wyntertide’ is the sequel to the quirky ‘Rotherweird’ which introduces us to the city state hidden from history. Having been granted independence by Queen Elizabeth, the first Rotherweird bans the teaching of history and nurses a terrible secret at its heart.

Into this came the unassuming Jonah Oblong, teacher of not much history, who meets an assemblage of characters who solve the first mystery. Now they must continue to be vigilant because ‘Wynter is coming’. That sounds familiar but this refers to Geryon Wynter who held the area under his sway and, despite being dead, is coming back.

A team of scholars and townsfolk are the only ones who can stop him using the mysterious mixing point. On top of all this, there is to be an election much to the annoyance of the incumbent Mayor, Sidney Snorkel. Orelia Roc, owner of Baubles & Relics, is drawn in and Gorhambury, the town clerk, must navigate a path to democracy if he can.

Meanwhile, Vixen Valourhand, scientist of the North Tower comes to terms with her time in Lost Acre and joins the fight. The enemies are obscure and threaten the peaceful existence of the long-lived, changeling children as well as all life in Rotherweird.

As curiously English as Morris Dancing, this new instalment seems even more complex than the first with some amazing and eminently filmable moments. I did have trouble keeping up but I will get my friend’s thirteen year-old to précis it for me. I’m trying to think of how to sum up this novel. I’m thinking Tom Sharpe (‘Porterhouse Blue’ and ‘Wilt’) crossed with Dickens, with a side of Pratchett. I know that probably isn’t it but I would recommend you give it a go, starting with ‘Rotherweird’.

The quirky nature of the characters make them particularly memorable and, despite the deaths and danger, it’s light enough to entertain rather than give you nightmares.

Sue Davies

July 2018

(pub: Jo Fletcher Books/Quercus. 496 page hardback. Price: £14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78429-802-9)

check out website: www.jofletcherbooks.com

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Category: Books, Fantasy

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