Good morning my loves!
I hope you’re having a good day so far and have had a nice start to your week. Today is a post that I am proper excited about. When I received the invited by Gollancz to participate in the blog tour for The Song of the Sycamore by Edward Cox, I almost jumped for joy. I’d been seeing it do the rounds and while starting a new high fantasy series where the books are fairly big can be a little daunting, the premise of this one really caught my eye.
On the broken world of Urdezha, Wendal Finn died on the hostile plains of the wasteland, one more casualty in the endless war between the city-dwellers and the clansfolk. But now Wendal has returned to his home city of Old Castle, possessed by something he brought back from the wasteland, something old and best left forgotten. The spirits are calling it Sycamore, an ancient entity out to avenge all victims of murder. And in a city like Old Castle, no one is innocent.
With his mind trapped inside a dead body, Wendal can do nothing but watch as Sycamore turns him into a serial killer. Until the magicians take an interest in him. Preserving Wendal’s body and trapping Sycamore inside it, the magicians now have the perfect assassin at their disposal. Whenever they need an enemy removed, they can set the killer loose on Old Castle. Between these moments of horror, Wendal struggles to piece together the remnants of his former life. He wants to know why his wife died while he was fighting in the war, but no one will tell him, no one wants him to know. Left to his own devices, Wendal picks at the scabs that cover the dark secrets of the magicians and reveals a threat to every city on Urdezha.
The clans are massing. A supernatural storm is raging across the wasteland. It has already destroyed one city, and now it is heading for Old Castle. And the only one who might prevent oblivion is the murderous entity who the spirits are calling Sycamore.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Amy! But you don’t really read high fantasy! And on a typical day, I would agree. Having so my friends that rave about the genre, I’d decided that it was about time I dipped my toes into that water.
If you’ve read the synopsis above, you’ll have a pretty good idea of why I was drawn to this one, and let me tell you, I was not let down. The Song of the Sycamore is imaginatively brutal and heart-breaking in equal measure. There is a lot of violence in this one so if that is something that you find difficult to read, then I would err on the side of caution. Trigger warning also for suicide and drug addiction.
Old Castle in the land of Urdezah, two clans fight for power; the Quantum where the Scientists reside and the Salem where the Magicians reside. Both have very different ideas of how the city should be run. The background to all of this is the battle between both factions and the Clansfolk, who pose a threat to them all.
I really, really loved the characters. Wendall Finn is a wholly formed and realistic character with both good and bad qualities. I even found myself growing to like the Sycamore as time went on… me, liking a bad guy, I know, not like me at all….
The world-building is so epic I really do wonder how people can create such magic in their minds! The town of Old Castle so vivid that you could almost smell it, and the wasteland outside of the walls so brimming with despair that my heart-rate was not a normal one the entire time Wendall spent at war!
And there we have it, The Song of the Sycamore is the start to an exceptionally exciting new fantasty series that I will definitely be continuing on with. And for those of you who are itching to get your hands on a copy, this wonder publishes TOMORROW (22/08/19) and you’ll be able to get your copy from anywhere that sells decent books!
Peace and pages