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Darkland [Unabridged] [Mass Market Paperback]

Liz Williams
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback, Unabridged, 16 Feb 2007 --  

Book Description

16 Feb 2007

In the far-distant future Vali Hallsdottir, assassin of an organisation known as the Skald, is sent on a mission to the world of Nhem. Her assignment is to eliminate the destructive patriarchal regime of the Hierolath. But shortly after her arrival, Vali finds herself betrayed by her mission partner, who is not the man he seems. Frey, once Vali’s lover, has undergone a genetic transformation and has his own agenda for travelling to Nhem. After Vali’s escape from the clutches of the Hierolath's militia she goes in search of Frey in order to discover the reasons for his betrayal. Her journey takes Vali to Darkland, where sinister forces known as the vitki wreak havoc . . .

‘Williams’s prose is unfussy and compelling . . . this is adventurous, thought-provoking science fiction . . .’ The Times

‘British SF finding an instantly recognizable voice’ Guardian

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; Unabridged edition (16 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330426915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330426916
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 404,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'A haunting, chilling and state-of-the-art slice of science fiction - this is very dark stuff indeed' -- SFX Magazine

'Her prose is unfussy and compelling...this is adventurous, thought-provoking science fiction...' -- The Times

'Williams has mastered the art of writing clearly and believably about weird, alien worlds' -- The Times

'a fascinating experience but definitely not for the faint-hearted.' -- SFX Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Liz Williams is the daughter of a stage magician and a gothic novelist, and currently lives near Brighton seafront. She received a PhD in Philosophy of Science from Cambridge, and her subsequent career has ranged from reading tarot cards on the Palace Pier to teaching in central Asia. Darkland is her sixth novel.

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the far distant future... 31 May 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
...mankind have colonized distant planets, and doing a fair share of genetic experimenting in the process. Not an uncommon theme for a science fiction novel, but Liz Williams imaginary world is weird, dark and intelligent above the average.
The protagonist Vali Hallsdottir, an assassin for an organization called the Skald, certainly have some issues. Scarred both mentally and physically, when she get the opportunity to hunt down an abusive former lover from a rival faction on her homeworld, her mission/journey of revenge is also a story about personal growth.
All in a background of deliciously strange technology and nature, where the border between human and animal isn't always clear.
I can't wait to read more of Williams' books.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars seith happens 10 Jan 2012
By Jason
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this in some doubt, as previous books of Liz Williams have had great ideas that somehow don't quite come together. Am pleased to say that in Darkland the ideas and the execution come together to make a cracking story.

The main character is an assassin, Vali Hallsdottir who works for the Skald, a matriarchial group of adepts who control the planet Muspell and are able to make use of something called 'the seith'. It's never spelled out what this is, but I visualised it as some sort of vital energy that all living things possess.

She is sent to hunt down a 'vitki' who has gone to another planet for his own purposes. The vitki are similar to the Skald, except they have undergone genetic manipulation to increase their control over the seith. Once there, she discovers what drew him to the other planet and what he hopes to achieve.

Despite being an assassin, she is not invulnerable, and the book takes time to explore her character, and her previous relationship with the vitki, Frey.

As you can tell from the names, Liz Williams uses Norse mythology to flesh out the worlds she created. I've seen elsewhere that she is compared to Ursula Le Guin. I would say she reminds me more of Andre Norton - which isn't a criticism. Darkland is a fast-paced adventure book, combining SF and magic, that doesn't forget to make you care about the people along the way.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This will brighten up your world 23 Jun 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a terrific science fiction book. Suitable for anybody that likes adventure, politics and female characters. The future and alien worlds are depicted vividly. The (few) individuals portrayed are also excellent and the plot will continue into another book at least. This is your new favourite book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fine work by the author of the "Inspector Chen" novels 14 April 2013
By Jerry k.f.chilsonao of r - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
More fine work by Liz Williams. She continues in a fantasy vein that is her own unique invention. You will enjoy this novel . Highly recomended.
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