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The Devil In Green: The Dark Age (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Kindle Edition
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This is a follow on series set after the events of The Age of Misrule Trilogy but can be read on its own. The world is not the same place that we know. The age of machines and industry has come to a grounding halt and myth and magic reign again. Humanity is beset by creatures from folklore and magic and are no longer the dominate species in the world.
This book follows Mallory, a everyday normal arrogant guy. He thinks his best bet in surviving in the new world is to join the church as a night. He will be guaranteed a bed, food and a weapon right? As you can imagine it all goes a little pear shaped. The church leaders are the over zealot hardcore type who see Mallory for a trouble maker from the start. He and his group get sent on a suspicious mission to save a monk from the horror of the Salisbury plain. The mission goes badly and then people start dying in horrible ways. The church finds itself under siege from within and without and its up to Mallory to run or discover the truth.
This book is sooo hard to put down. It has all the elements in a book that I love. The characters are very realistic and I did find myself shouting at them a couple of times when they did things I didnt think they should. The blend between the folk lore and the collapse of the normal way of life is portrayed as a very scary possibility. For me this book gives rise to the fear that if the world was set back to the stone age would you survive the new order? Would you rise a success and become happier without all the modern day trappings of work and bills? Or would you starve? Would you become the hunted? How would all your morals stand the test?
I cannot recommend this book (or the previous series) enough.
The previous reviewer has given a good synopsis so I won't bother to repeat it. However,the characters are well developed and grow in stature throughout the book.
The idea that Salisbury Cathedral will be the last bastion of the Christian religions in Britain and that the various philosophies will have to come together to overcome the perceived evil is interesting. This book gently preaches a religous tolerance not often seen in modern life or within Christianity.
However, this is not the main thrust of the book and I would not want any would be readers to think that this book sets out to thrust religion down their throats. It is also a story about how people deal with the total and cataclysmic breakdown of authority. Without a government chaos has taken over the whole country.
As a Wiltshire resident I found the descriptions of the various locations to be accurate and detailed.
I recommend this book to anyone seeking something a little different. Swords, Dragons, Sorcery and cars which run out of petrol on lonely roads late at night.
If the Age of Misrule was about the transition period from the new ways to the old, then the Dark Age (of which this book is the first) is about life in this altered world, where the Tuatha de Danann may be temporarily absent after the battle at the end of Always Forever, but where the ancient powers are still very much alive.
Mallory, a man running from his past, encounters a young man named Miller and the two of them join the new Knights Templar, a group established to protect the last vestiges of the Christian Church as they seek to re-establish the Word - but Mallory's thoughts are drawn by the presence of Sophie Tallent, a powerful witch, in a nearby camp. She explains about the power in the land, and a meeting with a member of the Tuatha de Danann reveals to Mallory that he is a Brother of Dragons, born to protect the vestiges of humanity in this new world. With the help of Sophie, herself a Sister of Dragons, and the new friends he makes within the Knights Templar, Mallory must battle an evil from the edges of Existence - as well as the evils of the human tendency for paranoia and the evil buried deep in his own heart.
This novel raises an important issue after the Age of Misrule trilogy - the events of the final book left the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons forever broken, and with the various members dead, lost or moved on to newer, more powerful roles, in keeping with tradition a new Five must be gathered.
One surprise is that the group is not fully-formed during this first book as in the Age of Misrule - indeed, despite Sophie's presence much of it concentrates on Mallory and the strictly make world within the monastery he finds his home.
Chadbourn's distinctive style is present throughout this novel, and although the story is similar to that of the Age of Misrule - most notably the similar theme of uniting the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons - there are subtle differences which mark it out as a separate book. For example, even though Mallory and Sophie could easily be said to fit the Church/Ruth archetypes, for me there is enough of a disparity to enjoy them as separate characters and new creations.
Fans of Chadbourn's earlier works will be pleased with subtle references to Church and Ruth, and the events of the earlier novels, referred to in these books as 'The Fall'. Even if nothing is seen of the original Brothers and Sisters of Dragons in these works, I will be happy to follow this new tale and see where Chadbourn's mind will lead. Judging by previous books, it will lead to another magnificent work.
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