Relics - The Folded Land: 2 Paperback – 20 Mar. 2018
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"Lebbon has shown that he cannot write a story that bores readers, regardless of the genre. With this series, he mixes in the best of the genres he loves horror, fantasy, and thriller/adventure resulting in another winner.... His writing keeps the story moving while his building of the world of the Kin is folded into the plot seamlessly." --Cemetery Dance
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This book, the second in the trilogy keeps that pace steady with few let ups. I can't wait for Book Three and see how all this finally plays out!!
Recommend this book, (and the first) ? You betcha!! A rollicking good read
What separates The Folded Land from other urban fantasy novels is its freshness and originality. The author has an exceptionally gripping vision about what urban fantasy is and he effortlessly conveys it to readers. If you're a fan of the darker side of speculative fiction and enjoy well written urban fantasy, you'll find a lot to enjoy in this novel, because it's satisfyingly dark and urban fantasy elements are handled in an excellent way.
The Folded Land continues the story that began in Relics. In Relics, an American criminology student Angela Gough found out about the Kin and her whole life changed because of it. She and her lover, Vince, faced gangsters and helped the Kin, but it cost them a lot and they had to flee from London.
In this novel, Angela has become a criminal on the run and the authorities are trying to find her. After the strange and violent happenings in London, she has fled to the USA and tries not to attract the attention of those who hunt her. Angela has found out that the Kin are not only found in London, but are everywhere. She hears from Vince that her niece, Sammi, has been struck by lightning and has been kidnapped by the fairy she and Vince helped to save in London. Angela wants to find Sammi before it's too late to save her...
The story is delightfully fast-paced and well written. The author keeps things on the move and delivers a couple of intriguing surprises along the way that readers are not prepared for. The story transcends the normal boundaries of urban fantasy, because the author has infused the story with dark fiction elements.
The characterisation is good and effective. The cast of characters is wonderfully diverse, because the author writes about humans and various members of the Kin. Both the human characters and the members of the Kin are well portrayed. It's great that the author also pays attention to interaction between the humans and the Kin.
Here's a bit of information about some of the characters:
- Angela is a well-created character, because her life has changed completely after what has happened in London. The happenings have turned her into a criminal on the run and her whole life has been ripped apart. She does her best not to attract the attention of the authorities and others who hunt her.
- Vince is Angela's lover who is also on the run and is wanted by the authorities. Vince loves Angela and helps her.
- Sammi is Angela's niece who, after being struck twice by lightning, is drawn towards the mysterious Folded Land. Her whole life changes when she is being led towards the Folded Land.
- Gregor is a menacing character who is killing members of the Kin and collecting components that can be used to fulfill the promises of the Script. The Kin have tried to find him, but he has always managed to avoid being captured.
- Lilou is an intriguing nymph, because she is old and wise and can use her powers to seduce others. It was fascinating to read about her connection to Fat Frederick Meloy and how she observed him, travelled with him and used him.
- Mallian the Nephilim dreams of the Ascent, which would reveal all of the Kin to the humans and the Kin would take their place beside or above humanity. He wants full exposure for the Kin.
I enjoyed reading about the ancient fairy and her plans, because she had her own desires and needs. The author's vision of what she does with her powers is captivating in its grandness. It was interesting to read about her strong magic and how she used it.
The author writes about what the Kin-killer Gregor does in an unflinching way. There's unrelenting brutality and darkness in his actions that will terrify readers, because he's a remorseless killer who kills the Kin for his own purposes. He believes in what he does and mercilessly hunts his prey.
One of the best things about The Folded Land is that the magical and mythical beings known as the Kin are presented as fascinatingly inhuman and mysterious beings. It's great that the author hasn't tried to make them too human, but describes them as something different. Although some of the Kin may appear to be humanlike and consider certain humans to be their friends, they're different from humans and have various abilities.
In this novel, the author delves deeper into the world of the Kin and reveals that the Kin are everywhere around the world. He writes about how the Kin live in the shadows, hide themselves from humans and evade them in order to survive. He also tells of how the Kin and the humankind once existed alongside one another, but that time has passed and is ancient history that only a few still remember.
It's good that this novel doesn't have any kind of paranormal romance elements. I greatly respect the author for avoiding these elements, because paranormal romance elements are often the main reason why many urban fantasy novels are bad.
I found myself fascinated by the Fold and everything it presented. I'm not going to reveal what it is, but I can mention that it's an integral part of the story and reading about it is fascinating.
There's something about this novel that reminds me of Clive Barker's dark fantasy/horror novella Cabal. This novel also has distinct echoes of Neil Gaiman's novels. The Barkeresque and Gaimanesque elements blend in an intriguing way during the story and make for an interesting read.
I think that one of the most important reasons why The Folded Land is splendid entertainment can be credited to the Tim Lebbon's background as a fantasy and horror author. The author delivers a good and solid story, and he avoids tiresome clichés and plot twists that have become the bane of the genre.
Tim Lebbon's The Folded Land is one of the few urban novels that I can highly recommend to readers without hesitation due to its fascinatingly dark and intense story. If you enjoy reading urban fantasy, I urge you to read this novel, because it's urban fantasy at its best and most compelling.
Worse, she discovered that not all relics originated with the long dead...
Now, Angela is on the run, blamed by the police for the massacre that concluded Relics - and by the surviving relic hunters, for the loss of their friends and family. She has left London and is back in the US, trying to lie low, but the past - and the Kin - have other ideas.
This is an excellent follow-up to Relics, possibly actually better than the earlier book. There is a notable shift in tone, as Angela has to engage with what the existence of the Kin means for humanity. The Kin are bewitching, delightful, so rare and special that even meeting one is a privilege - but they are also inhuman, savage and powerful.
Many hark back to older times when they strode the land without fear.
Some aim for Ascent, revealing their power and taking back their usurped place in the world.
And in the space between those two ideas of the Kin - the rare and the precious, hunted almost to destruction by humans, and the powerful and deadly - sits this story. It's a tale sketched in shades of grey, with no moral absolutes. The Kin have suffered, we see them suffering, but they are also - or some of them are - ruthless and savage. Lebbon is good at sketching the sheer otherness of his monsters, their non-humanity - even the most sympathetic. These aren't run of the mill urban fantasy creatures settling down to cosy, albeit weird, lives that echo those of humans. There's a real sense of rawness, of peril here, never more than when the story turns to the enigmatic fairy Grace, whom Angela rescued in Relics.
At the same time, and despite the many brutal deaths littering the book, Lebbon doesn't portray humans, either, as victims. The "kin-Killer", Gregor, strides through this book like the very worst of monsters, his goal obscure, his blade sharp and his tread ominous. He will cross paths with Angela, and the life of her niece, Sammi, will hang between them.
It's an excellent horror story, a superior fantasy, soaked in blood and haunted almost to the end by mystery. And best of all the story clearly isn't over, with The Edge still to come.
This series could have settled down into a bland life-among-the-monsters fantasy but in Lebbon's hands we're given something more, something older, deeper and much, much darker.
Top international reviews
Angela, the "heroine" from Relics is forced to try and rescue her cousin or niece or relative. And so Angela, reluctantly, it seems, is pulled back into the "world" of the Kin. She and her boyfriend/lover ally with characters from the first book primarily Lilou and Meloy.
Meloy has become a character whom I really like. Enough about that.
The plot also is about a fairy, rescued in the first book, who wants to create an "oasis?" for the Kin, or does she? There are secrets within secrets within secrets, just when you think you have a clue or a handle you find yourself standing there wondering what in the heck is going on and HOW did this all happen and "NOW, who are all THESE people"?
I cannot wait for the third in this series.