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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Ancients Of Days

Copyright 1999 by Paul J. McAuley

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I read this in January 2000.

In this second book of the Confluence series, Yama learns about himself, his civilisation and his mysterious powers during his odyssey from the magnificent city to the shrine at the edge of the world.

Well, if I thought this was a normal fantasy novel of a young man learning about himself, I wouldn't have bothered to read it, but since reading "Hothouse" by Brian Aldiss, so many years ago, I've been a sucker for books about societies who live amongst the ruins of a high-tech civilisation but have lost their technological knowledge, and especially where the old computers still live on (much like my apartment where the video recorder, the rice-cooker and the microwave also live on, gently humming in the background, even though I've lost all knowledge of how to operate them).

The book was an entertaining adventure. I like Yama, but I loved the descriptions of the palace, city, the shrines, the surprising nature of the hell-hound, and the fireflies. What an excellently-imagined world! I'll guess I'll have to read the other Confluence books: "Child Of The River" and "Shrine of Stars".

Thinking about the palace has reminded me that it's about time to dust off and get stuck into Mervyn Peake's classic "Gormenghast".

Loaded on the 31st January 2001.
Cover of Ancients Of Days