The war to end all wars

SFX - - Reviews - Rhian Drinkwa­ter

re­leased OUT NOW! 416 pages | Pa­per­back/ebook Au­thor Paige Or­win Pub­lisher an­gry ro­bot

Some fan­tasy nov­els want to show off their world­build­ing, fill­ing ev­ery page with ex­pla­na­tions of magic and bat­tles, ex­plain­ing in de­tail their his­tory and rules. Oth­ers just give you lit­tle hints; a bit of his­tory here, a bit of magic the­ory there, let­ting you do the work of build­ing this into a de­tailed world. The Interminables is one of the lat­ter – and it’s all the bet­ter for it.

Ed­mund Tem­ple­ton is a wizard, sur­vivor of the Wizard War – which isn’t sur­pris­ing, as he’s also im­mor­tal. Known as the Hour Thief, he takes snip­pets of time from oth­ers and uses it to pro­long his own life. He strug­gles to help re­store a world dev­as­tated by the af­ter-ef­fects of war, helped by his friend Ist­van Cz­ernin, a “Con­cep­tual” who in some ways is the ghost of a long-dead Hun­gar­ian doc­tor and in oth­ers an (of­ten ter­ri­fy­ing) avatar of the en­tire First World War.

This isn’t al­ways an easy book to read, and the lack of fur­ther de­tails and ex­pla­na­tions can be frus­trat­ing at times. Stick with it, though, and it will re­ward you with a world of won­ders and hor­rors, along­side a tale of a deep and des­per­ate friend­ship: a thief and a war, try­ing their best to save as many lives as they can.

This novel came out of Or­win’s love of now-closed MMORPG City Of Heroes: she wanted to pre­serve her char­ac­ters.

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