The Fade by Chris Wooding

Werthead

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The world of Callespa was long ago settled by humans. A rocky moon circling a much huger world (presumably a gas giant) in a binary system, the world became virtually uninhabitable when the stars' output dramatically increased. Humanity retreated underground, splintering into many tribes, leaving only those hardy people known as the SunChildren to dwell on the surface. For many years the nations of Eskara and the Gurta have been at war, a battle fought back and forth through vast subterrenean chambers with neither kingdom able to win a decisive advantage.

Massima Leithka Orna is a Bondswoman, an indentured servant of Clan Caracassa. She is also a member of her clan's Cadre, a collection of warriors and magic-wielders (known as chthonomancers) beyond compare, elite fighters at the front of every major push but also adept at assassination and espionage. During a brutal battle her forces are betrayed and her husband is killed. Taken prisoner to a Gurta fortress, Orna lives only to escape and find her son, now serving on the front lines.

The Fade is a terrific novel. Relatively short (just over 300 pages in hardcover) it is nonetheless superbly-written with vivid characters. The first-person narrative works well, as does the unusual structure (the present-day storyline alternates with flashbacks - in reverse order - showing Orna's history up until the point of her capture). Whilst the epic story of conflict between two civilisations forms the backdrop, the novel is much more concerned with Orna's emotional journey and her relationship with her late husband and her son, which is handled well with all the depth and complexity of real-life relationships. The underground steampunk-esque setting is extremely well-realised and atmospheric, as are the short sections set on the surface.

The Fade (****½) is a complete story in itself but a fair number of loose ends are left dangling for possible future sequels.
 

GOLLUM

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Am definitely going to look for this one. Thanks for the heads up.

I liked all that I have read of Chris Wooding's work since I began with The Haunting Of Alaizabel Cray. The last one I read was Poison. have not seen this anywhere yet.
Never read a thing by Wooding, sounds worthwhile.....
 

Teresa Edgerton

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I've liked all of Chris Wooding's YA books that I've read: The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray, Poison, and Storm Thief, but somehow The Weavers of Saramyr (which was for adults) didn't appeal to me.

But your review does make The Fade sound appealing.
 

Rane Longfox

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Never read a thing by Wooding, sounds worthwhile.....
:eek: Even with all the books you buy? Shocking - I'm sure I pointed The Weavers of Saramyr out to you in Minotaur... hmm, maybe not.

Yeah, I'm a big Wooding fan (teehee:eek:) Weavers of Saramyr is one of the best series I've read in a long time. Not so keen on his YA stuff, but that genre isn't really my cup of tea anymore. Definitely looking forward to this. I obviously broke up with my bookseller girlfriend a few days too early, now I can't get a discount :(
 

GOLLUM

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:eek: Even with all the books you buy? Shocking - I'm sure I pointed The Weavers of Saramyr out to you in Minotaur... hmm, maybe not.
I'll be in Minotaurs tommorrow, so I'll see what they have in stock. How many books in the Weaver series or is it ongoing?..:confused:
 

Rane Longfox

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No, he finished it now - it's a trilogy. The first book is just called The Weavers of Saramyr although I've more often seen the omnibus edition, which also goes under that name but has all three books in it :)
 

Werthead

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Isn't the trilogy called The Braided Path?

(EDIT: Yes :) The omnibus edition is also called The Braided Path)
 

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