cover image Spidertouch


Alex Thomson. Angry Robot, $14.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-85766-960-5

Thomson (Death of a Clone) tells the story of a quiet man driven to take a stand in a medieval city teetering on the brink of war in this fast-paced epic fantasy. Val Kedić is ruled by the ruthless Keda, a voiceless race who hold the city hostage by sending its children to work in the mines of Riona at age 11. Razvan, whose son is among the stolen children, works as a translator of the Keda’s touch-based language, alternately called Fingerspeak and Spidertouch. Razvan’s policy is to keep his head down and work hard; provoking the Keda’s ire will only earn his child worse treatment at the mine. But outside forces bring unwanted change: as diplomatic talks with an infamous warlord fail and the city prepares for siege, a band of rebel citizens decide it’s time to strike back at the Keda—and they want Razvan’s help. Thomson builds a fascinating world of competing forces and political motivations. The Keda blend aggressive ambition with backstabbing for memorable villainy, while Razvan proves a complex protagonist, revealing the potential for violence in a smart man pushed too far. Action-adventure fans will enjoy this brisk story of revolution, revenge, and justice—and look forward to the sequel hinted at the end. Agent: Jennie Goloboy, Donald Maass Literary. (Dec.)