The Weight of the World

Tom Toner. Night Shade, $26.99 (432p) ISBN 978-159780-875-0
Toner’s richly layered sequel to 2015’s The Promise of the Child is a sprawling space opera likely to remind readers of complex works such as Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun. It’s the 147th century, and numerous varieties of mutant humans, evolved dinosaurs, and alien species vie for control of dozens of planets, moons, and Vaulted Lands (hollowed-out planets with artificial interior suns) spread out over the 23 Solar Satrapies of the Amaranthine Firmament. Various heroes and villains pursue mysterious goals across various planets of the Firmament, some of their stories interconnected, others not. Lycaste, a hapless, beautiful Melius giant, follows the Amaranthine immortal Hugo Maneker on a dangerous quest he doesn’t even understand. The nefarious Aaron the Long Life, his origins lost in prehistory and his body now controlled by a ghostly artificial intelligence, plots a takeover of the Firmament. Sotiris, another immortal Amaranthine and ruler of the Firmament, searches desperately for his dead sister. A baby destined to save everyone is transported aboard a rickety land schooner with deadly hunters in close pursuit. Readers who enjoy a challenge will appreciate both the book’s complexities and its beautiful language. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2016
Release date: 01/01/2017
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-59780-591-9
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-59780-898-9
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