cover image Notes from the Burning Age

Notes from the Burning Age

Claire North. Orbit, $16.99 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-0-316-49883-8

World Fantasy Award winner North (The Sudden Appearance of Hope) spins a riveting tale of subterfuge and deadly self-indulgence in this postapocalyptic thrill ride. Ven Marzouki was once a priest whose duties included translating archaic English texts to sieve useful information from the heretical knowledge of the Burning Age, a time of human excess and climate devastation. Ven's working as a bartender when the Brotherhood, a brash, humanist political group, comes for him. Unable to refuse, Ven must translate and verify stolen texts detailing the most dangerous of heresies, among them mortar schematics and military papers on radioactive substances. North's eloquent prose paints a vivid contrast between the overconsumption that led to the Burning Age and the near-utopian present even as Ven becomes ever more deeply involved with Georg, the brains behind the Brotherhood's steady crawl to power. Ven's internal ideological conflict between the Temple's teachings on honoring nature and the Brotherhood's rhetoric of human might leads to a satisfying revelation. Meanwhile, the shifting enmity and companionship between Georg and Ven creates a tense, fascinating dynamic as the Brotherhood gears up for war. North's convincing view of postapocalyptic society captivates, and the political intrigues will keep readers hooked right up until the explosive close. Agent: Meg Davis, Ki Agency. (July)