By David Hair
- World's Edge
Author: David Hair
- Series: The Tethered Citadel
- ISBN: 9781529402063
- Published: October 2021
- Pages: 462
- Format reviewed: Paperback
- Review date: 07/12/2021
- Language: English
Fantasy books are often bulky reads. Not only this, they also often come as part of a series. A series of chunky books. That is a lot of story to tell and the trickiest part is the middle. Book one introduces you to the characters, while the final book concludes all that has gone before. How do you go about making the middle just as interesting? World’s Edge by David Hair is the second outing for The Tethered Citadel books, and it uses its position in the series in the right way by fleshing out the world, but does it continue the tension and action from Map’s Edge?
Raythe Vyre and is unlikely group of treasure hunters have arrived at their destination, Rath Argentium, a once lost Citadel that floats in the sky. The only thing holding it back are vast chains keeping it linked to the ground. The citadel promises riches but gaining them will not be easy. The army that dogged their every step has been destroyed, but in its place is a new threat. The Tangato have remained in the shadow of Rath Argentium for 500 years and believed themselves to be the last living people and they do not take kindly to strangers camping in their sacred city.
Fantasy series can be a hard slog when all the books read the same, and Hair counters this by making World a different feeling book to Map. The first book was an epic journey that saw new relationships being made under the pressure of dangerous travel and the deadly pursuit of an enemy squadron. World remains static in one place. This is no bad thing as Rath Argentium is one interesting place to explore and we have not even touched on the new Tangato who play an almost equal role in the book.
The book is part continual development of the original crew that Raythe brought together, but also the introduction and discover of the customs and traditions of the Tangato. This is a people who have remained isolated for 500 years and are vastly different. Raythe’s own daughter becomes part of the Tangato and through her we learn more about them. The dynamics are complex, and they pose a threat.
However, it is the threats from within that dominate World. For the exiles from book one, the proximity to great riches starts to widen the cracks. Why stay put and potentially be attacked by a vast army when a few of us can get together, grab as many riches as we can and sneak out? In the Tangato camp they are having to deal with the new knowledge that they are not alone. A society that is based in retaining peace, now must consider war for the first time in 500 years.
The internal and external politics within the book lead to a lot of infighting and tension that has the book ticking along nicely, but there is more. The mystery of Rath Argentium also unfolds above them and there are some great action set pieces. There is not the same level of constant menace from Map, but there are some epic battles. The twists and turns within the camps means that the ally you had one day is gone the next.
World feels like a middle book in a series, but I am happy with that. There is time to allow the story to breath and for the characters to develop. The reader learns more about the world and is even introduced to a completely new culture in the form of the Tangato. The final act sets up a very intriguing book three, that could act as a final part of a trilogy. A threat is returning in great force, and can our band of refugees face them and how will the Tangato react?
Written on 7th December 2021 by Sam Tyler .