The Strategist – Gerrard Cowan (Review)

The Machinery is broken, and the old order cannot hold. Its downfall has let back into the world many creatures once forbidden, and they have begun to build strongholds and armies for the struggle to come. Charls Brandione, a former general, Aranfal, a secret policeman, and Canning, a merchant-turned-mandarin-turned-something-else-entirely, must learn what they can about this brave new world. Most of all, they must learn how to stay alive in it.

Perhaps I can best give the feel of The Strategist by¬† quoting a line of dialogue that comes up a lot: “What is this place?” Continue reading “The Strategist – Gerrard Cowan (Review)”

The Machinery – Gerrard Cowan (Review)

41ctGTurmuLThe Overland have just finished conquering the Plateau on which their civilisation exists. No-one else stood a chance; the Overland select their leaders according to the whims of an omnipotent (and titular) Machine, which has given them an edge for the last ten millennia. Hegemony beckons.

But overshadowing all of these achievements is a prophecy that the government have done their best to stamp out. A faction of Doubters claim that the machinery has begun to break down and soon will halt completely. A secret police of hideously-masked Watchers scour the crowds for signs of this heresy, disappearing and torturing anyone they deem guilty. Among all of this a range of viewpoint characters, including Katrina Paprissi, a young woman whose brother vanished in mysterious circumstances, navigate a complex web of power games mediated by the machine’s whims. Continue reading “The Machinery – Gerrard Cowan (Review)”