So far, the best fantasy novel of 2015 is Scott Hawkins’s The Library at Mount Char. Against the backdrop of a town that looks like Anywhere, USA — at least ’til you get up close — Hawkins unleashes an original premise and a wild story about reality, realities, gods and humanity.
Caroline, like each of her foster siblings, all raised by Father in the library, has a catalogue to study. Hers is languages — all languages (not just human). Her brother David studies War and a sister studies healing. The stern, cruel taskmaster Father has one rule; you never study another person’s catalogue. Clearly, Father is not exactly human… but now he’s gone, the library is closed to Caroline and her siblings, and Father’s rivals are on their way. Controlling the library means, simply, controlling this reality.
(Shameless plug: if you go the Fantasy Literature to read the reviews and decide you want the book, you can order the book from Amazon directly by clicking on the picture of the book. The site gets a few cents per sale, and it helps with operating expenses.)
(So no doubt it’s confusing that my links go to Powell’s. I’m just not a big fan of Amazon.)
Rather than talk much here about Naomi Novik’s Uprooted I’m just going to refer you to my FanLit review where I gush about it self-indulgently. I love the mix of folk-tale and woman-coming-into-her-power story that Novik pulls off here; I thought the world-building was great and the voice was perfect. Oh, wait, I wasn’t going to say very much here.
More to come… and I will have some information on novellas and novelettes coming up as well.