The Tangled Lands by Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias S. Bucknell

This will be a pretty short review because, well, I don’t have that much to say. And that’s not a bad thing!

The Tangled Lands is a world where magic has caused all kinds of problems. Specifically, the invasion of bramble. This bramble thrives on magic- when you use magic, the bramble increases, becomes more invasive, and eventually it will destroy the land. Cities have fallen to the bramble, so magic itself has been outlawed. It has devastating effects on people if they are pricked by any of the thorns.

This novel is devided into 4 parts, each chronicling the impact this ban on magic has made. The Alchemist, who’s invention to destroy the bramble once and for all, and the rulers who seek to use it for their own personal gain, and three other citizens whose lives are impacted by the events and outcome of part one.

Since there were two authors, I assumed that the story would be told by both of them simultaneously, but each author takes a part and gives it his own spin. Its an interesting approach, and I wasn’t distracted by it, it was simply following the narrative of four different characters within the story, which worked well.

I wish I had more to say about it, but I don’t want to spoil things. Needless to say, it was a good read, but I can’t say that I want to visit the world again. The world could have been fleshed out more- there were lots of references to other lands, but we only went to a few. I didn’t get a real feel for any of them. I wanted to know why things ended up they way they did. You are definitely dropped into the middle of this world, but there wasn’t anything to keep me grounded in it. I don’t know if a sequel is planned, but it seems as those this is the middle of the story, rather than the beginning or the end. I don’t feel that I know how this all started, or how it all ended. It left me with an “incomplete” feeling.

Lilypad rating: LilyPadLilyPad1/2

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