After The War

May 7, 2008

After The War, by Tim Lebbon


After The War, by Tim Lebbon


Two novellas set in Lebbon’s fantasy world of Noreela, the subject of the excellent duology Dusk and Dawn, and forthcoming novels Fallen and The Island.

Lebbon writes gritty, often bloodsoaked fantasy: it’s mud, blood and the hell of battle rather than cute elves and dwarves. His well-realised world of Noreela contains such grim highlights as organic battle machines, unkillable Red Monks and underground drug demons, amongst many others. Magic is a commodity that is very often unreliable and generally has to be paid for in lives — usually many lives.

‘Vale of Blood Roses’, the first of the two tales within, tells of the repercussions of a group of mercenaries finding an apparently hidden valley where magic is still working and the machines still live. The mercenaries, as is their wont, already driven half-mad by endless war, begin slaughtering indiscriminately until what resides within the valley rises against them in a truly grotesque way. There is a reason this valley was hidden from the rest of the world, after all…

The second tale, ‘The Bajuman’, is the story of the titular character, a societal pariah who lives by finding things that most people don’t want found, and his search for a missing fodder: a human creature once bred for food although the practice is now frowned upon. The search, set in the aftermath of the Great Plagues, takes him through the worst of Noreela City and, ultimately, beneath it into the catacombs from which no-one has ever returned before. With good reason…

Grim and often hideous, provocative and inventive, these are certainly not stories for those who like their fantasy cosy, or are overly enamoured of happy endings. Or with, y’know, fairies and things. But for those wanting a little raw meat on their fantasy bones, preferably still buttered with blood, you can’t go wrong with Lebbon’s ‘Noreela’ series, and these two shorts are perfect introductions.

One word of warning: this is a Subterranean Press limited edition, with no plans as far as I know for a mass market release. Copies are up on the various Amazon sites, but I’d imagine once they’re gone, they’re gone, and aftermarket editions will undoubtedly appreciate very quickly in value. My advice? Get it while it’s hot. 🙂





One Response to “After The War”

  1. Camilla Says:

    Right. Snaffled. I’m looking forward to it!

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