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Truth and Fear (The Wolfhound Century) Hardcover – March 25, 2014

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Product Details

  • Series: The Wolfhound Century
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (March 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031621972X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316219723
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,828,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Unlike many sequels, this one pretty much demands familiarity with its predecessor (Wolfhound Century, 2013). The story picks up soon after the end of the first installment. Vissarion Lom, a police detective in the author’s alternate version of Russia, is on the run with Maroussia Shaumian, who possesses the key to opening the Pollandore, a sort of self-contained universe that is breaking apart, threatening to seriously impact this world. Lavrentina Chazia, the head of the Mirgorod secret police (a fictional stand-in for Lavrenty Beria, head of the Russian secret police under Stalin), has her own maniacal plans for the Pollandore. Meanwhile, Josef Kantor, a power-hungry terrorist (and, it seems, Shaumian’s father), puts into play his scheme to gain control of Mirgorod. But a wild card, a fallen angel in a forest thousands of miles away, threatens to bring chaos. Higgins has created a compelling Stalin-era alternate Russia that is populated by sentient animals, fallen angels, and other fantastic elements; amid all that, Lom is a very traditional character, a world-weary cop trying to protect an innocent woman. An ambitious and fascinating novel, at least for those who have read Wolfhound Century. --David Pitt


"Like vintage Mieville or Vandermeer, but with all the violent narrative thriller drive of Fleming at his edgiest. I fell into Wolfhound Century and devoured it in three days."—Richard Morgan

"An amazing, fast-paced story in a fantasy world poised dangerously on the edge of quantum probability, a world where angels war with reality"—Peter F. Hamilton on Wolfhound Century

"A dark new Soviet alternative history with alternate history that will grab you by the lapels and snap you to attention."— on Wolfhound Century

"A brilliant exploitation of the power of fantasy: the tender green soul of Russian history set free for uncanny battle with its grey, gunmetal carapace."—Francis Spufford on Wolfhound Century

"[Wolfhound Century] captures its world with absolute conviction. Mirgorod is a city of crumbling infrastructure and frightened people, but it is also a living, breathing, and very much vital place, that lives in its narrow streets and filthy river and in the overwhelming sense of cold that becomes more oppressive every time somebody shivers in daylight or huddles in a doorway for protections. There's brutality and heroism in equal portions."—SciFi Magazine on Wolfhound Century

"I absolutely loved Wolfhound Century. Higgins's world is truly original creation, Russian cosmos and Slavic mythology filtered through steampunk and le Carre. What really captured me was his beautiful style and language: his metaphors and associations flow smoothly like the waters of the Mir, and, like Lom without his angel stone, make you see the world in a new way."—Hannu Rajaniemi on Wolfhound Century

"A compelling Stalin-era alternate Russia ... An ambitious and fascinating novel."—Booklist on Truth and Fear

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book is the sequel of Wolfhound Century. Just like it, it is an intriguing novel that is a hybrid and a cross between a thriller/spy story set in a parallel world heavily inspired by the USSR, with bits of fantasy and magic (giants, a shape changer, a sort of vampire, unhuman beings and extra-terrestrial forces). A gruelling war opposing “the Vlast” (the novel’s version of the USSR) against “the Archipelago”, and which the Vlast is losing, in thrown in for good measure.

The war takes on an increasing importance as Mirgorod (the novel’s version of Saint Petersburg), founded some four hundred years in marshlands by the sea and where four rivers met, and is bombed by the aircraft of the Archipelago and besieged by its armies. The allusions to the long drawn out siege of Leningrad during World War II are rather unmistakable. So are the gruelling resistance of the city, spurred on by its entirely fanatical and totally ruthless commander in chief while all dignitaries of the Vlast have abandoned the capital and retreated to the East, similar to what happened when the German Army reached the outskirts of Moscow at the end of 1941. Another allegory, which is also carried over from the first volume, and which sits alongside the horrors of a totalitarian regime and of war, is the opposition between nature and the de-humanised and huge city with its bleakness and polluting heavy industries.

There is much more to this book than this, however, because it has a number of additional dimensions to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MyBookishWays on March 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Shortly after the events of Wolfhound Century, Vissarion Lom and Maroussia Shaumian are on a tram headed into Mirgorod, battle weary and all too aware that they’re being pursued by Commander Lavrentina Chazia, chief of the Mirgorod Secret Police. Mirgorod is on the verge of war with the Archipelago, and they don’t have a chance against their vast armies, but for Chazia, that means an opportunity to remake the Vlast just as she wants, pure and united under her. Her patience is waning, however, and she’s convinced the Pollandore holds the keys to her success. But Chazia doesn’t know how to use the Pollandore, and she thinks that Maroussia Shaumian does. Chazia isn’t the only one after Maroussia, though. Josef Kantor wants her dead, and he plans on remaking himself anew. He has grand plans for Mirgorod and his capacity for hard work is inexhaustible, his desire for utter supplication unending, if it is to meet his goals. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away from Mirgorod, there are diabolical machinations underway of apocalyptic proportions. In the forest, an Archangel is stirring, and it whispers to Josef Kantor, much to Chazia’s frustration, and she continues to use angel flesh on herself, in an attempt to connect to the ancient being, the only living angel, but every day, every minute, it drives her more and more insane.

I was blown away by Wolfhound Century, so does Truth and Fear measure up? Actually, it more than does, and as good as Wolfhound Century was, Truth and Fear is even better. Lom is a man whose only goal has become keeping Maroussia safe, and he’ll do that even at great, even grave, risk to himself. Luckily, he has an ally, in the form of a shapeshifter named Antoninu Florian who seems to have his own agenda, but proves more than useful in aiding the two fugitives.
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By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The very good sequel to the author's Wolfhound Century. Higgins has created an original fantasy world drawing on Russian and Soviet history combined with elements of Russian mythology. The quality of writing is quite good, significantly above the usual level of fantasy novels. In this book, Higgins continues the thriller elements of Wolfhound Century while expanding the use of historical elements in combination with further articulation of the supernatural aspects of his fictional world. Significant parts of this book are inspired by the Soviet Gulag, the Soviet nuclear weapons program, and the Siege of Leningrad. The integration of historically inspired elements and the fantasy elements is ingenious.

As has become typical, Higgins is apparently aiming for a trilogy of novels. This is the middle book. Probably partly as a result of his intention to produce a trilogy, Higgins introduces some new characters and plot lines. While Higgins has not written "filler" pages and these sub-plots contribute to the articulation of his fictional world, the plotting is a bit "busy." There will be quite a bit to resolve in what is likely to be the final book. The likely final book should be interesting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a direct continuation of Wolfhound Century. The characters continue to be engaging and the world in which they live is so realistically depicted that the surreal becomes real. The situations and physics are consistent and very satisfying. While this story revolves around specific characters, the world in which it is set begs for further stories to elucidate the world even more.
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More About the Author

Peter Higgins read English at Oxford University and Queen's, Ontario. He was a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford and worked in the British Civil Service. His short stories have appeared in Fantasy: Best of the Year 2007, Best New Fantasy 2, Asimov's Science Fiction, Fantasy Magazine, Zahir and Revelation, and in Russian translation in the St Petersburg magazine Esli. He lives with his family in South Wales.

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