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The Sovereign Hand Paperback – August 16, 2014
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"Clever and carefully measured prose... a meticulous setting, and memorable characters... A grand and highly original work of fantasy... [which] builds to a truly spectacular climax. Definitely recommended." - SFFANZ Reviews
About the Author
Paul Gilbert is a New Zealand author, born in Wellington, of Ngai Tahu and pakeha descent. He has always written. In adult life he has gathered degrees and diplomas in political science, anthroplogy, education and literature which have informed his work with a view on power and an eye to the margins. Whatever the setting or genre, he can be trusted to write in this direction. The modern folk tale/fantasy 'The Sovereign Hand' is his first novel.
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Be warned: this isn't a light tale; the book is long (just long enough to do the story justice), but if you want a fluff piece then you probably won't find it here.
This is a fantasy novel on an epic scale like Robert Jordan's "Wheel Of Time" series - but so much better! It has the depth and intricacy of A Song of Ice and Fire - without the essays on banquet menus. It has language like Clive Barker (who writes prose that makes you fall in love).
There is an incredible depth and breadth to the language and setting. This is a work of fine attention to detail and it reads as if each word has been carefully forged, polished and beaten with tiny silver hammers until it is perfect.
If you have any interest in fantasy novels, you should have this book in your library.
The Sovereign Hand is a world building masterpiece from Kiwi writer, Paul Gilbert. A sweeping epic for thinking readers wishing to be challenged, I admit to looking up a few words, because there was a lot of new-t-me vocabulary in this wonderful political drama. Even the chapter titles are challenging called Ellipticity and The Diablerie, for example! The story is set in an imagined world, Thorn, where everything is perfectly peaceful, idyllic even, or so it seems. At least, until someone dares to say otherwise. And then they throw her in it. Can Alexa and a handful of anti-heroes create a new regime? Blending magic, intrigue and ‘humanity’ with a strong political statement, The Sovereign Hand is an extremely ambitious debut from a talented writer.