The Tangled Lands
Khaim, The Blue City, is the last remaining city in a crumbled empire that overly relied upon magic until it became toxic. It is run by a tyrant known as The Jolly Mayor and his devious right hand, the last archmage in the world. Together they try to collect all the magic for themselves so they can control the citizens of the city. But when their decadence reaches new heights and begins to destroy the environment, the people stage an uprising to stop them.

The Tangled Lands Details

TitleThe Tangled Lands
Author
ReleaseFeb 27th, 2018
PublisherSaga Press
ISBN-139781481497299
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction

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The Tangled Lands Review

  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    The Tangled Lands comprises of four parts which I guess you could call short stories/novellas which are interconnected to form the story.It is a tale of magic and the environmental consequences that result from the use of it and the lengths people go to stop said use as well as the growth of the bramble.I received a sample of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I obtained the first part of the book which is called The Alchemist written by Paolo Bacigalupi. This book is The Tangled Lands comprises of four parts which I guess you could call short stories/novellas which are interconnected to form the story.It is a tale of magic and the environmental consequences that result from the use of it and the lengths people go to stop said use as well as the growth of the bramble.I received a sample of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I obtained the first part of the book which is called The Alchemist written by Paolo Bacigalupi. This book is a collaboration with Tobias S Buckell so I'm guessing that some of the other parts are written by him as opposed to the whole book being jointly written by the two. I could be wrong though. I guess I'll find out when I read the rest of the book. And I will be reading the rest of it. This sample really whet my whistle. I very much liked the tale of The Alchemist and the way it introduced us to the world, the magic system and the political structure of the place. It was well thought out and written and I very much warmed to the characters. Whether those characters will appear again later in the book I do not know but I felt that their tale was wrapped up nicely anyway by the end of this part.Bacigalupi is one of my favourite authors so I was very excited about the release of this book and especially excited to receive this sample. I'm only wishing I had received the whole book as now I have to wait for it's release before finishing what promises to be an excellent fantasy story.TO BE UPDATED WHEN I FINISH THE BOOK
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  • Tracett
    January 1, 1970
    Those of us living through the trump administration will certainly see some familiarity in these cautionary tales of a fantasyland. And what a well built fantasyland this is! This quartet of stories is a rich enticement to hoping for further novels set in this class driven world. The two authors stories blended easily together and the strong feminism represented was a welcome viewpoint.
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  • Suncerae
    January 1, 1970
    In the last great city of Khaim, four unrelated individuals survive in a rotting empire of tyrants and corruption. The Jolly Mayor and the last archmage need magic to build their castle in the sky, but the over-use of magic has corrupted its use, causing a poisonous plant called the bramble to grow relentlessly, overtake what's left of the city, and induce coma for anyone who touches it. Together, they outlaw magic for everyone except themselves.The four shorter length stories provide an interes In the last great city of Khaim, four unrelated individuals survive in a rotting empire of tyrants and corruption. The Jolly Mayor and the last archmage need magic to build their castle in the sky, but the over-use of magic has corrupted its use, causing a poisonous plant called the bramble to grow relentlessly, overtake what's left of the city, and induce coma for anyone who touches it. Together, they outlaw magic for everyone except themselves.The four shorter length stories provide an interesting and unique form to tell the story of the last blue city. The street-level view from each perspective provides the necessary intimacy of the normal person's plight, especially in relation to the Mayor and the archmage. Each individual story is quite enticing, and work well as standalone pieces.1. An alchemist invents a way to kill the bramble, but when he shows it to the Mayor and the archmage, they use his idea to enhance their own power instead of healing the city.2. The daughter of an executioner becomes a warrior when her children are stolen away.3. A young noble no longer wealthy fights to save his sister from the pleasure markets when she succumbs to the bramble sleep.4. A young blacksmith attempts to outwit a duke that has imprisoned her family in exchange for special armor. My favorite of the bunch!Unfortunately, the individual stories do not comprise a cohesive world for me. The history of the corruption of magic and exactly how magic causes bramble growth is not revealed. The intricacies of the political order and any motivation for the horrible actions of the Mayor and the archmage are not revealed. The unrelated character rebellions against their immediate oppressors don't feel like "the people stage an uprising" in the book blurb. Instead, these are much smaller, personal stories about people who do what's necessary for their families in terrible situations.Recommended for fans of literary fiction who enjoy a little fantasy on the side!Thanks to Netgalley and Saga Press for an advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest review!readwellreviews.com
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  • Iryna Khymych
    January 1, 1970
    I received an egalley of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you publisher!4 out of 5 StarsThe Tangled Lands is a collection of short stories, from four different perspectives. A long time ago, magic was discovered. It was carelessly and incessantly used for everything, until it became corrupted. Now, anytime anyone uses magic it causes ‘brambles” to spring all round and anyone who touches them falls into a deep comalike sleep – unable to ever wake up.The city of Kha I received an egalley of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you publisher!4 out of 5 StarsThe Tangled Lands is a collection of short stories, from four different perspectives. A long time ago, magic was discovered. It was carelessly and incessantly used for everything, until it became corrupted. Now, anytime anyone uses magic it causes ‘brambles” to spring all round and anyone who touches them falls into a deep comalike sleep – unable to ever wake up.The city of Khaim (the last city standing in the empire), the corrupt government is trying to build a floating castle with magic. In order to achieve this, the government needs to use magic risking its citizens’ lives. Unable to ignore the risks, the people of the city start a revolt against the corrupt government and our story is told from the perceptive of an alchemist, a daughter of an executioner, a formerly rich man and a female blacksmith. I must say that it was fascinating to watch the story develop through four different points of view. The two authors work in harmony creating harmonious flow. The characters are well developed, well written, and interesting. Indeed, the story itself is a mirror onto our own world with the finite resources which humans are exhausting. It is rare in fantasy to find a story which mirrors the ramification of careless use of resources so much, and I for one quite enjoyed the parallels. It is even more interesting that the alchemist in the book finds the cure for the “brambles,” yet his solution is not used to save the dying empire, but to further advance the government’s agenda. This was a quick and interesting read. I understand why the authors ended the book the way that they did, however, fantasy is not real life, and I think that this would have been 5 stars if the resolution at the end was clearer.
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  • Lindsey
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. I loved the set up, with short stories all set in the same world during the same time period. I loved the characters and the world building. My one disappointment is that there wasn't really a resolution. It was vignettes, and each had their own sort of ending. ... but the bigger story being told through these stories never really got a resolution, and that made me a little sad. I feel like it needed one last story, perhaps, that connected everything and gave resoluti I really enjoyed this book. I loved the set up, with short stories all set in the same world during the same time period. I loved the characters and the world building. My one disappointment is that there wasn't really a resolution. It was vignettes, and each had their own sort of ending. ... but the bigger story being told through these stories never really got a resolution, and that made me a little sad. I feel like it needed one last story, perhaps, that connected everything and gave resolution. I still really enjoyed this book, though and do recommend it. There are, in particular, a couple really badass female characters. The basics: When magic is used, brambles grow from the earth. Brambles that will put you in a "sleeping beauty" like sleep and ultimately kill you if you are scratched by them. So magic is outlawed, except by the corrupt government who is using it to build a floating castle. See this world and its problems by four very distinct characters, each with their own problems. An alchemist who invents a way to kill the bramble, only to have his idea used for a different purpose by the corrupt government.The daughter of an executioner who becomes The Executioness and leads a group of warriors to take over a country who stole away their children. A formerly rich brother who will do anything to save his sister from the bramble sleep.And a female blacksmith who must make tough decisions while building special armor for a duke who has imprisoned her family.
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  • Crystal
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in return for an un-biased review.Before now, I’ve never been a fan of short stories. I think that’s a holdover from my high school days. I loved nothing more than getting a nice big novel to read in English class. I was so sad when we, in my opinion, wasted time on an anthology of short stories. Ugh. Disappointment! I want a real book! A Tale of Two Cities! Pride and Prejudice! … wait … no … no, Hemmingway … I take it back, Mr. Cheney!That av Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in return for an un-biased review.Before now, I’ve never been a fan of short stories. I think that’s a holdover from my high school days. I loved nothing more than getting a nice big novel to read in English class. I was so sad when we, in my opinion, wasted time on an anthology of short stories. Ugh. Disappointment! I want a real book! A Tale of Two Cities! Pride and Prejudice! … wait … no … no, Hemmingway … I take it back, Mr. Cheney!That aversion to the short story started to change when I picked up a book by Alice Munro. Who knew short stories could be so engrossing and meaningful? Then, a couple of months ago I was approved to be a First Reader for a Sci-fi/Fantasy E-zine called Deep Magic. This means I, as part of a crack story reading team, read TONS of short story submissions and pass the best of the best along to the editors for hopeful acceptance into the magazine. All of this means I’ve learnedto be less prejudiced against the short story genre. Thank goodness, because if not then I’d have missed this little book entirely!The Tangled Lands is a set of 4 short stories, all of them set in one fantasy world. They are written by two separate authors, but they suit one another perfectly. Khaim is a kingdom in a world that has suffered an immense ecological disaster. In the past, Magic was discovered and used with wild abandon, providing wealth and health to it’s many inhabitants. However, overuse has created an imbalance. Now the slightest use of magic, which people have come to rely on for daily life, causes a poisonous hedge called “Bramble” to spring up everywhere. A person who touches it slips slowly into a coma/deathlike trance. They can never wake up from it. The stuff is insidious and deadly.So just stop using magic right? Look around us. How easy is it in our own world to convince people of the importance of taking care of the environment? If doing so means less money or power to the rich and powerful then how easily do they abandon it’s use? We all know the answer to that question. It’s no different in Khaim. These stories, however, introduce us to a few unassuming characters of humble origin, these few people are going to make a difference. Women and children as agents of change figure heavily in these stories. You know that makes me happy right!I enjoyed everything about this book, except it’s length. I wish it could have gone on much longer!! I hope that everyone who reads this review, and loves fantasy will buy this book. Please, give these two authors reason to write another, longer book in this fascinating world. Until then, I’m definitely looking up some of their backlist. I enjoyed their style and look forward to reading more from both of them.Song for this book: Sign of the Times – Harry Styles
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  • J.D. Dehart
    January 1, 1970
    The Tangled Lands reads like an instant fantasy classic. The author’s work together, breaking the larger work into smaller sections, and create an evocative and complex world.This is a literary landscape that the reader can get lost in, with a host of characters and clear driving forces in the plot. The wheels of the engine keep turning, right up to the last pages.I found this book enjoyable and would recommend it as an example of literary talent merging with fantasy fiction.
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