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by Ian R. MacLeod
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Fantasy
  • Author:
    Ian R. MacLeod
  • ISBN:
    0441010555
  • ISBN13:
    978-0441010554
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Ace Hardcover; 1st Ed. edition (May 6, 2003)
  • Pages:
    416 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Fantasy
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1311 kb
  • ePUB format
    1517 kb
  • DJVU format
    1807 kb
  • Rating:
    4.2
  • Votes:
    452
  • Formats:
    doc rtf lit lrf


by Ian R MacLeod This is a work of fiction.

by Ian R MacLeod This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. An Ace Book Published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) In. 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

The Washington Post Book World. MacLeod brings a Dickensian life to the pounding factories of London in a style he calls ‘realistic fantasy. It’s a complete world brought to life with compassionate characters and lyrical writing.

I really enjoyed Journeys, but my first attempt at novel-length Ian R. MacLeod falls short. The Light Ages takes place in an alternative England where the ability to manipulate aether has jumpstarted steam engine technology somewhat. Other technologies, like electricity, have fallen by the wayside as too unreliable.

The Light Ages' by Ian R. MacLeod doesn't feel much like light reading, but it's an enjoyable story for the right . MacLeod doesn't feel much like light reading, but it's an enjoyable story for the right reader. Think of Charles Dickens meeting up with an alternate England powered by a kind of magic crystal. The opening sections of the book are quite good, as MacLeod does his best to pull us into the setting and get the ground rules laid out. Mining the magic (called "aether") is like any mining inherently dangerous and there are moments when people get too exposed to the magical radiation and instead of turning huge and green when they get angry they get called trolls or changlings and are often taken away to live out their lives elsewhere.

Read Light Ages, by Ian . acLeod online on Bookmate – This extraordinary alternate-history .

A finalist for the World Fantasy Award, The Light Ages brings a Dickensian life to the pounding factories of London (The Denver Post) and should hold great appeal to readers who love the more sophisticated fantasy of Michael Swanwick, John Crowley or even China Miéville (Publishers Weekly). The Light Ages continues with The House of Storms, set one century later. Sci-fi & Fantasy Fiction Steampunk Historical Fantasy Dark Fantasy.

Praise for The Light Ages: MacLeod's descriptive powers are so effective . This book has all the feel of a Victorian England setting, but that's not quite right.

Praise for The Light Ages: MacLeod's descriptive powers are so effective that you can visualize every detail. skillfully incorporates literary influences ranging from William Blake to Dickens to 1984 and the working class novels of the 1950s-and arrives at something original. Rising star Ian R MacLeod offers an original political fable rivaling in ambition and execution the very best of today's new science fantasies. It's set in an alternate England, and date of divergence appears to 1798 (although that's not 100% clear), and.

The Light Ages continues with The House of Storms, set one century later. When I picked up this book, I was looking for some serious steampunk fiction. Perhaps there is too much magic present in The Light Ages for my tastes, but I couldn't even finish it. Seldom do I ever abandon a book. I may come back to it at some point.

Curdled clouds writhed across the valley and the men trudged home early as the chimneys blocked and the yards piled up, hunched like the negatives of ghosts against the teeming white. d, the roads and the rails became impassable. Bracebridge found itself isolated. Even the shift sirens didn’t bother to sound. The only noise, as I lay shivering that night in my freezing attic and watched my window fill up with snow, was a dense, endless hissing. I wandered down into the kitchen on Christmas morning, stiff and cold, my fingers blue, my teeth chattering, to find.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the. author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or. dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) In. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced.

Поиск книг BookFi BookSee - Download books for free. MacLeod, Ian R. - The Light Ages. Macleod Ian R. 7 Mb.

In a bleak and gritty England, in a fantastical Age of Industry, the wealth that comes from magic is both revered and reviled. Here, an ambitious young man is haunted by his childhood love-a woman determined to be a part of the world he despises... From a new star on the fantasy scene who offers something "truly out of the ordinary,"* this is a literary experience that evokes a moody, atmospheric past-while at the same time speculating on a fascinating alternate vision of that world.

Enalonasa
'The Light Ages' by Ian R. MacLeod doesn't feel much like light reading, but it's an enjoyable story for the right reader. Think of Charles Dickens meeting up with an alternate England powered by a kind of magic crystal.

The book follows Robert Borrows who was born on sixthshiftday in the grimy factory town of Bracebridge. His early days are accompanied by the sounds of the factory as it churns outpower for the wealthy. Shoom, boom. Shoom, boom. What's being manufactured is a byproduct of a magical crystal known as Aether. Robbie sees his father's hard life of working and his mother's odd ties to this aether. He also meets a strange young girl that he will run in to as he gets older.

As he gets older, he rails against a system that uses men up and supplies the wealthy with strange and useless toys. He tries to fight the corruption he sees, and finds that his life is tied to the life he once knew and the strange girl named Anna.

It's a large novel that feels somewhat like something from the 19th century. That's a complete compliment to the author. I don't know that I ever felt any connection to the main characters beyond a sense of pity. That might be where the book failed me, but I did enjoy the journey and this strange alternate take on the Industrial Age.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Open Road Integrated Media and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
Xar
Long but entirely engaging. Excellent portrayal of human nature. Allusions to atomic energy gone awry. Logical conclusion, with the New Age being a slightly revised version of the previous. Poverty and social class cannot be erased.
Samugor
One of my favorite novels. Class warfare in an alternate Victorian era driven by magic. The Light Ages follows the story of a young man growing up in a mining town who escapes to London and is caught up in a struggle to overturn the stifling guild system.
Kigul
What happens when you write a fantasy book but kind of forget to put any actual fantasy in it?

Ian Macleod is certainly not a novice at fantasy, having already by this point written a novella that won the World Fantasy Award. Judging by the number of fantasy-familiar authors who populate the cover and inside pages with glowing quotes, other people with experience in this kind of thing also thought it was fantasy (as an aside, I always kind of worry when I pick up a book and the only pull quotes are other authors describing how awesome this author is, as opposed to actual reviews . . . I can't put it into a definitive chart or anything but it seems that the number of people quoted is inversely proportional to how okay I find the book) and yet beyond an admittedly fantastic setting it's not really THAT magical.

I should note that I'm not looking for elves and orcs and people swinging swords while declaring their personal histories through extraordinarily expository speeches. I've read books by all the people quoted here (Moorcock, Gene Wolfe, James Blaylock, Tim Powers) and have vastly enjoyed their works. In fact, I highly enjoyed for the most part the actual act of reading this book. But I do feel like what I was looking for and what it was giving me were two vastly different things.

It's set in a sideways England where magic is something that you can mine out of the ground and thus entire towns are given over to giant operations where huge engines strip the stuff from the Earth. Since this is England, that dirty work is left to the working classes. And since even in alternate histories you can't escape the examples of actual history, life pretty much stinks for them while the rich folks who exist in guilds live pretty sweet lives thanks to all that magic the grubby commoners keep scooping from the soil.

But since the book isn't approved by the estate of Margaret Thatcher, we mostly follow the life of Robert Borrows, a lad who has grown up in Bracebridge and eventually will do his best to bring about a new Age where the working classes will find a different way to be oppressed. Along the way his life intertwines with a girl he met exactly once as a child, Annalise, who may be more magical than she lets on. Together they'll eventually try to unravel the mystery of what exactly happened on a day before they were born when the mine stopped working.

The opening sections of the book are quite good, as MacLeod does his best to pull us into the setting and get the ground rules laid out. Mining the magic (called "aether") is like any mining inherently dangerous and there are moments when people get too exposed to the magical radiation and instead of turning huge and green when they get angry they get called trolls or changlings and are often taken away to live out their lives elsewhere. These early scenes of the book when we're first getting used to the magical nature of things is where the tone succeeds best, especially when we see the dire effects the aether can have on people (someone close to Robert goes downhill pretty fast and its actually unnerving to witness) and how the society seems stacked against people like Robert's family who pretty much do all the work under less than ideal conditions.

But as good as the prose is here (and its really marvelous, really immersing you in the scene without overplaying it, lush without bogging the story down . . . not as eloquent as a John Crowley but varied enough to make this a pleasure to read on a sensory level) the plot can't quite keep up with it, nor can MacLeod's world building. Asked to construct a sideways world where the aether has changed society, he appears to merely recreated a miserable England of the 1800s with some slight changes here and there. While magic is present we never get a real good sense of how its fundamentally altered the trajectory of the world and so it tends to fade into the background as we follow Robert moving off to London and becoming one of the proletariat, publishing a newspaper about the plight of the working classes while occasionally stopping to investigate what happened back home before he was born or pursuing a strange fascination with Annalise, who has entered into the upper crust of society and is now known as Anna Winters.

The focus on Annalise to my mind really hamstrings the plot because despite all the ink devoted to how mysterious and alluring and magical she apparently is, she doesn't do all that much to justify everyone's fixation with her. Every other character in the book wants to either figure out the mystery of her or take her to bed (or do one in the process of the other) and after pages of the book trying to hammer that into you via all the characters constantly going ga-ga over her, she mostly avoids Robert and does her best to be as low key as possible. Meanwhile Robert gets to pull a Proust and hang out at all the fine rich parties but again . . . not much in the way of magic.

And so the book drifts along that way, giving us page after page of luscious, glorious prose while also slapping us with a plot that's absolutely pedestrian. Sometimes it feels like MacLeod may have bit off more than he could chew, wanting to depict Robert's life Augie March style, or show us a society in transformation, or track the bond between Annalise and Robert, or even solve the dark mystery that could presumably tear society apart. But by trying to do all these things at once it succeeds in doing none of them so plots move to the fore- and background basically equally, without any sense of what's at stake here or even any real sense of urgency. With nothing taking real precedence we're left to gaze at the setting, which once you strip out the prose is basically every steampunk England you've ever seen.

That might be my biggest quibble with the book . . . while it gets compared to China Mieville (especially "Perdido Street Station") what MacLeod seems to lack is Mieville's ability to paint with sheer strangeness, which can forgive a lot of sins in this genre (it kept me into "Perdido Street Station" while I watched that plot veer completely off the rails into a direction I was not expecting). By keeping it somewhat realistic he strips it of any lingering sense of wonder, which leaves us with a beautifully written novel about a boy hanging out with rich people, which has been done in literature before, and better.

Even the big revelation that's supposed to rock society winds up basically being "what if Chernobyl happened to only two people", with consequences that don't seem to be reflected in the novel in any way, shape or form. There's hints that magic is dwindling but when SF author Larry Niven can convey that better in his "Magic Goes Away" series than an actual fantasy author can, you may have a slight problem.

It's a shame because MacLeod is clearly good at the actual act of writing but the storytelling needed perhaps a bit more tightening up. As it stands the novel winds up being like spending a long train ride in countryside with a bunch of affable strangers. You enjoy learning about them and the scenery is pleasant but when the trip is over you'll all go your separate ways and you won't think about how you didn't really get to know them that well or even be too concerned that you'll never see them again.
Kamick
Others are reviewing this book as Dickensian. I find that wrong as Dickens writing style is different to me. I get caught up in Dickens with the minutiae of characterization. He will go on for pages about one minor character who are all linked, like Paul Haggis's movie Crash, at the end.

MacLeod I feel is being compared unfairly to Dickens because there are similarities with our protagonist, Robbie going to a old decrepit house, like Pip in Great Expectations. Of a London that has a seedy side that Dickens was able to relate through much of his work.

That is where the similarities end for me. The Light Ages is a novel with a Steampunk feel as we have a Victorian Era world of technology run on an energy form that is magical. Robbie, telling in first person, which I feel brings the book down and lengthens it too long, is intimately wrapped up in the procurement of this component. A mystery and great political upheaval surrounds this.

It starts slowly, and does not grab you right away. It shows you a world that you can well imagine, How Green Was My Valley, the story of the lives of the Welsh Coal Miners comes to mind. An ordinary story is made fantastical, but it is made much better through the writer's prose. MacLeod is rich in language and he shares it with you. Since Robbie is the person relating the story to us though, the prose is to rich for the character and there is why the book is too long, and could be better. But without the prose it would be a lesser presentation. Thus we come to it that our story just does not fit the writing.