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The House of Storms
by Ian R. Macleod

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
416 pages; ISBN: 0441012809

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

The House of Storms
Ian R. Macleod
Ace, May 2005, $24.95, 416 pp.
ISBN 0441012809

On an alternate earth, the fifth form of matter, aether is discovered. This element is used in magic spells to run machinery and electricity and just about anything else one can think of. The guilds control the supply of aether and no one is more powerful than Alice Meynell, the Greatgrandmistress of the Telegrapher’s Guild. Her only son Ralph is dying and she takes him to Invercombe on the west coast of England in the hopes that exercise and clear air will cure his consumption.

While there she visits Einfell where people are no longer human because they were changed by the overuse of magic. When she returns, her son Ralph is cured so she leaves him at Invercombe while she returns to London to set in motion plans that will give more power to her and her son. The result of her scheming leads to a civil war that will affect the lives of everyone living in Victorian England.

This is a thick and juicy alternate history novel that is set in a Victorian England where everyone is dependant on magic like oil is in our world. Alice does what she must to get and keep her position no matter who she hurts. Her only weakness is her son who turns out to be under his mother’s thumb when he takes over the position of Greatguildmaster once held by his dead father. Ian R. Macleod continues to fascinate readers with his special blending of sorcery and alternate history.

Harriet Klausner

 

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