The Tangled Lands
The city of Khaim is surrounded by a land crippled by the use of magic, and a tyrant intent on rebuilding an empire - unless the people find a way to resist. Khaim clings to life. Flooded with refugees and slowly starving, the last city of a once-great empire is surrounded by a choking thicket of poisonous bramble. This is a world where magic is toxic. Every time a spell is cast, the bramble advances, sprouting in tilled fields and roof beams, thrusting up from between cobblestones and bursting forth from sacks of powdered spice. A bit of magic, and bramble follows. A little at first, and then more - until whole cities are dragged down under tangling vines. Armies hack and burn... but in a world that can't give up magic's sweet succour, the bramble can't be stopped. Or can it? After ten years of research, an alchemist believes he has found a potent new weapon to wield against the bramble. His invention promises freedom from fear, freedom from hunger, freedom from the rule Khaim's tyrant, The Jolly Mayor. But this is not an exchange the Jolly Mayor is willing to contemplate... Award-winning authors Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias S. Buckell have created a fantasy for our times, exploring a world of glittering memories and a desperate present, where everyone uses a little magic, and someone else always pays the price.
PRAISE FOR THE WINDUP GIRL: 'It's ridiculous how good this book is ... almost as rich and shocking as William Gibson's vision was in 1984' TIME. 'The Windup Girl embodies what SF does best of all: it remakes reality in compelling, absorbing and thought-provoking ways, and it lives on vividly in the mind' Guardian. 'Complex, literate and intensely felt' Publishers Weekly.