Short Book Review: The Vorrh by B.Catling

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This is the best book I’ve read this year. It is simply exquisite.
It’s difficult to compare this to any other work and to call it fantasy is to do it a disservice. It is a grotesque and beautiful narrative poem masquerading as a novel.
This is not a book for the faint-hearted, and it manages to ratchet up the sheer weirdness almost on a page-by-page basis.
The eponymous Vorrh is an imaginary but magical jungle in Africa. The book is loosely plotted around three individuals. Tsungali, a hunter and assassin brought out of retirement to hunt Williams, a white man gone native. Both of them are walking legends, larger than life. The third is a cyclops called Ishmael grown, but new to the world.
The plot conspires to bring them together in the Vorrh, but that is simplistic. There are many amazing asides. There is language so beautiful you will read a sentence three times just to feel it caressing your mind.
There is so much that is enigmatic and wonderful and disturbing. There are a number of different magic systems that all have internal consistency.
Love it or hate it, you will not forget this book. It shies away from nothing and you will wonder how the hell the author came up with the ideas.

 

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