Tor.com. Jun. 2024. 304p. ISBN 9781250847683. $27.99. FANTASY
Leveret and Annelid star in a television show with a bloody finale; Vidyucchika is stalked by the corpse of the boy she betrayed; Viramunda hunts down her betrayer on a sun-scorched Earth. This novel is a sweeping slipstream epic that follows two intertwined personalities as they recur in new guises through time, moving from the mythic past to modern Sri Lanka to a far-future Earth abandoned by humanity. One of them always dies, but is there an escape from the cycle—and should they take it if there is? Chandrasekera challenges readers but rewards them with a breathtaking narrative that invokes sci-fi, fantasy, and myth to express the endless struggle of revolution. As they recur throughout worlds and time lines that draw inspiration from South Asian culture and religion, the duo at the story’s heart are reshaped by their experiences until they reach a conclusion that guarantees the fight will go on.
VERDICT In Chandrasekera’s (The Saint of Bright Doors) newest, the characters’ journey through fantastical worlds across millennia is reminiscent of This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. Recommended for fans of ambitious speculative fiction that tackles systems of oppression in fresh ways.
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