The Naming Song

Tor. Sept. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9781250907981. $28.99. FANTASY
Apocalyptic disaster wiped away the world’s words. With everything unnamed, bonds fell apart, knowledge vanished, and identity disintegrated. Time passed unlabeled and unmeasured until someone rediscovered a word. From this, order sprouted, eventually coalescing into a train full of people charged with renaming all existence. Their oracles divine words from the past and pass them to couriers for delivery. The best at attaching meaning to her assignments is, perhaps, the only unnamed courier. While her namelessness makes her difficult to trust, it gives her a special connection to murky parts of the healing world. But living in the invisible pockets of the world—down unnamed streets or in dark woods—are people who refuse speech. They attack the namers, and the courier becomes ensnared in the schemes of both named and nameless. Soon she must flee alongside a ghost, a monster born of dreams, and a furry stowaway to a troupe of actors whose plays hide truths.
VERDICT Fans of Patricia A. McKillip’s The Forgotten Beasts of Eld or Marie Brennan’s Driftwood will be in awe of Berry’s (The Manual of Detection) wonderfully odd ode to language, story, and family.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing