SFF

The Saint of Bright Doors

Tor.com Jul. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781250847386. $27.99. FANTASY
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DEBUT After he is separated from his shadow at birth, Fetter is without foundation. He’s raised by a messianic figure in a cult where summoning devils and murder are part and parcel of his education. As an adult, he flees to Luriat, a city on the brink of cataclysmic change, where he discovers a new obsession with the Bright Doors. No one knows what is behind them—some believe there are whole worlds, and some believe there is nothing—and Fetter grapples with the unnerving caste system as he digs deeper into the doors’ purpose. The threads of the plot are confusing at times, and there is a fair bit of info-dumping. That being said, this novel is driven by the worldbuilding, which is grandly elegant and immersive. Fetter is a relatable character who strays from his destiny, and his journey provides commentary on the threats of oppression and indoctrination.
VERDICT Dreamlike and inventive, this unusual novel is a complicated read that ably pairs the mundane with the mystical.
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